There are many options to account for when you are purchasing a baseball glove. What size, leather, type of back and web are all options that you need to decide when choosing a glove. The following Baseball Glove Buying Guide is a great tool to help point you in the right direction.
Measuring a glove
Baseball gloves are measured using a flexible tape measure. Catcher's Mitts are sized by measuring the circumference of the glove. For a fielders glove or first base mitt you need to start at the top of the index finger of the glove. The measurement goes down the index finger, into the palm, and ends at the heal (wrist opening) of the glove.
Catcher's should have an easier time selecting a glove, as there are mitts made specifically for this position. The main concern for a catcher would which size to choose. Catcher's mitts generally range from 31” to 35”.
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First Basemen, like catcher's, use a specialized glove designed specifically for their position. First base mitts usually range 11 ½” to 13 ½”. These mitts are designed with a stiffer pad around the outside of the glove and a deep pocket which will help the player scoop any errant throws without bobbling the ball.
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Second Base/Shortstop (Middle Infield)
Middle infielders generally use the smallest gloves of all baseball players. You will usually see a middle infielder using a 10” to 11 ½” glove. These gloves have smaller pockets for an easier transfer on double plays and throws to first base.
Shop 11 - 11 3/4 Inch Gloves
Third basemen use very similar gloves to middle infielders. Third base gloves are slightly bigger in size as they range from 11 ¼” to 11 ¾”. Third base is referred to as the “hot corner” because of the proximity to home plate. Reaction time at third base is minimal, and the extra glove length helps to catch hard hit line drives or ground balls.
Shop 11 - 11 3/4 Inch Gloves
A pitcher will want to use a closed web glove that is anywhere from 11 1/2" - 12" that is one solid color. The closed web will conceal the pitchers grip on the baseball to hide which pitch is being thrown, and the single color is a rule in baseball.
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Most outfielders prefer much more length than infielders. They usually will use a 12” to 13 ½” glove. A bigger glove helps outfielders extend further as they chase down fly balls. Outfielders generally use full trap, modified trap, I or H webs.
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Youth Baseball Gloves
The main difference between adult and youth gloves is the size of the hand opening. Youth gloves have a much smaller hand opening to fit a child's smaller hand. When buying a glove for a younger player, the most important factor is comfort. Most youth gloves range from 11 ¼" - 12 ¼".
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Closed web gloves conceal the ball in the mitt. These gloves are most commonly used by pitchers, but are also used by infielders like Derek Jeter.
"I" vs "H" Web Gloves
I and H style web gloves are very similar in design. The web on these gloves are exactly as they sound. The webbing on and I web glove is in the shape of an "I". An H web is manufactured in the shape of an "H". These gloves are used in every position on the field except pitcher and catcher.
These baseball gloves feature a trap-eze style web, commonly called a six finger pattern. Full trapeze webs generally have a thin piece of leather in the center of the pocket connected by long strands of lacing. This web style offers great flexibility, versatility, and strength. These webs are generally used by outfielders.
Modified trap gloves are similar to trap-style webs, but have a leather connection piece along the top for added stability. If you have never had a trap-style glove, but are thinking of trying one, this is the stepping stone. Modified Trap gloves can be used by any position player.