Selecting a Baseball Glove

Selecting a Baseball Glove

Choosing a new baseball glove for the season can be pretty overwhelming.  Where do you start?  There are so many different combinations available that it can be difficult to make the right decision.  Hopefully we can provide some guidance in how to choose a new baseball glove.  There are two major categories (amongst others) that we will go over, to consider when choosing which baseball glove is right for you:  the length and web pattern

 

Length

The length of the glove is determined by how long the glove is in inches from: the heel of the glove, up the palm, to the tip of the index finger. The length will help determine how deep or shallow the pocket is, which can affect the amount of time it takes to transition from fielding to throwing.

 

Infield

An infielder will prefer a glove on the shorter side for a shallow pocket, better handling and quick transitions to turn double plays or get a quick out at first base.  However, even based on position, the preferred length of the glove will vary.

Middle Infield (2B & SS)

Middle infielders need to have a quick transition from fielding to throwing as they are the key component in turning a routine 6-4-3 double-play (along with other combinations).  Because of this, middle infielders generally have the shortest gloves on the field – adult gloves ranging from 11” to 11.75”.

Third Base

Third basemen need to have quick transitions as well, however, due to their proximity to the plate, they also need to make sure they can snag a hard-hit line drive etc.  Because third basemen tend to be more concerned with stopping the ball than turning-two up the middle, they generally prefer a glove that is a little longer.  Usually, adult third base gloves will range between 11.5” to 12” in length.

Pitcher

Pitchers are concerned with knocking down the comebacker up-the-middle and, maybe more importantly, comfort.  Usually, an adult pitcher’s glove will range between 11.5” and 12” in length.

First Base

It may go without saying that first basemen are in need of a bigger, longer glove that can dig those tough picks out of the dirt.  Because of their need to make sure that ball gets into the glove and stays there, adult first basemen will typically stay around the 12.25”-13” range.

Catcher

Now catchers run against the grain a bit when it comes to measuring the size of their glove.  Instead of measuring the length, catcher’s mitts are measured by circumference.  With that being said, an adult catcher’s mitt will usually range between 32”-34”, and if a more unpredictable knuckleball pitcher is throwing, sometimes even 35” around.

Outfield

An outfielder, regardless of Right, Center or Left, will need a glove that is longer for a deeper pocket and extra reach.  Because the outfield is the last line of defense, it’s important that they are able to knock down and scoop up anything hit their way.  With that in mind, they will want a glove that is longer, usually between 12.5”-13” long.

 

Web Pattern (Type)

The web pattern for a glove can make or break the glove some ball players.  The web type will help determine how deep or shallow a pocket is and whether or not the seams of the all are exposed.

I-Web and V-web

These webs are similar in style and appearance and will have an X-style lacing, attaching the leather of the web to the glove.  These styles will keep the pocket shallow and is ideal for someone looking for quick transitions.  Generally, an I-web or V-web is used by middle infielders and some third basemen.

Basket Web

A Basket web has leather woven throughout the web, generally attached by hinges of leather instead of laces and is a completely closed design.  This pattern will keep the pocket on the deeper side and conceal the laces of the ball.  Because the laces are hidden to the batter, this is one of the preferred web patterns for pitchers – however, a basket web is also a dependable utility pattern and can generally be used at any position, with the exception of first base and catcher.

Closed Web

A Closed web has a couple variations, between one-piece and two-piece (or hinge), but regardless of which version, a closed web is made of a piece or pieces of leather, instead of a woven pattern and is usually attached to the glove by lacing.  Most closed web designs are found on catcher’s and first base mitts because they are extremely durable and can handle constant impact.  Closed webs may also be preferred by a pitcher to conceal the seams of the ball and can be used as a utility pattern for the other infield positions.

Single Post Web

A Single Post web has a single vertical “post” running the length of the glove and is almost exclusive to first base mitts.  You will occasionally find this pattern on an infielder’s glove (aside from a catcher or pitcher), but it is primarily featured on a first baseman’s mitt.  This pattern provides depth in the pocket and is usually reinforced by at least two horizontal posts, giving it durability.  This pattern is great for first basemen because it offers the depth they need to scoop out tough picks in the dirt, as well as provide the durability that is needed game-after-game.

Dual Post Web

Also known as an “H-web”, this style has two vertical “posts” running the length of the glove.  These posts provide some flex, which creates a deeper pocket for those that prefer some depth when fielding.  You can find Dual Post webs on most outfielder’s gloves, first base mitts and third base gloves.

Modified Trapeze Web

A Modified Trapeze web, also known as a “T-web”, will have a single post up the length of the glove with a reinforced post horizontal across the top – creating a “T” shape.  The posts are secured to the glove by intricate lacing throughout each side.  This web pattern provides some depth, durability and conceals the seams of the ball.  For these reasons, the Modified Trapeze web is a suitable utility pattern, but is generally preferred by outfielders and pitchers.

Trapeze Web

The Trapeze web, also known as a “6-finger web” is exclusive to outfielders.  The design is similar to that of a Modified Trapeze web, as it has a single vertical post and is attached to the glove by lacing throughout the sides.  However, the Trapeze web will not have the top, horizontal post, which gives it that 6-finger look.  This pattern provides extra depth and width in the pocket, giving the outfielder the chance to scoop up just about anything within range.

 

So when it comes to selecting which glove is perfect for you – first consider which position(s) you play.  From there, you can find a suitable length and web pattern:

**Please keep in mind that this table is for general guidance and this information is not necessarily set-in-stone.  Some infielders prefer longer gloves and outfielders shorter gloves etc.  Personal preference is going to trump all suggestions.**

 

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