The Youth Baseball Glove
There is a difference between a baseball glove and a baseball mitt. A glove has separate fingers while a mitt is like a huge mitten with all the fingers in one space. Catchers are generally the only players wearing mitts.
There are differences between an adult glove and a youth glove. Size and function are 2 of those differences. Fit is probably most important to getting the right glove. If it’s too big or too small it is very difficult to control the ball one is trying to catch with it. This can lead to frustration and disinterest for the youth baseball player. To fit the youth glove properly start with a measurement of the glove. This is done with a tailor’s tape. A hard ruler will not conform to the hand and will give an incorrect measurement. Measure the baseball glove from the tip of the middle finger (or tallest spot on the glove), down across the palm, to the wrist.
Children’s gloves (ages 5-6) range in size from 10-10 ½; youth gloves (ages 7-12) range in size from 10 ½ -11 ½ depending on the size and age of the child. High-schooler and adult gloves range in size from 11- 12 ½ depending on the position played. The glove gets larger the farther the position played is from the pitcher’s mound. So an outfielder’s glove will be larger then an infield glove.
The materials have changed in gloves as well. While the traditional glove, the one from out of the past, was hard cowhide, today’s baseball gloves are made from a number of different materials. This helps to make the baseball glove of just the right stiffness-not too hard and not too floppy. The youth baseball glove is designed for the child whose strength and dexterity are still developing, as well as eye to hand coordination. Hence, picking the right baseball glove is of great importance, something better accomplished in person than on the internet.
So now we’ve gotten just the right youth glove for our budding ball player. What next? Now, the baseball glove needs to be “broken in”. Most people like to rub something into the leather to break it in. There are numerous products to accomplish this: Vaseline, neat’s-foot oil, mink oil, saddle soap, even shaving cream. Many people tie a baseball into the center after applying the oil. The important thing when treating the it is to be careful not to apply too much of whichever product is used. Too much oil will soften the leather too much and cause it to disintegrate quickly. Of course, the best way to break in all new gloves is to use it. So the next step: play ball!