Both baseball and softball players must break in their gloves before using them for a match. This process ensures that the glove has a custom fit that is comfortable and creates a secure pocket for holding the ball. Which is the best way to break in a new baseball glove? Here are a few tricks that players use to break in a new baseball glove.
Before you determine the best way to break in a new baseball glove, you should know how you want your gloves to break in to suit your position and style of playing on the team.
Some players like straight fingers or rolled fingers. Others want their thumbs out. Still, other players prefer the thumbs in to create more of a narrow pattern. Outfielders prefer to have a deeper pocket. Once you figure out your preferred mode, then you can begin to break in your new baseball.
The key to breaking in the glove is the padding. The more you use the glove, the faster it will break down creating a soft feel around your hand.
How to Oil a Baseball Glove
Breaking in the glove becomes easy when you use oil conditioner on the leather. Pour a few drops of oil on an applicator sponge, rag, or a sock. Use this sponge to wipe the inner area of the glove including the palm, fingers, laces, and backside.
Pay particular attention to the laces since they take up most of the stress when you catch the ball. Ensure all the breakpoints on the glove are appropriately oiled. Once done, use a paper towel to wipe out any excess oil.
You can now go ahead and shape it to form the pocket. You may place a mitt at the center of the glove and tie a rubber band around the glove to create an X shape. Players catch the ball at the pocket. Therefore, you need to make sure it shapes appropriately.
Common Methods Used to Break In a New Baseball Glove
Play Catch with Your New Baseball
If you own more than one glove, use your regular glove to play catch with the glove you want to break in. Do this during your game breaks. When you resume your game, you may as well go back to using your regular glove.
If you do this for some time, your glove will begin to break in. This method is ideal for persons who own more than one glove and have the right amount of time to spare.
Using a Pitching Machine
If you own a pitching machine or have access to one, use it to break in your new baseball glove. To do this, find a good sitting position facing the pitching machine. Turn on the pitching machine. Catch as many balls as you can with your new baseball glove.
Using a Mallet or the End of a Bat
Use the head of the mallet or bat to hit the middle section or break points of your glove. Focus on the heel area of your glove. If you want your glove to close the finger to thumb, fold it and hit it while in this shape. Pound the mallet directly on the pockets to break in the where you will be catching the ball. Put the glove around your knee and turn it inside out. Let it sit like for about half an hour allowing the leather to expand, hence making it more flexible and soft.
You can do this as you watch your favorite game on the television or when listening to your podcasts. Your glove should soften after a few days of repeating this exercise. There are some mallets explicitly made for breaking in baseball gloves.
Using Water, Mallet, 2 Balls and a Belt
Pour some warm water into the palm of the glove. This process will help to soften the leather. Try not to get the water inside the fingers. Repeat this by wetting the outer side too. Place the wet glove on the towel with the inner section facing down.
Use the head of a mallet or a bat to beat the inside of the glove. Wet the glove again and repeat the process. Keep testing the glove’s flexibility by wearing it and trying to grip a ball with the baseball glove. Repeat the process until the glove is soft to your liking.
Take two baseballs or softballs and place them in the middle section of the glove. Use a belt to tie and lock the balls inside the glove. Tie the belt evenly to distribute the pressure evenly. Let it sit for up to one night.
Unwrap the glove. Remove the two balls and test your baseball gloves. Your baseball glove should be filling comfortable and flexible in your hands.
Dos and Don’ts on the Best Way to Break In a New Baseball Glove
Store your baseball glove with a ball in it.
Always have an old glove in handy for the times when you run short of softened gloves.
Ensure you invest in quality baseball gloves that break in quickly.
Don’t ever store a wet glove. Dry it thoroughly first.
Every player has their preference of how they want the glove to feel and perform in their hands. But it is essential to break in the glove the correct way. Remember, this is your glove. You should be the one who determines the best way to break in a new baseball glove to fit your style of playing. Use the quick and easy ways discussed above to break in your new baseball glove the right way.