Detailed Guide For Youths’ Baseball Gloves

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A baseball glove is a large leather glove worn by baseball players of the defending team which assist players in catching and fielding balls hit by a batter or thrown by a teammate.

Almost all the sports have equipments to level up the players standards and to protect players from injuries. Baseball gloves are one of such equipments used in baseball for protecting the palm and fingers. Since the ball is caught and handled by the palm and fingers, the heavy ball had been notorious in causing injuries to players before baseball gloves were introduced in 1870s until which time the players were expected to bear the pain.

Although the first glove was very thin, it did help to overcome the basic problems. Players gradually got used to using the glove realizing the importance of protection against injuries to help them play for a longer time. Baseball gloves do not only give protection but they also help to provide more grip to handle the ball.

There are many types of baseball gloves made according to purpose and preferences. Since each player fields in a different position in the ground they have different duties. Gloves that are to be used by each and every of these players are different. There are five basic types of gloves designed for catchers, outfielders,pitcher’s mitts, infielders and first basemen’s. The heavily padded glove for the catchers help them to face extra momentum. For first basemen it should be heavily padded since he has to face hard throws. Outfielders glove is relatively larger to give them better help in catching and more surface for the ball to hit on to. For the busy inner fielders a relatively smaller glove is used. It is very important that you choose your baseball glove according to the size of your palm.


12 inches is the norm for a professional baseball glove and leather and synthetic are mainly used to manufacture them. Much expensive types made of buffalo skin, pig skin and also kangaroo skin are rarely used. Synthetic gloves are the cheapest and much suitable for a beginner. Leather baseball gloves are mostly used nowadays, and it has many variations of quality as well. Wool is sometimes used for the inner pad of the glove to give better comfort.

The mitts are a different kind of a glove which does not have fingers. The comfort of the glove is a very important aspect. Oil or a lotion can be used to break it in. But oil will deteriorate the glove more rapidly so it shouldn’t be overdone. From 1970s the baseball glove has become a fashion in USA. Many kids who are baseball maniacs keep a baseball glove in their rooms even though it wouldn’t fit into their hands. Buying a baseball glove to match your preferences should not be a problem for someone living in USA. Online stores selling baseball gloves are increasing in numbers making it more convenient for customers. It is not necessary to be a baseball player to own a glove, you can simply show your support or enthusiasm by this wonderful and innovative product.


With the extremely large selection of baseball gloves available today, it can be time-consuming and a bit confusing when trying to purchase the right glove for youths.

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Early baseball was a game played without gloves. During the slow transition to gloves, a player who continued to play without one was called a barehanded catcher; this did not refer to the position of catcher, but rather to the practice of catching with bare hands. The earliest glove was not webbed and not particularly well suited for catching but was used more to bat a ball to the ground so that it could be picked up.

One of the first players believed to use a baseball glove was Doug Allison, a catcher for the Cincinnati Red Stockings, in 1870, due to an injured left hand. The first confirmed glove use was by Charlie Waitt, a St. Louis outfielder and first baseman who, in 1875, donned a pair of flesh-colored gloves. Glove use slowly caught on as more and more players began using different forms of gloves.


Many early baseball gloves were simple leather gloves with the fingertips cut off, supposedly to allow for the same control of a bare hand but with extra padding. First baseman Albert Spalding, originally skeptical of glove use, influenced more infielders to begin using gloves. Spalding later founded the sporting goods company Spalding, which still manufactures baseball gloves along with other sports equipment. By the mid-1890s, it was the norm for players to wear gloves in the field. 

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A.G. Spalding & Bros. advertisement for infielder gloves, 1905

In 1920, Bill Doak, a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, suggested that a web be placed between the first finger and the thumb in order to create a pocket. This design soon became the standard for baseball gloves. Doak patented his design and sold it to Rawlings. His design became the precursor to modern gloves, and enabled Rawlings to become the preferred glove of professional players.

For many years it was customary for fielders to leave their gloves on the field when their team went in to bat. This practice was prohibited by the major leagues in 1954.

Baseball gloves have grown progressively larger since their inception. While catching in baseball had always been two handed, eventually, gloves grew to a size that made it easier to catch the ball in the webbing of the glove, and use the off-hand to keep it from falling out. A glove is typically worn on the non-dominant hand, leaving the dominant hand for throwing the ball; for example, a right-handed player would wear a glove on the left hand.

The shape and size of the baseball glove is governed by official baseball rules. Section 3.00 – EQUIPMENT AND UNIFORMS specifies glove dimensions and materials in parts 3.04 through 3.07.

The baseball glove has come a long way in over the past century. Today, gloves are made more precisely and more efficiently. There are still many advancements coming in the age of the baseball glove. Even today, Easton is “experimenting with combining leather and Kevlar (used in bullet-proof vests) in a new ultra-light weight glove line”. Manufacturers have created different types of gloves to suit different types of people. Also, they have started personalizing gloves for certain players to increase exposure on national television. Rawlings sponsors more than 49.99% of the current MLB Players. It is because of this dedication to gloves that the MLB has rewarded Rawlings with the “annual Rawlings Gold Glove Award, which has been presented to players for fielding excellence since 1957.”

The highest-quality gloves are usually made of heavy leather that will need some time to break in, provide a “snug” fit on one’s hand off the shelf, and typically do not have palm pads or Velcro adjustable wrist straps, which are excellent features to have if one is buying a youth or recreational type glove.

Most players choose which glove manufacturer they will sign with when they are in the minor leagues, and stay with them for their entire career. Most glove companies will pay in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for high-caliber players to endorse their gloves. Pitchers usually get the highest contracts for gloves because their glove is shown on television more frequently than other gloves. One of the biggest endorsers of gloves was Roger Clemens, who won seven Cy Young Awards with gloves from three different glove companies.

Even though there have been many advancements in the design and creation of the baseball glove, the greatest came in the invention of the catcher’s mitt. However, a Wake Forest University study demonstrated, through 39 minor-league players, that even though today’s catcher’s mitts are state-of-the-art, they still do not offer enough protection from long-term injury to the hand and wrist.

 In a hurry? Then, Here’s a quick guide to help you find the right baseball glove:

* Position: There has been specialized gloves for catchers, infielders, outfielders pitchers and first basemen, but today that specialization goes much further. In addition to catchers and first basemen, you can buy gloves for middle infielders, pitchers, third basemen, and outfielders. For the casual youth player, one basic infield glove will do the trick, but as you move up in play, you will probably need a glove specific to your position. Some players may need two or more gloves, depending on how many potential positions they may play.

* Size:  Smaller gloves are preferred by infielders and larger gloves are preferred by outfielders. The size of the glove also depends on the players’ Palm size. Getting the most comfortable size is the most important consideration. For the youths, the normal size is 12inches while for the adults, it varies as there are adults with considerably small Palm but still it ranges from 14-15.5inches.

* Quality: This depends on the level of play, the seriousness of the player, and the size of your wallet! Cheap gloves can be uncomfortable and difficult to break in. You should expect to pay over $20 for a quality glove. Serious players and high school athletes will be spending close to $100 or more to get good quality for their level of play. Get the best glove you can afford if you are a serious player – gloves do make a difference in the field.

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* Open back versus closed back: This is merely a matter of personal taste and feel, though open back gloves may be a bit cooler in hot weather. I.e the open back is majorly used in hot weather because it keeps the palms warm by generating some warmth by itself, unlike the closed back, it is used mostly in the cold. Most gloves However are open backs.

* Web design: This is also a matter of personal preference as there are many different designs to choose from. The web design is not the same as the manufacturers of baseball gloves, the web designs are designers of the gloves shape, structure and rigidity. Examples of web designs include; web D-1, E-8, C-11 etc

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Addressing the baseball gloves according to the positions as mentioned earlier, viz; catchers, outfielders, infielders and first basemen, and the pitcher’s mitts. We have:


  • Outfielders :

Choosing the right glove is a tricky decision, because the wrong glove could really hinder your performance, especially in the outfield. Outfielder’s gloves are designed to be long with deep pockets, thus giving the player every opportunity to reach that just-out-of-reach ball. The long glove allows player to not bend as far and helps with getting low for ground balls. Outfield gloves typically have twelve to twelve and three/quarter inch patterns, measured from the tip down to the wrist, considerably larger than an infielder’s glove.

There were several factors considered when choosing these best outfielder gloves. Durability is a must and plays a major factor because you want a worn in, comfortable glove you can trust. The quality of materials plays just an important role in choosing the right glove since they lend to overall durability. If you want a glove to last, you need to spend a little bit extra. Lastly, price plays a factor as well


  • Infielders:

In the early days of baseball, gloves were seen as feminine. Of course, when players started hitting the ball harder, people couldn’t wait to get their hands inside a glove. With such a short amount of time to react to the ball, infielders need to have a quality glove they can trust, or they could get seriously injured. If you’re willing to spend the money, a good glove can make a good player a great player, and a great player into a pro player.


Middle infielders tend to prefer a smaller glove, so when they transfer the ball from glove to hand it’s quick and seamless; not like a first base mitt requiring the ball to lodge itself in. Second basemen tend to want a smaller glove than shortstops, because of ease in getting the ball out and flipping it to 1st, or the shortstop respectively. Third base gloves are a bit different, as they are the player closest to home plate with the least amount of reaction time. They want as big a glove as they feel comfortable with to help with their reaction. A bigger glove also extends the third baseman’s reach into foul territory and out of play.

These best infielder gloves were boiled down to a few key factors such as the quality of materials they were manufactured with so you know that the glove will last a long time. The design/size of the glove, depending on the position you play, was also extremely important because if a second baseman were to play with a first baseman’s mitt, the results would be horrible. You need a small, durable glove that you can count on at second base, allowing for quick and seamless transfers. And of course, price also plays into the equation of our picks, depending on what level and skill set you’re at.


  •  Catchers’ mitt:

A catcher’s mitt is, obviously, worn exclusively by the catcher. The mitt has more padding than gloves from other positions and usually has some kind of closed web design. The goal for any good catcher’s mitt is to protect the hand and securely catch the ball after every pitch. The larger, claw-shaped pocket also provides a good target for pitchers.

These best catcher’s mitts boiled down to a few key factors including the sizes of the mitts which are extremely important. Unlike other positions, these mitts are measured by the circumference, and they typically have 32 to 34 inch patterns. Another factor in our selections is their durability and quality of materials which are a must, or else a player could really hurt themselves. Pricing also comes into play on these best picks since this is one glove type you really can’t skimp on and lesser quality gloves will be easily noticed.

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  • First basemen’s mitts:

First basemen’s mitts are very similar to catcher’s glove. They provide the first baseman with every opportunity to digout and save badly thrown balls while the extra padding helps these gloves cushion a rocket thrown from the other infielders. It’s not unusual for a play in the infield to be made quickly, forcing the first baseman to essentially be a backstop. This extra wide mitt, legally allowed to be bigger than the rest of the infield, helps gives the first baseman every possible chance at success. While many parts of a “good” first baseman’s mitt are subjective depending on the player, there are a few specific details that there can be no subjectivity on.


As any first baseman knows, a worn in, tried and true glove is what you want. So if it’s not durable and made of quality materials, you’ll be forced to get a new glove every couple years. That’s not what you want so find the right glove and make sure it lasts.

The best first base mitts chosen below were selected based on several criteria. First, their durability which will ensure a long career of use without having to break in a new glove every year. Second, the quality materials used (including Italian leather, Kip leather, and Seto leather) ensure the glove was made to last, going hand in hand with durability. Lastly, they’re affordable enough to fit within most player’s budgets.


  • Pitcher’s mitts:

The Pitcher’s Mitt is a brown baseball glove accessory that improves the Players’ throwing ability. The Pitcher’s Mitt causes any thrown object (even bombs) to travel on a straight-line trajectory unaffected by gravity, similar to how arrows are launched from an Arrow Trap.


An item thrown while standing will fly horizontally, and an item thrown while looking up will travel at a 45 degree angle from the ground. This greatly improves the range and accuracy of thrown items, and is especially effective when combined with sticky bombs.

The Pitcher’s Mitt can be equipped along with the Climbing Gloves, allowing for both effects at once.

Pitchers’ gloves usually have a closed, opaque webbing to allow pitchers to conceal their grip on the ball (which, in part, determines the behavior of the pitch in flight) from the batter. Pitcher-specific gloves tend to have 11.75- to 12-inch patterns; some pitchers such as Gio Gonzalez use gloves with patterns as large as 12.25 inches. Infield gloves with intricate webbing are also used by pitchers.

In case you need to know, below are some of the popular baseball gloves’ manufacturer;

  • Rawlings 
  • Spalding  
  • Nokona  
  • Mizuno  
  • Nike 
  • Hillerich and bradsby, under Louisville slugger brands’ name 
  • Wilson


However, it won’t make a complete sense to leave out the fact that baseball gloves vary with respect to age I.e there are different gloves for different age groups viz; the youths, and the adults. Also, the introduction already stated clearly that the price of baseball gloves is a very pivotal pre-requisite to be considered in choosing a baseball glove. In fact, it is about the most important pre-requisite. There are some baseball gloves below 100$, some above 100$ but less than 200$ while others are more than 200$.

Hence, the choice of a baseball glove is purely individual, based on one’s budget and preferences. So check out our reviews to find out best for you.

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