3 Key things to know about an outfielder’s glove.
Like pitchers and catchers, outfielders need their own unique variant of baseball glove.
The outfielder is certainly any team last line of defence and so their role in securing the ball is as important as any other position. Running, jumping, sliding or diving, are all plays the outfielder will performs while running mostly in a high speed. Think about the infamous do or die play at the plate for example.
Outfielders are mostly known as some of the coolest guys on the field, with their big time bat and powerful arm to hose players down. Even their glove somehow seems to be cooler than the other position players.
In this article we will go over in detail the necessary key features that goes into an outfielder’s glove and what you need to look at when buying that essential piece of leather.
Outfielder glove webs are iconic and none more so than Ichiro Suzuki’s Mizuno Trap web. Ichiro, who may well be one of the best outfielder in baseball’s history only use one style ball glove throughout his career. Maybe he had a breakthrough somewhere early in his career, but today the Trap web is the most preferred web style in all of baseball.
Trap webs, which closely resembles pigtail braids, are longer and much deeper than other types of webbing. This longer style gives outfielders a reach advantage, while the depth helps keep the ball secure. Trap webs also close faster than other web styles. This is because outfielder’s have to squeeze fast in order to make sure the ball doesn’t pop out as soon as it hits the palm of the glove. Best of all, the trap web glove offers a much faster break-in time than other web styles.
Outfielders don’t always have the luxury of creating easy outs since they’re almost always on the run or they’re diving to make a catch. That’s why most of the pros prefer a larger glove with a “trap web” style.
Playing a position further away from the batter doesn’t always mean that the speed of the game reduces. Rocket line-drives, towering fly balls or snaking ground balls have enough speed to do some decent damage to your fingers when the ball enters your glove. This is especially true when the temperature starts to drop. To combat this, outfielder gloves come with extra padding and support in the palms and finger areas. This extra padding makes the gloves a bit more bulky and heavier but, the extra protection will save you from getting a baseball stitches tattoo on the palm of your hand.
The outfield is where you’re going to see the biggest gloves on the field, unlike the infield, outfielder glove sizes don’t differ by position. As we mentioned before, catching the ball is priority number 1 for outfielders and thus glove will start at a bigger size.
In terms of sizes, we see most youth glove sizes from sizes 12- 12.5”, while the adult glove sizes range from 12.5-13”. These are the largest types of gloves and will allow you to cover the most ground during a play.
With these characteristics in mind, the final thing to consider when searching for a new outfielder glove is to find one that feels right to you. You will want it to be snug on the hand and have a secure fit. The glove should offer web that closes completely and enough padding to prevent dropping the ball as soon as it hits your palm. Remember, you are the last line of defence, so be sure to have a glove with long enough fingers to give yourself that extra bit of range and avoid missing the ball entirely. All in all, make sure you take the time to measure and test a glove before you take it onto the field.