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Choosing a Glove

Did you know that a high quality glove that is properly worked in and maintained can last as long as your child plays baseball? 
When I enrolled my son in Little League, I knew nothing about baseball gloves.  My primary goal was to find a glove that was small enough for his hand and that he could close easily.  And maybe that's not such a bad guideline for a 5-8 year old.  However, if your child is planning on playing baseball for many years, there's lots to consider.

For those of you who have bought a diamond ring, you'll know there are the "4C's" to a diamond.  I won't get into them, but the idea is that there are 4 characteristics that should be considered.  Similarily, for a baseball glove there are 4 things that need to be considered:

 Size  Webbing Backing  Quality

Many kids and even parents think bigger is better.  You never want to buy a glove that is too big for your child.  Baseball gloves typically range from 11"-12.5".  What size you choose depends a lot on the position your child is best suited to play.

For the middle infielder the top priority is to field the ball cleanly and make a fast transfer from the glove hand to the throwing hand. This usually calls for a smaller glove (11"-11.75") with a relatively shallow pocket designed to assist the infielder with a speedy transfer from the glove to the throwing hand by making the ball easy to get out of the glove. 

For the outfielder, ultimately the decision comes down to personal preference, the prevailing wisdom suggests that the outfielder needs a glove that is large enough to be able to develop a long, deep pocket for reaching and gloving rapidly moving fly balls and line drives. 
There are many different types of webbing from open web to closed web.  Like size, the webbing you choose depends on the position your child will be playing.
Middle infielders tend to like an open web ("I-web" being the most common). An open web allows the outfielder to track fly balls all the way into the glove and also to shade the player's eyes from the sun. Whereas a pitcher will want to hide the ball (and his grip), so a closed web is recommended.
Middle Infielders tend to prefer an open backed glove for increased flexibility and comfort. This one tends to be more of a personal preference.

Leather Quality
This is often where parents make the biggest mistake.  They look for gloves that are supple off the store shelf.  Usually, the stiffer the leather  may in fact be an indication of higher leather quality.  For examples, a Rawlings Heart of the Hide or Pro Preferred will be very stiff and take a lot of time and care to work in, but eventually they will mold to the player's hand and will last a life time.

Sadly the reality is that there is not a lot of selection of good gloves in Ottawa. Most of what they sell at box stores are crappy gloves (fake leather).  There are a few stores that carry higher end gloves (like Valiquette on Carling Ave. or Lacroix Sports on St Joseph). I'd recommend a trip to one of these stores to try out glove fits.  A trip to Syracuse to visit sports stores in the Spring might be worth while. You can also turn to the internet and find US stores that ship to Canada.

This post just scratches the surface of purchasing a glove.  If you want more advice, please contact me or you can go to to start learning more.  Check out my used gloves for sale as well.