Baseball gloves are an essential piece of equipment for any player. They are designed to help protect the hand and provide extra grip on the ball. But did you know that baseball gloves also need to be broken in? It’s true, and the process of breaking in a glove can make a big difference in its performance. In this article, we’ll discuss why baseball gloves need to be broken in and how you can do it properly.
What is Glove Breaking-In?
Glove breaking-in is the process of softening the leather of a glove to make it more flexible and comfortable to wear. Breaking in a glove can also help make it more durable and easier to catch. This process typically involves softening the leather of the glove with oils and stretching it out to make it more pliable.
Why Is Glove Breaking-In Important?
There are a few reasons why breaking in a glove is important. First, it makes the glove more comfortable to wear. This is especially important for younger players who are just getting used to wearing a glove. A glove that has been properly broken-in will fit better and be more comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Second, breaking in a glove can also improve its performance. A glove that has been broken-in will be more flexible and easier to close. This will make it easier to catch the ball and will also help reduce the risk of injury.
Finally, breaking in a glove can help make it more durable. Softening the leather and stretching it out can help prevent it from cracking or tearing over time.
How to Break in a Baseball Glove
Breaking in a baseball glove is a relatively easy process, but it does take some time and effort. Here are the steps you should follow:
Step 1: Soften the Leather
The first step in breaking in a glove is to soften the leather. This can be done by rubbing a small amount of glove oil or leather conditioner on the glove. You should focus on areas like the palm, the inside of the fingers, and the webbing. Rub the oil into the leather until it is completely absorbed.
Step 2: Stretch Out the Leather
The next step is to stretch out the leather. This can be done by hand or with a glove mallet. To do this by hand, you should grab the glove tightly around the webbing and the palm and then gently pull it apart. To use a glove mallet, place the glove over the mallet and hit it gently with a hammer.
Step 3: Form the Glove to Your Hand
The final step is to form the glove to your hand. This can be done by wearing the glove and molding it to the shape of your hand. You should also try to ball up your fist and press it into the pocket of the glove. This will help the glove keep its shape and form better to your hand.
Other Ways to Break in a Glove
In addition to the steps outlined above, there are a few other methods you can use to break in a glove. These include:
1. Playing Catch
One of the best ways to break in a glove is to simply use it. Playing catch with the glove will help it to soften and form to your hand. This is a good option for those who don’t have access to glove oil or a mallet.
2. Freezing the Glove
Another method you can use to break in a glove is to freeze it. This can be done by placing the glove in a plastic bag and then putting it in the freezer overnight. This will help to soften the leather and make it more pliable.
3. Baking the Glove
Finally, you can also break in a glove by baking it. To do this, preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and then place the glove on a baking sheet. Bake it for 10 minutes and then take it out and let it cool. This will help to soften the leather and make it more pliable.
Tips for Breaking in a Glove
When breaking in a glove, it’s important to keep a few tips in mind. These include:
- Take Your Time: Breaking in a glove can take time, so don’t rush the process. It’s important to be patient and take your time to ensure that the glove is properly broken in.
- Be Gentle: You should be gentle with the glove and avoid using too much force. This will help to prevent the leather from cracking or tearing.
- Be Consistent: Once you begin the process of breaking in a glove, it’s important to be consistent. Make sure to use the same method each time and don’t skip any steps.
Breaking in a baseball glove is an important process that can make a big difference in its performance. It’s important to take your time and be gentle with the glove to ensure that it is properly broken in. There are several methods that can be used to break in a glove, so be sure to find the one that works best for you.
With the right care and maintenance, your glove can last for many years to come. So don’t forget to break it in properly!