What Are the Different Types of Baseball-Softball Gloves?
Playing the field in baseball or softball is fun and challenging. Using the right glove can mean the difference between a good game and a not = so-good one. Despite what you may think, all gloves are not the same. There are different gloves made specifically for certain positions on the field including catching, first base, infield and outfield.
In baseball and softball, there are mitts and there are gloves. Mitts are like mittens in that they do not have separate finger stalls. Gloves do have separate finger stalls. First base and catcher are the only two positions that allow mitts.
Catchers’ mitts are generally larger than the gloves used for other positions. They also do not have the defined finger slots that other gloves have. The style helps the catcher catch a fast ball. This also proves to be a better target for the pitcher. Catcher’s mitts are measured by their circumference. They range from 32 inches to 34 inches in circumference.
First base mitts also tend to be large . They are measured from wrist to tip, and are usually 12.5 to 13 inches long and quite wide. They also have no defined finger slots (thus the name mitt, instead of glove). First base players need to quickly and easily catch thrown balls, and this design helps them do just that.
Infield gloves are very different from catchers’ mitts and first base mitts. They are smaller, usually 11 to 12 inches long, and have defined finger slots. A shallow pocket allows infielders to quickly pull out the ball and field it.
Outfielders play a unique role in a game . Not only do they need to reach up for fly balls, they need to bend down to stop grounders. As a result, outfielder gloves need to be as long as first basemen’s mitts. A deep pocket allows the gloves to more easily catch the fly balls, while the longer length means the player does not need to bend down as low to retrieve a ground ball.
Youth / kids gloves are smaller than the average glove. They have shorter finger slots and a deeper pocket so beginners can learn to catch. They usually do not need as much break-in time as well.
No matter what kind of glove you choose, the most important feature is that the glove fits comfortably. You do not have to be a professional player to enjoy the game, and a comfortable, sturdy, high quality glove helps you enjoy it even more.