Choosing the right baseball/softball glove for your beginning player
Today’s guest post is downright practical if you have a child getting ready for spring baseball. Have you ever wondered out how to pick out a glove for your little leaguer? Mindy Tan, a Vinci Pro Consultant, gives some guidelines.
Having kids that are new to baseball can be overwhelming, especially for a parent who didn’t play the game. Aside from learning the game itself, there’s a lot to know when it comes to selecting a glove.
Gloves differ in design, size, quality, and for different positions. The glove your child starts with will likely not be the last glove you purchase even though they can last for many years. As the years progress, the needs of a player change and the size of a player’s hands grow, resulting in the need for glove upgrades.
The first consideration when selecting a glove is the position being played. For example, a catcher’s mitt will have more padding and be reinforced for heavy and hard play. First base mitts are longer to help players catch balls from infielders more easily, and have less padding. Infielder and outfielder gloves have five-finger stalls; but the pocket in an infielder glove is shallow to allow players to catch and release quickly while the outfielder’s glove has a deeper pocket and a longer length to extend reach and range.
Personal preference plays a large part in which glove is right for your young player. Some players like to have their entire hand fit inside the glove while others like the glove to fit with part of the hand outside of the glove back. Younger kids tend to prefer the entire hand to fit inside the glove, but even some professional players will play with the glove fitting the other way.
Trying on the gloves prior to purchase is recommended for a beginner to get an idea of the size needed. No two eight-year-olds are exactly alike so following general size guidelines blindly is not a good idea.
Fastpitch gloves and baseball gloves are somewhat interchangeable early on, but by the age of ten a player should be using the glove made specifically for either softball or baseball because the gloves are made to accommodate a different size ball. However, because softball gloves are made more often with Velcro backs, they can be an alternative for really small hands that need that extra adjustment.
The glove back and web style can be chosen based on personal preference. Conventional or open back gloves have a wider hand opening. Closed-back gloves have a smaller opening and feature a finger hole which gives the player better grip. While there are several types of web styles, they basically all fall into one of two categories; open or closed web. Open web means that there is space between the pieces of leather in the webbing and closed web gloves have a tighter weave in the webbing.
Remember when selecting your child’s first glove that the glove should fit snugly enough that it will not fly off mid game. The leather of the glove will loosen up a little as time goes by, so account for that as well.
Vinci Pro Baseball has been making high quality baseball gloves since 1997.
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