Baseball Glove: Which is the best in 2021?
Don’t be surprised by the smell of grass or the sound of beaten wood, today’s text is about baseball, or rather, the baseball glove, the vital accessory of one of the most popular and profitable sports in the world.
If the glove “just” protected players’ hands from the impact of flying wood balls, which can reach more than 150 km / h when hitting, it would already be a great contribution to the sport. But these leather wonders can still be customized to enhance the play of each position on the field.
It is not just an expression: there is a suitable glove for each function of a team within the match, with variations depending on the preferences of each player, on top of that. For your luck and for our delight, we have explained all these differences in this Guide, and help you find the perfect baseball glove.
First, the most important
- If you want to join a team, try to arrive at the time of purchase knowing the position in which you intend to play.
- If yours is a more unpretentious game, there are great versatile and quality gloves on the market.
- The price of a baseball glove usually varies between R $ 70, for the most basic models, and R $ 500, for professionals.
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In addition to the sporting issue, the baseball glove has historical importance, being a milestone in the effective professionalization of its sport and the consequent revolution in the sporting goods market that triggered it.
Valued as a product, it has its origin, in the form of leather and basic design, respected, and its development encouraged, based on the most diverse textile technologies employed. In this Buying Guide, we are going to take a look at the various results of this combination.
What differentiates a baseball glove from a regular glove, in addition to being made of genuine leather or synthetic material, are the adaptations it received to protect the player’s hand from the impact of the ball and also put the round back in play as quickly as possible.
The idea is basically to increase the possible area of contact between the ball and the glove. That means “fingers” (the outer lining of the finger space) wider and the main, an extension between thumb and forefinger, a connection, if you like, formed by a small sewn net.
Another adaptation is the concave shape of the glove, which makes the hand cup, to better fit the ball. The junction of the palm area, padded for the impact of the ball – another adjustment – with the net between the fingers is called a pocket.
The pocket is another great area of the anatomy of the baseball glove, because it dictates the balance between the greater efficiency in reception and the shorter time to replace the ball in play.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the baseball glove?
Among the advantages of wearing a baseball glove, the most obvious is the protection it provides to the hand that grips the flying object at 100 kilometers per hour, also known as a ball.
Then, it is worth mentioning the speed it offers to the game, when making the combination of your net and your pocket a ball replacement machine, that is, to facilitate, from its design, the transfer of the ball from the reception hand to the hand of the launch.
This only happens from a great level of detail that its manufacturers pay attention to, customizing the glove for the situations of each position, which is another advantage.
On the other hand, it cannot be as efficient in the most versatile models, for more than one position. Its durability follows the same dilemma, being huge on the outside but vulnerable on the inside.
There is also the issue of glove maintenance, which must be periodic to have the ideal durability.
- Hand protection
- Enhances the game
- Inefficient versatile models
- Vulnerable internally
Infield, Outfield, Catcher, Pitcher or First Baseman?
With the basic anatomy (net, palm and pocket) equal among all models, the diversity of the product is due to the adaptations of the models to the positions: Infield, Outfield, Catcher, Pitcher or Baseman.
These adjustments are materialized in the details, such as the width of the glove, the depth of the pockets and the shape of the net, mainly.
For Infield players, for example, the gloves should be light, with a small or medium size, for quicker response, as well as having shallow pockets. Their nets must be more closed, to support the normally stronger balls in the sector.
At Outfield, the logic is reversed. The models must be larger and wider, to increase the contact area, the open nets, to facilitate the vision of a position that looks very high, and with deeper pockets, for greater efficiency in catching the ball.
Catcher’s baseball glove is perhaps the most different, because the function is the most specific in the game. Its design does not have fingers, to reinforce the cushioning of the ball, the main function of the model. Your net should be closed, your palm thick, and your pockets shallow.
The balls that the pitcher receives are rare, so his gloves are the simplest. The only need is the closed net, used to hide the batter’s ball before the shot.
Finally, we have, ironically, First Baseman, the player who needs to act faster. His glove is typically fingerless, with an open, large net and shallow pockets.
What is the difference between a baseball glove and a softball glove?
Baseball and Softball are sister sports. It has the same logic, the same mechanics and similar goals. So it is normal for you, the beginner, to be in doubt between sports, or afraid to confuse your gloves!
Still, as much as they are very similar sports, their gloves have their own characteristics and are easy to identify. To start counting the ball, which is bigger, the Softball models are wider.
Then, baseball glove pockets are shallower because they need to accommodate a smaller ball. In addition, Softball gloves are in less variety, due to the less complexity and less popularity of the game.
How much does a baseball glove cost?
What most dictates the price of baseball gloves is the quality of the material, its manufacture, its finish and the level of specialty in which it operates.
You will find cheaper models at around R $ 70, while you can reach up to R $ 500 in the more professional ones – and you can go further in collector models.
Where to buy baseball gloves?
Baseball is not exactly popular in Brazil, so the best places to look for your glove are the large sporting goods chains, like Centauro, Decathlon, and the rare stores of traditional brands, like Wilson, for example.
But the internet knows no borders, and on sites like Amazon, Mercado Livre, in addition to Netshoes and the online versions of targeted stores, you will find a wide variety of models and prices, and all from the comfort of your home, to top it off.
Purchasing Criteria: How to Compare Baseball Gloves
Below, you will see our list of purchase criteria, which offers attention to certain aspects of the product that can help you choose the baseball glove that is right for you:
- Level of play
- Right side
Now, let’s talk about each of these items, so that you finish this text and start your purchase as informed as possible.
Level of play
Before arriving at the store or website of your choice, be clear about your level of play, or at least the level of the game in which you will participate. A serious game calls for organization and the right positions, as well as their respective glove models.
A more relaxed game allows for more versatile baseball gloves, which can perform any position without major losses in efficiency.
The size of the baseball glove is essential to its performance during the game. As the sport is American, sizes are measured in inches, and are different between positions.
For an Infielder, for example, it is recommended to use models from 10.5 to 11.5 inches, while an outfielder should use between 12 and 13 inches. From then on, it is your comfort that is in charge, always remembering that it is better to have an internal space than a fair number.
More of a warning than a criterion, pay close attention to the right side, that is, which hand matches your glove. This is warned on the packaging and often on the glove itself.
Remember that the glove is worn in the opposite hand of your favorite. If you are left-handed, you must wear the baseball glove in your right hand.
The material and its quality are decisive in the performance of your model, and especially in its durability.
Preferably, if possible, to genuine leather models and wool padding.
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