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Everything you need to know about baseball gloves, from the basics to the specifics.

Parts of the glove

Full-grain leather

has not been sanded or buffed to remove imperfections from the surface of the hide. The grain remains, creating fiber strength and durability. The grain also has breathability, resulting in less moisture from prolonged contact.

Top-grain leather

is the most common type used in high-end leather products and the second-highest quality leather. It has had the "split" layer separated away, making it thinner and more pliable than full-grain.

Kip leather

is stronger, smoother, cleaner and more durable than all other leathers

Cowhide

is medium weight, but sometimes can fall on the heavy side. It performs well and breaks in fast but also wears faster than steer hide.

Steer Hide

is somewhat stronger than cowhide. It tends to be stiff and heavier with long break-in periods.

Buffalo

is seen by some manufacturers as tougher and lighter than full grain steer hide but breaks in just as easily.

Kangaroo

is one of the toughest leathers in the world. It is lightweight but has a tensile strength stronger than cowhide.

Superskin

is a synthetic material used in some Wilson gloves. It is very durable and reduces the overall weight of a glove.

Mesh

is a synthetic material used in several manufacturers' gloves. It is used to reduce weight.

There are several different types of glove webs out there, each with different pros and cons.

Which one's best for you? In the end, it comes down to personal preference. Certain webs are better for certain positions, but even then, you might prefer something else. Infielders sometimes shy away from closed web baseball gloves, but Derek Jeter, one of the best in the game, uses a closed web glove. Try a few styles, weigh what matters most to you and choose a glove based on that.

Single Patch Webs

are popular, especially with second basemen. These webs are a patch of leather attached to the body with Double-X lacing on each side. The single patch allows players to catch and throw without the risk of getting their fingers stuck in the webbing.

H-Webs

are common in the everywhere on the field, especially in the outfield. These webs have two bars of leather connected by a horizontal strip to increase stability and control. The thick leather bars provide a large catching while still remaining lightweight. The bars are also handy for blocking the sun or field lights while still keeping an eye on the ball.

I-Webs

are popular in the infield and looks similar to the H-Web, but it features a pair of leather X's connected to the bars. The benefit here is that its laces can be easily modified to change the depth of the pocket.

Modified Trap-Eze Webs

which has a "sixth finger" like traditional Trap-Eze gloves, but usually isn't as beefy as standard Trap-Eze webs. The T-bar allows for more stability while it's lacing allows the web to expand.

Closed/Basket Webs

are not as common as other styles, but these webs can be found in the infield. Their deep, stable pockets makes them a good choice at any position

Trap-Eze Webs

are the most popular in the outfield and is often referred to as the six-finger glove. The laces allow the glove to close naturally around the ball.

Pitchers

  • Traditionally, a closed web to hide pitches
  • Generally looks like an infielders glove
  • Usually a mid-sized glove

Catcher's Mitt

  • Does not have individual fingerstalls inside the glove.
  • Heavily padded to reduce sting from pitches.
  • Measured in inches by circumference.
  • Closed web is used.

First Base Mitt

  • Resembles a mitten, as there are no visible individual fingerstalls.
  • Fingerstalls are hidden.
  • Longer glove to help 'scoop' throws from infielders.
  • Shallow pocket allows you to quickly retrieve the ball.
  • Measured in inches.
  • Closed or open webs are used.

Infield

  • Smaller, five-fingered glove with a shallow pocket for quick ball transfer.
  • Second Basemen use the smallest glove to help make quicker throws such as when turning double plays or when executing the relay from the outfield.
  • Shortstops use a mid-sized glove for fielding balls in the hole, but its still small enough to allow for quick ball transfer and control.
  • Third basemen need a larger sized glove to field hot shots down the line. Since balls generally get to them quicker, this also allows more time to find the ball in a larger glove.

Outfield

  • Normally a larger glove with a deep pocket to retrieve balls hit in the air.
  • Longer length to allow reaching balls hit in the gap or over your head.
  • Also, a larger glove to help shield the sun on sunny days.
  1. Work it

    Most gloves will be stiff upon purchase. Grab each side of the glove near the heel or the lower part of the glove. Work back and forth by twisting. You can do this with the finger and thumb areas as well. This will help ease the tension of the leather padding fibers.
  2. Condition it

    you can apply glove conditioner to your glove to help soften the leather. This will also add an extra layer of protection. Glove conditioner can be purchased in the Accessories section of this catalog.
  3. Wrap it

    close the glove by wrapping the fingers around a ball and secure the glove by tying with a rubber band, shoelace, string or rope. Leave overnight or for several days. To help in this process, you can also purchase a Mitkit from Baseball Express to help break-in and maintain your glove. This is located in the Accessories section of this catalog.
  4. Use it

    play catch to get familiar and comfortable with your new glove. This will also allow the glove to form-fit your hand.
  5. Care for it

    repeat these steps until you feel comfortable catching balls and opening and closing the glove. Continue to apply conditioner over its lifetime to keep the leather nice and soft.

Here's how Wilson's "glove guru" breaks in Brandon Phillips' glove:

Here are some Rawlings athletes explaining how they break in their gloves:

There's a lot to consider when buying a new baseball glove. Different gloves have different webbing. There's different pocket sizes, finger length and leathers.

With so many different styles out there, how do you find the best glove for your size, position and skillset?

First and foremost, you won't find many baseball gloves marked Small, Medium and Large. Instead, most gloves have a size stamped inside where the pocket is. Typical fielding sizes range from 9" – 13", and vary depending on your position.

That measurement is from the top of the index finger down to the heel of the glove. From there, sizes vary by position and your hand size.

Our glove sizing chart offers these suggestions:

Glove Size Chart

These tables are a general guide for determining which glove size an athlete needs:

Baseball

Baseball Fielding Glove
Sizing Chart

Age
Infield
Outfield
Under 8
9"
11"
9 to 13
9"-10"
11"-12"
High school or Adult
10.5"-11.5"
12"-12.5"

High School or Adult Baseball Glove
By Size, Then Position

Size
Position
11"-11.25"
2nd Base, Shortstop
11.5"-11.75"
Shortstop, 3rd Base, or Pitcher
12"-13"
Outfield

Softball

Fastpitch Fielding Glove Sizing Chart

Age
Infield
Outfield
Under 8
9"-11"
10.5"-11.5"
9 to 13
10"-11"
11"-11.5"
High school or Adult
11.5"-12.5"
12.5"-13"

Slowpitch Glove Sizing Chart by Position

Size
Position
12"-13"
Infield
12.5"-14"
Outfield
Glove Size Measurement

Here's how Wilson's "glove guru" breaks in Brandon Phillips' glove:

Here are some Rawlings athletes explaining how they break in their gloves:

GLOVE STEAM

Break your glove in the easy way.

Break in your new glove the easy way! Choose glove steaming at checkout, and your brand new baseball or softball glove will arrive almost game ready.

For just $20, you won't have to put in the hours shaping and forming it, because the glove steaming process dramatically shortens the glove's break-in time. You won't have to worry about breaking the glove in the wrong way: misforming the pocket, drying out the laces or over-oiling your glove.

Your new glove will come to you soft and flexible— ready for you to put on the finishing touches!

Here's how it works:

  • First, our experienced technicians apply a special glove conditioner to your glove to open the pores in the leather to help it soften. Next, the glove is placed into the steamer at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for several minutes. The heat loosens the glove, while the glove is infused with the water molecules in the steam, making it softer and more malleable.

  • After that, our technicians pound the glove with a wooden mallet on a leather pad to loosen the heel and other key breaking point areas of the glove. Finally, a coat of cream is applied to the leather to close its pores and seal in the hydration.

  • The steaming process softens the leather, laces and the key break-in points of the glove. That means that when your shipment arrives, you'll get an almost game-ready glove with a pocket formed specifically for baseball or softball.

  • All you'll need to do is apply glove oil and play catch with it to help make your glove fit and feel exactly the way you want it to.

Note: We do not accept returns on gloves that have been steamed. There are also several gloves that we do not recommend be steamed. This is noted on the pages of those specific gloves.

Glove Steamer Step One Glove Steamer Step Four Glove Steamer Step Three Glove Steamer Step Two

GLOVE STEAMING FAQ's

  1. Q: How do I know if glove I am buying needs to be steamed?

    A: Usually, baseball and softball gloves under $100 are already broken in, but that does not mean they can't be steamed. Gloves from $100 to $200 are a little stiffer and gloves $200+ are normally very stiff.

  2. Q:Why would I want to have my glove steamed?

    A:Glove break-in time varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and from glove series to glove series. We'll do the work for you, so the glove is almost ready to use as soon as you get it.

  3. Q: What should I do after I get my steamed glove?

    A: Additional break-in time may be required. When you receive your glove, it will be almost game ready. Results may vary, because manufacturers use different types of leathers to build their gloves. We suggest that you work with the glove to help it form around your hand properly, apply glove oil and play catch with it to help make your glove fit and feel exactly the way you want it to.

  4. Q: How do I care for my glove after I get it and start using it?

    A: We recommend you use glove conditioner when your glove becomes dry or after a long period of use.

  5. Q: Will Team Express steam a previously purchased glove or used glove?

    A:No. Because we might not be familiar with your glove or with what chemicals that may have been put on the glove, we do not steam gloves of this type.

  6. Q:Why are some of the gloves you sell unable to be steamed?

    A: Several of the gloves we offer ship direct from manufacturer. Custom gloves also come direct from the manufacturer and cannot be steamed. There are also several gloves that the Team Expresss experts do not recommend be steamed.

  7. Q: How long will the steaming delay shipment of my glove?

    A: Up to one (1) business day.

  8. Q: If I order other items along with a glove and steaming, will my other items ship at once and the glove on another date?

    A: No, your entire shipment will go out in a single package.

  9. Q: What is your return policy on gloves that have been steamed?

    A: We are unable to accept returns on gloves that have been steamed.

  10. Q: Is there somewhere I can buy a glove and have it steamed in person?

    A: Yes, our retail store in San Antonio, TX (1003 E. Nakoma, 78216) carries a wide selection of gloves, and we can steam them in the store.

GLOVE COLLECTIONS

Special selections, chosen for quality and performance.

We work with the top sports makers and are able to offer the best exclusive name brand gear around. Exclusive products are handpicked by Team Express and represent the best we have to offer. You will find exclusive gloves featuring different color scheme, web patterns and models.

GGP2004C

PROS12JAR

BD207B

Can't find a glove that's exactly how you want it? It might be time to customize. Our Rawlings, Louisville Slugger and Wilson glove builders allow you to personalize every single aspect of your glove, down to the color, lacing, custom embroidery and even flags.

Wilson Custom Gloves

Rawlings Custom Gloves

Louisville Slugger Custom

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