If you a new baseball player, whether young or adult, there are a few tricks you need to succeed in this game. Many beginners have a problem with breaking in their baseball gloves; they don’t know how to do it or even why it’s essential in the first place. This website is dedicated to offering you all the tips and tricks necessary for you to excel in this game.
A new base baseball glove is hard and brittle- it does fold or wrap up in your hand quickly. You need to soften or break in the leather. There are two primary reasons why you need to do this. For one, softer breaking in the glove makes it comfortable to wear and use as it allows you to move your hand well.
Secondly, when you break in the glove, it forms a better pocket or molding area on the palm of your glove. This pocket helps you catch the ball tightly so that it won’t slip out easily during a throw or a catch.
How to Break In Your Glove
There are several methods you can use to achieve this goal. Below are some tested and proven tricks you can use to soften your glove. Consider each one of them and pick the most convenient and easy method for you.
Just Play Catch
Play as many rounds of catch as you can. This trick is arguably the simplest and the most fun way to break in your glove – you are doing what you love most, which is playing baseball. Through repeated use playing catch, the glove slowly begins to adjust its shape in line with the shape and size of your hand.
Other than its fun and simple way of doing it, just playing to break in your glove will not require any other items to achieve the fit. The different methods highlighted here will require some additional inputs.
Shape the Glove
In case you are in no mood to play baseball at the moment, there’s something else you can do. Put your baseball in the glove’s pocket area and wrap the glove around the ball with two or more rubber bands. These bands should make an “X” shape around the ball, and they should be snug but not very tight.
Allow the glove to set in that position for about five hours. This action will have the glove taking the shape you want without reverting to its natural shape. Once you remove the ball, you can pound the pocket to soften and shape it even more.
Pound With a Mallet
Get a wooden mallet or a 5lb. Neoprene dumbbell and use to pound the pocket area of your glove where you use to catch the ball. Do not forget to beat the web as well so that you create a fold where you want the glove to break. Doing this creates a nice depression for the ball to fall into. This action also irons out any unwanted wrinkles and gives the pocket a smooth finish.
Use Oils and Lotions to Soften the Glove
You can use different lotions and oils to soften the leather of this baseball gear. For instance, you can use tanner’s glove oil, mink oil, manufacturer’s oils, Vaseline, shaving cream, and so on. Using a minimal amount of your preferred oil, lubricate the glove lightly enough to make a thin layer of coat.
Rub the oil or lotion well enough to ensure no globs remain. Let the glove dry overnight. Once done, it’s time to create a pocket on your glove. Use a clean cloth to wipe thoroughly. After that, go out and play of catch, and the ball’s impact will begin to mold stretch the leather, making it conform to the shape of your hand.
Some words of caution come in handy. First, when using oils and lotions, do not soak the glove in the oil or apply too much oil or cream. If you do so, the glove will absorb some of the oil, which, in turn, will make your glove too heavy. Worse still, your glove will tear prematurely, especially at the laces.
Secondly, NEVER use glove oil directly on your glove. This oil can be too concentrated and leave your glove soaked and heavy.
Work the Glove With Your Hands
This method is an excellent one if you have time to spare without doing anything else. Have the catcher’s mitt in and off your hand as you fold and unfold your hand in the process. You can do this for periods of up to 2 hours. This action makes the glove pliable enough to use in your next game.
Moisten the Glove’s Leather
Well, gloves and water might not be the best of friends, especially if you are going to soak the glove in water for extended durations. However, you can pour some little amount of hot water (about 160 degrees Fahrenheit) over the target area of your new glove to make it softer.
Turn the Glove Inside Out
To many baseball players, this might sound outrageous, but it’s not; it works. Gently poke and prod the glove until it is entirely inside out. Leave it that way all night. The next day, put it back to shape. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find the glove more pliable and workable, yet you didn’t have to anything more than that.
Remember, curling the fingers and bending them inwards toward the pocket does help you much. Instead, it makes the glove’s pocket opening too small for effective catches.
So any time you buy a baseball glove, you don’t have to spend sleepless nights wondering how to break in the glove. The simple procedures will work just fine.