Amazon.com Baseball and Softball Glove Guide
Playing the Field
Baseball and softball gloves were created to match the needs of your given field position, with each style of glove boasting unique features to boost a player's performance at his / her position. These is often a brief summary of each and every glove's characteristics:
Catcher: No finger channels, with heavy palm padding and overall reinforcements to lessen the sting of repeatedly catching pitchers' throws
First Base: Also lacks finger channels, but with less padding that the catcher's mitt, with added length to help catch infield throws and shallow pocket, enabling quick ball retrieval
Infield: Five-fingered glove has shallow pocket for fast ball retrieval, with nine- to 10-inch youth sizes and 10.5- to 11.5-inch adult sizes, and softball infield gloves having a deeper pocket to accept the bigger ball
Second base players require smaller gloves to balance control with all the need to produce quick throws
Shortstops work with a mid-sized glove for ground balls and quick throws
Third base players require a larger glove for maximum catching power
Outfield: Glove is longer to supply extended reach, with a deep pocket to handle high-lofting balls, and sizes range between 12 inches and up for adults and 11 inches for youth players
Softball Gloves: The characteristics, by position, of softball gloves are generally similar to their baseball counterparts, with softball gloves having more length and deeper pockets to take care of the bigger ball
Anatomy of the Glove
Gloves are made to complete a relatively simple task--catch a ball. The quality of materials and craftsmanship that can go in to a creating a glove, however, could be surprising. Below is an overview of an glove's components and how each helps optimize your defensive game:
Pocket: Pocket depth is determined by player position, with shallower pockets helping infielders quickly retrieve and throw the ball, and outfielders' pocket depth aiding in capturing a ball for the fly. Softball players likewise require deeper pockets capture the larger ball.
Webbing: The most preferred webbing pattern is partly based on field position and partly by player preference. Generally, open webbing helps infielders quickly retrieve the ball, closed or tightly woven webbing gives outfielders and third basemen extra support, and closed webbing allows pitchers to hide the ball through the batter.
Backs: The back of an glove, or perhaps the part that goes throughout the top of the hand, can either be closed or open, which is largely a few player preference. Some infielders find a wide open back being more flexible and forgiving, while outfielders may like a closed back with finger hole for added support.
Wrist Adjustment: Some gloves include fit systems, or wrist adjustments, to help you maintain your glove tightly affixed to a player's hand. The most used closures are buckles, D-rings, lacing, and Velcro.
Padding: How padded a glove's pocket is is determined by position, with catcher being essentially the most heavily padded. In recent years, many manufacturers have did start to add padding to other position gloves to cut back "palm shock."
Materials: By and large, gloves are constructed using considered one of three materials--leather, treated leather, or synthetic--with the differences associated with feel and durability.
Leather: Most high-end gloves are made from leather, that provides optimal feel and durability, with leather quality being a substantial cost driver
Treated Leather: Leather material is softened and strengthened during production for quicker break-in, better durability, reducing maintenance
Synthetic: A lower-cost alternative to leather that provides reduced durability and responsiveness, and is really a good selection for beginning players
Fits Like a...
As mentioned above, age and position are the most significant factors when deciding on an effective glove size. Outfielders need larger gloves with deeper pockets for optimum "catchability," while infield gloves are smaller and also have shallower pockets for optimal control and speedy ball removal. Some pitchers go for infield gloves which can be slightly larger than standard, yet smaller than average shallow enough for rapid fielding and throwing. Most younger players will reap the benefits of youth-sized gloves that assist with control, and it's a good idea to resist the temptation to get a larger glove the kid will grow into.
The tables below offer a general guideline for proper glove size by sport, position, and age.
Baseball Glove Size
Age Position Glove Size
Under 8 Infield 9"
Under 8 Outfield 11"
9-13 Infield 9-10"
9-13 Outfield 11-12"
13 and older Infield 10.5-11.5"
13 and older Outfield 12-12.75"
Softball Glove Size
Age Position Glove Size
6 and under All 9-10"
7-9 All 10-11.5"
10-14 Infield 11.5-12.5"
10-14 Outfield 12-13"
15 and older Infield 12-13"
15 and older Outfield 12.5-14"
Ideal fit system
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Lock down velcro strap
Baseball / Softball patterns
Contoured index finger pad
Easton BX1250B Baseball Glove (12.5-Inch)