Baseball glove

Baseball glove

A baseball glove or mitt is a large leather glove that baseball players on the defending team are allowed to wear to assist them in catching and fielding balls hit by a batter, or thrown by a teammate.


One of the first players believed to use a baseball glove was Doug Allison, a catcher for the Cincinnati Red Stockings, in 1870, due to an injured left hand. [ [ "Baseball 'Glove Affairs'".] "NPR". 4 September 2008. 27 June 2008.] The first documented story of glove use concerns Charles Waitt, a St. Louis outfielder/first baseman who in 1875 donned a pair of flesh-colored gloves. While glove usage was not accepted by all players at first, being considered "sissy" by many, it slowly caught on as more and more players began using different forms of gloves.

Many early baseball gloves were simple leather gloves with the fingertips cut off, supposedly to allow for the same control of a bare hand, but with extra padding. The adoption of the baseball glove by baseball star Albert Spalding when he began playing first base influenced more infielders to begin using gloves. By the mid 1890s, it was the normal for players to wear gloves in the field.

In by|1920, Bill Doak, a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, suggested that a web be placed between the first finger and the thumb in order to create a pocket. This design soon became the standard for baseball gloves.

Since their beginnings, baseball gloves have grown. While catching in baseball had always been two handed, eventually, gloves grew to a size that made it easier to catch the ball in the webbing of the glove, and use the off-hand to keep it from falling out. A glove is typically worn on the non-dominant hand, leaving the dominant hand for throwing the ball; for example, a right-handed player would wear a glove on the left hand. By convention, the type of glove that fits on the left hand is called a "right-handed" or "RH" glove.

The size and shape of the baseball glove is governed by official baseball rules; Section 1.00, Objectives of the Game, defines limits of catcher's, first baseman's and fielder's glove in parts 1.12, 1.13 and 1.14.


The shape and size of a glove is described by its "pattern". Modern gloves have become quite specialized, with position-specific patterns:
*Catcher's mitts are called "mitts" because they lack individual fingers, like mittens. They have extra padding and a hinged, claw-like shape that helps them to catch 90+-mile-per-hour fastballs, and provide a good target for pitchers. If required to catch a knuckleball, a catcher will typically use an even larger mitt. Sizes of catcher's mitts, unlike those of other gloves, are measured around the circumference, and they typically have 32- to 34-inch patterns.
*First baseman's mitts also lack individual fingers. They are generally very long and wide to help them "pick or scoop" badly thrown balls from infielders. These mitts usually have 12.5- to 13-inch patterns, measured from wrist to the tip. Note that, because first basemen are often left-handed, first baseman's mitts are readily available in to fit on a right hand.
*Infielder's gloves, Unlike the first baseman's mitts, tend to be smaller. They have shallow pockets to allow the fielders to easily remove the ball from their glove to make a quick throw to a base. Often the webbing will be open to allow dirt to move through the glove so that the infielder does not pull out a handful of dirt when trying to remove the ball from the glove. Infielder's gloves typically have 11- to 12-inch patterns, measured from wrist to the tip.
*Pitcher's gloves usually have a closed, opaque webbing to allow them to conceal their grip on the ball—which determines the behavior of the pitch—from the batter.
*Outfielder's gloves are usually quite long with deep pockets, to help with both catching fly balls on the run or in a dive and to keep outfielders from having to bend down as far to field a ground ball. These gloves typically have 12- to 13-inch patterns, measured from wrist to the tip. They are frequently worn in differently than those of infielders, with a flatter squeeze rather than the infielder's rounded style.

Major glove manufacturers

*Louisville Slugger
*Kelley Athletic
*Nike, Inc


External links

* [ "Playing The Field." "Popular Mechanics". May 2001.]
* [ "Glove History." "Baseball".]
* [ "How Products Are Made: Baseball Glove." ""]
* [ "Baseball Glove Leather"]
* [ "MLB Rules 1.0".]

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