Old Baseball Mitt and Ball Isolated on White with Copy Space

Looking At The Best Baseball Gloves Reviews: Buyer’s Guide

Best Baseball Gloves Reviews

All players want to have the best baseball gloves possible. Unfortunately, though, many players don’t know how to get the best baseball gloves. They just take a chance when they make a purchase.

However, if you know how to shop for gloves and what to look for, you don’t ever have to “take a chance.” You can clearly know the features to look for in a baseball glove and then choose accordingly.

To help you get started off on the right foot (or, rather, the right hand), follow these simple tips for finding the best baseball gloves.

Consider Synthetic Leather for Your Glove

real-leather-gloves-image

As you shop for baseball gloves, you will notice that these gloves are made from a very wide range of materials.

While most materials have their pros and cons, one of the better options you’ll find is synthetic leather.

Baseball gloves made from synthetic leather tend to be very affordable. Plus, they are lightweight enough for even the youngest players, and they also don’t have a “breaking in” requirement.

These gloves are pretty much ready to play with right from the start, which is great if you want to jump right into the game.

Know What Type of Thrower You Are

Whether you go with a synthetic leather glove or not, remember that the type of thrower you are matters greatly when choosing gloves.

If you are a right hand thrower, you’ll need a glove that fits your left hand, i.e. your non-throwing hand. Left hand throwers will need gloves that fit their right hands.

type-of-thrower-image

Obviously, each glove type is made differently, so it is very important to know what type of thrower you are ahead of time to ensure you end up with the right glove.

Aim for Just the Right Fit

Another thing that is important when choosing a baseball glove is choosing one that is properly fitted.

type-of-thrower-image

The worst thing is a baseball glove that is too tight. A too-tight glove will not provide you with the flexibility you need and can lead to hand cramps and other issues. As such, aim for a glove that fits securely over your batting glove but still gives you plenty of room to move your hand and fingers around freely.

It’s also smart to get an adjustable glove so you can play with the fit as needed. People often notice changes to the glove and its fit as it ages, so being able to adjust the sizing is a nice bonus.

What About Real Leather Gloves?

Earlier we mentioned some of the many benefits of going for a glove crafted out of synthetic leather.

And, while the synthetic stuff is definitely a nice option, you may be wondering about real leather gloves.

Real leather gloves are not a bad choice. Understand, however, that they can be a bit pricey and that you have several different options you can choose from.

Synthetic-Leather-image

For example, you could go with softened leather that has been treated with oil. This type of glove is easy to break in and can be played with immediately. Aside from this type of leather, there is mid-quality leather, which does have to be broken in but which works well after this period, and high quality leather, which will be very costly but which will provide a glove that lasts for the long haul.

As you can see, gloves of just about any material can and will work. It’s really just about what you can afford and how quickly you want to start using your glove.

Choose the Perfect Padding Amount

paded-gloves

As you shop for a baseball glove, you will likely notice that the amount of padding varies greatly from one glove to the next.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that how much padding you need is just a matter of preference. Instead, you should base your padding amount on the position that you play.

Catchers, for example, will need a lot of padding in order to protect their hands as they catch balls. Wrist padding is necessary for corner infielders, and each other position has its own unique padding needs as well.

As such, before you go shopping for a glove, have an idea of what position or positions you are likely to play and then buy your glove accordingly.

What is Your Webbing Preference?

Finally, one glove feature that you can choose on comfort and preference alone is the amount and type of webbing your glove has. Try on gloves with both open and closed webbing to see which one feels better.

weebing-gloves-image

As long as the webbing is strong and firmly attached to the glove, either choice should be just fine.

Do You Need a Glove Made for Your Position?

Although it’s not necessary, having a baseball glove that is made for your playing position can be incredibly beneficial. However, if you go between infield and outfield, you’ll want to choose one that offers you benefits for both positions. But if you’re, say, a catcher, you should choose a glove made specifically for catchers.

Choosing the Best Baseball Gloves

As you can see, there is a lot to think about when choosing a baseball glove. By keeping these tips in mind, however, you should end up with the perfect glove for your game.

Quick Tips On How To Play Baseball

Baseball is known as America’s past time. It’s easy to understand why so many people love the game. All you need to get started is a bat, a ball, and a glove. Find a few friends and an empty field to get a game going. Of course, actually playing the game is a lot more complicated than that.

There’s a lot of strategy and rules at play every time you step onto that beautiful red shale. Of course, one article can’t cover all of the finer details of how to play baseball.

However, learning how to hit a ball and throw a ball is a pretty good place to start if you’re interested in playing the game.

Swing for the Fences: How to Hit a Baseball

There’s a lot of practice involved in between learning how to hit a ball and being able to hit a ball like rookie superstar, Aaron Judge. With that said, it doesn’t matter if you’re Aaron Judge playing in the big leagues or just another average Joe playing at the local ball diamond; the fundamentals of hitting a baseball are universal.

The first thing to do is learn how to grip the bat. A baseball grip is rather simple with both hands clutching the bat, one above the other. A lot of people will naturally rest the bat in their palms with their fingers wrapping around the bat. However, a much more effective grip has your fingers taking on much of the weight of the bat. You don’t want to grip too hard or too soft as this can affect your control of the bat when swinging.

a baseball player swinging his baseball bat to hit the incoming ball

Now it’s time to line up at home plate and prepare for the pitch. You want to face your hips, chest, and shoulders square with home plate and turn your head to watch the pitcher and anticipate the ball’s arrival at home plate.

Angling your body can help affect the direction of the ball when you make contact. If you are a right handed batter, close your hips away from the infield to help drive the ball out to the right. If you want to send the ball out to the left then you would open up your hips to the infield. Of course, the opposite would be true for a left handed batter.

Now, it’s time to actually hit the ball. This much easier said than done and, needless to say, there will be a lot of practice involved before you feel comfortable every time you step up to the plate. If you have ever heard the phrase, “keep your eye on the ball,” then you know one of the most important baseball tips there is.

You will have to anticipate the speed and angle of the ball to know when and where to swing. Of course, if the ball is way outside of the strike zone then not swinging at all is typically the best strategy. If you want to send the ball into the outfield then you will want to hit the ball on your upswing whereas a flat swing plane will create a ground ball situation.

Put Some Heat On It: How to Throw

Throwing a ball with power and accuracy is another skill that looks much easier than it really is. Making a short throw is achievable for most players but gunning out a runner at first base from your position at third is a tall task.

Use a full circular throwing motion to generate power with your arm. For more power, you will even want to incorporate your torso by turning as you release the ball. Another good tip to keep in mind is to use your wrist.

a man posing with his left leg raised and is about to throw the baseball

A flick of the wrist as you release the ball can add a lot of power and help maintain accuracy. In fact, practicing throwing with just your wrist and no arm motion is one great way to get a feel for the wrist motion you should be using.

Much like with batting, grip is very important when throwing. Hold the ball in your fingers rather than the palm of your hand. This creates less resistance as you release the ball and makes release easier. Gripping to hard can actually reduce the power in your throw. Imagine you are gripping an egg and you want to throw it without breaking it.

No Substitute for Practice

pitching baseball hard

Quite simply, it is impossible to learn how to hit a baseball and how to throw a baseball without putting in practice time. Learn the fundamentals and then develop your own style around those fundamentals. If you are struggling to learn how to hit a baseball then experiment with various stances in the batter’s box. You can also try adjusting your grip position on the bat or angling your body a certain way as you prepare for the pitch.

Now that you know the basics, get out there and hit the field to put those skills into action!

Featured Image via Pixabay

The 7 Most Important Baseball Pitches You Need To Know Today

13.96 Million: Number of people who play baseball in the United States – twice the population of Paraguay. Making it the 3rd most popular sport in America.

Before the Pitch

Every great pitch stems from a great wind-up technique. Perfect your wind up in order to improve your pitch.

The Perfect Wind-Up

wind up steps

Start by facing the batter with your feet on the rubber pointing towards the home plate.

To begin the pitch, take a step back with your left foot, turn 90 degrees with your left shoulder pointing toward home plate.

Lift your left leg as you turn, bending at the knee.

Pitch while making a long stride towards home plate with your left foot, keeping it in line with your right leg.

The 7 Pitches Every Pitcher Should Master

Remember, pitchers are usually the focal point of every baseball match. A good pitcher is the hero of the game.

The Four-Seam Fastball

The Four-Seam Fastball

four seam fastball


Facts:

1st pitch learnt -usually.

Fast and easy to place.

How to Grip:

Place your index and middle fingertips across the seams of the baseball. Place your thumb underneath the ball. Your thumb tip should rest on smooth leather, not on a seam. Don’t smother the ball, hold it with the fingertips.

How to Pitch:

Wind up and throw the ball as hard and fast as you can.

The Two-Seam Fastball

two seam fastball


Facts:

Also called the “sinker”.

Fast and easy to place.

How to Grip:

Place your index and middle fingers directly on top of the seams – narrowest point between seams is best. Place your thumb directly underneath the baseball. Make sure your thumb tip does not touch the seam. Use your ring finger to balance the ball.

How to Pitch:

Hold the ball tightly until the point of release. Wind up and pitch hard.

The Slider

the slider


Facts:

Also called a “yakker” or “snapper”.

How to Grip:

Same as two seam fastball, only this time, place your middle and index fingers next to the right seam. Place your ring finger on the side of the ball and the thumb underneath the ball. Squeeze the ball between your middle finger and thumb. Pull your wrist in on the thumb side.

How to Pitch:

Wind up and throw. Make sure to keep your wrist loose as you release the ball.

The Curve Ball

Curveball grip


Facts:

Uses optical illusion to confuse the batter.

How to Grip:

Place your middle finger along the bottom seam of the ball and your index finger next to your middle finger. The thumb should be placed on the back seam. This finger placement will give the ball a tight rotation so it can break.

How to Pitch:

Keep your elbow equal with your throwing shoulder – can be a bit higher but not lower. As you release the ball rotate your wrist out and down. The ball should rotate off your index finger as it leaves your hand.

The Circle Change-Up

The Curve Ball

circle change up


Facts:

A slow pitch often used to confuse the batter.

How to Grip:

Make a circle by touching the tips of your thumb and index fingers. Place the baseball in your palm and hold it with the other three fingers. The baseball should fit snugly against your circle. Windup and pitch, making sure to hide your pitch style.

The Knuckle Ball

knuckle ball


Facts:

One of the hardest pitches to throw.

Also one of the hardest pitches to hit.

How to Grip:

Position the ball in the same way as you would in the two-seam fastball without touching the seam. Instead of placing your fingers on the seam, dig your fingertips into the leather. Place your the under the ball.

How to Pitch:

Keep your wrist stiff and extend your fingers as you release the ball - as if you’re pushing the ball.

The Splitter Fastball

splitter fastball


Facts:

Despite being called a fastball, the splitter is often used as an off-speed pitch

How To Grip:

Place your index and middle fingers outside the seams – the seams should lie between your fingers.. Place your thumb directly underneath the baseball. Make sure your thumb tip does not touch the seam. Use your ring finger to balance the ball.

How to Pitch:

Pitch as you would a two seam fastball.

Best Catchers Mitts

Choosing a new catcher’s mitt can seem like a daunting process considering how many mitts there are to choose from. You have to take into consideration the size of the mitt, the padding, how comfortable it is to wear, how easy it is to break-in, and the price. Keep in mind that while there are plenty of affordable catcher’s mitts available on the market, you do not necessarily want to choose the cheapest mitt.

Your mitt is what enables to catch incoming balls and scoop them up off the ground to stop the opposing team from scoring a run. Therefore, you want the best mitt possible, which means spending the money to get it. Fortunately, the list below provides you with some of the best catcher’s mitts available on the market that best suit a variety of budgets, and each provides its own list of potential advantages and drawbacks. However, you should find your purchase decision far easier thanks to this comprehensive review.

1. Rawlings Heart of the Hide Catcher’s Mitt

RAWLINGS Heart of The Hide Yadier Molina Gameday Model Catcher's...
  • DESIGNED FOR CATCHERS, this Heart of the Hide 34 inch one-piece solid web catcher's glove was made to maximize...
  • IDEAL FOR AVID PLAYERS FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO THE PROS
  • OFFICIAL YADIER MOLINA GAMEDAY MODEL BASEBALL CATCHER'S MITT

The Rawlings Heart of the Hide Catcher's Solid Web Mitt tops this list for many reasons. Not only is it made by one of the most recognized brands in the sports world, the glove itself is regularly used by professional baseball catchers, most notably Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals, which means it must be a reliable mitt that performs well behind the plate.

Available in black/black mesh, you can also order the glove in a variety of color options as part of the Heart of the Hide line, the catcher's mitt of which features:

  • A 34-inch one piece solid hide web
  • Pro Grade leather laces and padded thumb sleeve
  • Deer tanned cowhide palm lining for a comfortable feel
  • 40 percent factory break-in, meaning less time the user has to break it in themselves

The Rawlings Heart of the Hide Catcher's Solid Web Mitt is available in a 33-inch and a 34-inch size for high school players all the way to the professional leagues. Made to the standards expected by MLB players like Yadier Molina and other catchers, you can bet that your hand will be in one of the best mitts possible.

2. All Star CM3000SBT Catcher’s Mitt

The All Star CM3000SBT Catchers Mitt is certainly the priciest mitt on this list, but considering that it is crafted to perfection, it is certainly worth it, especially if you want a long-lasting, high-quality glove. The thing is, you can either purchase a cheap mitt that you will end up having to replace perhaps several times throughout the year, or you can buy an expensive mitt that is sure to last for years to come.

This mitt provides the following features and benefits:

  • Japanese tanned steerhide leather
  • Fast, easy break-in
  • Extended life
  • Soft leather pocket that provides comfort and reduced sting when catching the ball
  • Extended pocket to ensure easier ball pickup and catching

Visually speaking, this glove is a sight to behold. Its blonde and block coloration make it look just as good if not better than something a pro baseball player would be proud to wear. In fact, this particular mitt is a go-to mitt for many professional baseball players. The fact that this mitt comes nearly ready to use straight out of the box is just one of the reasons why its design accommodates more serious ball players.

3. Mizuno World Win 34” Catcher’s Mitt

Mizuno World Win GXC75 Catcher's Mitt, 34-Inch, Right Handed Throw
  • Pro-sized catcher's mitt constructed of tanned retro leather
  • Soft, supple feel for easy break-in and immediate in-game performance
  • Made from top quality leather and utilizing cutting edge innovations

If you are looking for something that is a little easier on your wallet, look no further than that Mizuno World Win 34” Catcher’s Mitt. This particular mitt does not require you to take out a second mortgage, amputate a limb, or sell your soul. It is a quality mitt for the price and offers several benefits for any baseball lover. Whether you consider yourself entry-level or a seasoned pro, this mitt is nothing to bat an eye at.

This mitt offers the following benefits:

  • Tanned retro leather for durability and strength
  • Easy break in thanks to softer material
  • ParaShock finger channels to help absorb shock of catching the ball to reduce stress on the hand

This pro-sized mitt is available in a 34-inch size and features a blonde and black look that is visually stunning. The palm pad ensures that your hand does not take the brunt of the ball’s impact when performing your duties as a catcher. Since this mitt comes out of the box in near game-ready condition, you can enjoy the benefits and overall performance of this glove immediately rather than having to take the time to focus on breaking it in.

4. Rawlings Renegade Series Catchers Mitt

Rawlings Renegade Series Catchers Mitt, Right Hand Throw, 32.5-Inch
  • Conventional back features a wide opening above the wrist
  • 20% player break-in
  • 1-piece Closed web forms a deep pocket for catcher's to control and scoop the ball

The Rawlings Renegade Series Catchers Mitt is yet another budget-friendly mitt with several benefits. In fact, it is the most budget-friendly on this list. This glove is available in a 31.5-inch and a 32.5-inch size, which means it is certainly for an adult with a bit smaller of a hand compared to some of the other gloves. However, it is within the range of standard sized catcher’s mitts. One benefit of this glove is that you can purchase it for either right-handed throw or left-handed throw. Keep in mind that you will pay a little more if you opt for a left-handed throw.

This particular mitt offers the following benefits:

  • Visually appealing black features
  • Roomy opening above the wrist for added comfort
  • Palm and finger pads to reduce the sting of ball impact
  • Closed web and a deep pocket to allow for better ball control, catch, and scoop
  • 20% player break-in

If you are looking for a glove that you can play from the minute it arrives on your doorstep, this is the glove for you. The full-grain leather material provides this mitt with the durability needed to withstand several hours, days, weeks, months, and perhaps even years of gameplay.

5. Akadema AGC98 Prodigy Series Glove

Akadema AGC98 Prodigy Series Glove,32-Inch-RT
  • 32" circumference Praying Mantis pattern
  • Spiral lock web
  • Open back

Yet another mitt available at the lower end of the budget spectrum, you can purchase the Akadema AGC98 Prodigy Series Glove. The price listed is for a right-handed throw mitt. If you wish to purchase the left-handed throw mitt, it too is available. 

This glove offers a wide range of features including:

  • Deep pocket to help you capture the ball
  • Spiral web lock for better ball control
  • Open back for breathability to keep your hand cool
  • Praying Mantis style with two additional “finger hammocks” for firmer positioning of the hand
  • Shock absorption to reduce the sting of ball impact

This mitt also features a Grasp-Clasp wrist that ensures a comfortable and secure fit, which is of the utmost importance out of a quality glove. Part of what makes this mitt so incredible is that it was designed by MLB hall of famer, Gary Carter. If you are going to play with a quality mitt, why not play with one designed by a player that knows a thing or two about the overall design of a good mitt?

Final Thoughts

Each of the mitts featured on this list provide you with incredible benefits. They each accommodate varying budgets, which helps make your purchase decision that much easier. Whether you are looking to spend less for a quality mitt that might require a bit of break-in work or you are willing to spend a high-end price for a glove that is sure to last and game ready, you are sure to find what it is you need. Make sure you check out the youth catcher’s mitt reviews as well as our fastpitch catcher’s mitt reviews.

Featured Image via Unsplash