Amazon.com Baseball and Softball Glove Guide
Playing the Field
Baseball and softball gloves have been developed specifically to match the needs of a given field position, with each style of glove boasting unique features to boost a player's performance at his or her position. The following can be a brief summary of every glove's characteristics:
Catcher: No finger channels, with heavy palm padding and overall reinforcements to reduce the sting of repeatedly catching pitchers' throws
First Base: Also lacks finger channels, though less padding that a catcher's mitt, with added length to aid 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 just accept the bigger ball
Second base players require smaller gloves to balance control with the need to make quick throws
Shortstops make use of 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 provide extended reach, with a deep pocket to take care of high-lofting balls, and sizes range from 12 inches or more for adults and 11 inches for youth players
Softball Gloves: The characteristics, by position, of softball gloves are typically comparable to their baseball counterparts, with softball gloves having more length and deeper pockets to handle the larger ball
Anatomy of a Glove
Gloves are made to complete a relatively simple task--catch a ball. The quality of materials and craftsmanship that may go right into a developing a glove, however, can be surprising. Below is an overview of your glove's components and exactly how each helps optimize your defensive game:
Pocket: Pocket depth is dependent upon player position, with shallower pockets helping infielders quickly retrieve and throw the ball, and outfielders' pocket depth aiding in capturing a ball around the fly. Softball players also need deeper pockets to catch the greater ball.
Webbing: The most preferred webbing pattern is partly dependant 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 cover the ball from your batter.
Backs: The back of the glove, or part that goes throughout the top of your respective hand, can either be closed or open, that is largely a few player preference. Some infielders find a 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 maintain the 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 depends upon position, with catcher being one of the most heavily padded. In recent years, many manufacturers have started to add padding to other position gloves to lessen "palm shock."
Materials: By and large, gloves are constructed using certainly one of three materials--leather, treated leather, or synthetic--with the differences relating to feel and durability.
Leather: Most high-end gloves are manufactured from leather, that offers 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, minimizing maintenance
Synthetic: A lower-cost substitute for leather that provides reduced durability and responsiveness, and can be a good option for beginning players
Fits Like a...
As mentioned above, age and position would be the most significant factors in selecting a suitable 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 choose infield gloves which are slightly larger than standard, yet small and shallow enough for rapid fielding and throwing. Most younger players will take advantage of youth-sized gloves that assistance with control, and it's really a good idea to face up to the temptation to purchase a more substantial glove the child 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"
contoured index finger pad
Natural-tumled walnut leather
Ideal fit system
Pro grade dark chocolate laces
Pro grade laces
Embroidered EASTON logo
Easton NE125 Baseball Glove (12.5-Inch)