The Ultimate Glove Knowledge Guide.
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it a million times if we have to: “Having a baseball glove that matches your position is vital to your success in the game.” But it’s not only about your glove it’s also about your skills to be in the right fielding position and completing the action. Infielders are known for making quick plays and ball transfers, so their glove should allow them to perform these skills effortlessly.
We now find ourselves at an impasse as people who contact us usually know what they want in a glove but often times don’t understand the functionality or what would work best for them. Go ahead and do an internet search and be amazed by the amount of or lack of information that is found on the subject. It’s really incredible, there is so much misinformation and so little factual reasoning on gloves. So to compensate for this, we find ourselves writing another article on the key considerations when buying an infielder glove for both baseball players.
When picking out a glove for that middle infielder or third baseman, keep in mind these three main components: pocket depth, web type/design and sizing as they will help go a long way towards success on the diamond.
Middle infielders usually need and will opt for a glove with a shallower pocket depth. Why, because it helps them to easily get the ball out of the glove and make the play. This is the opposite of the outfielder’s glove pocket depth we covered in a previous article. If you’re a middle infielder, you’d usually want a shallower pocket depth for the quicker transfer of the ball from glove to throwing hand. These are important factors because if you can spend less time reaching for the ball inside your glove, you will have a faster throw to the base and a smoother transfer on a double play.
The opposite would be like that scene from that baseball movie where the ball got stuck in the pitcher’s glove so he threw the entire glove to the first-base man.
For the third baseman, the situation is almost the same. With the ball usually being hit at higher speeds to the third baseman, having a glove with a little deeper pocket will better help you secure the ball in the glove. There’s also the fact of how close the third base position is to the batter and where the player positions himself per batter, will he play up close to defend a possible bunt play or will he be in no doubles depth to keep batters from advancing multiple bases. Either way, if you’re playing third base, you’re going to want a glove with a little deeper pocket than that of the middle infielder.
When it comes to webbing for middle infielders we recommend sticking to the basics and luckily for us most middle infielder’s likes are the same. For us sticking to the basics means looking for a glove that has an I-web, single post, dual post, or any simple alternative version of these designs. The recommended web styles not only keep the glove weight down as they don’t require a lot of lace but they also allow the hinge-points on the glove to keep their strength as the webbing is what absorbs the impact of the ball.
At third base aka “The Hot Corner,” our recommendation is primarily based on what was said in the previous section. At third base, the main concern is stopping the ball and so we recommend getting a two-piece closed webbing or an h-web style glove as they provide the glove a bit more weight (extra leather & laces), better strength (more leather means better ball absorption in the webbing) and thus the better glove webs to stop the ball than open style webs middle infidels use.
The infield is without a doubt the place where you’re going to see the smallest gloves on the field, but even those sizes vary when it comes to the specific positions. For second basemen, transferring the ball and grip take precedence over range. It is common to see these position players wearing the smallest gloves on the field, most commonly they would measure 11 to 11½ ” from heel to tip in size.
While for shortstops and third basemen, putting the leather on the ball is the main goal, so a larger glove is the focus for those guys playing the left side of the diamond. Typically, gloves worn by these position players range from 11½ to 12“. That extra bit of glove will give the player a better chance at making that one play he otherwise wouldn’t have with a smaller glove.
With these factors in mind, the final thing to consider when searching for the right glove is the glove that feels the best when you wear it. You want a glove that is snug on your hand with a very secure fit. (Keep in mind, your glove is the only thing between you and a hard-hit baseball from causing injury to your body, it’s, therefore, we recommend that the glove fits properly on your hand). The glove should offer a web that closes completely and upholds overall the strength of your glove and its hinge points. It should also have enough padding to prevent dropping the ball as soon as it hits your palm. Remember, you are the front line of defense, so the short game must be completed quickly by playing with a glove that has the correct size. All in all, like every good glove out there, make sure you take the time to properly break it in before you take it onto the field