Baseball gloves and softball gloves need to be broken in before use in order to provide a proper fit and play a better game so it is important to practice proper glove care. Different players have different methods of breaking in a baseball glove or softball glove, and these differing techniques are generally viewed as a personal preference. There are two basic goals in breaking in a glove. First, you want to soften the leather so that the glove is pliable and moves well with your hand. Second, you want to form a pocket or molding an area in the palm of the glove so that it will catch and squeeze the baseball tightly. Also, a number of different lotions can be used to soften the leather of a baseball glove.
- Foam Shaving Cream
- Manufacturer’s Solutions
- Lexol Leather Conditioner
- Pure Petroleum Jelly
How to use oil, soap or cream to break in your glove
Breaking in a baseball or softball glove using oil, soap or cream, so as to soften the leather, is best. Use small amounts of oil on a cloth and lightly coat the glove. Do not oil the entire glove, and don’t allow oils to soak in as this will cause the leather deteriorate faster. Apply oil once, and allow it to absorb into the glove for 24 hours after its application. Do not apply any more oil until the end of the second week. Additionally, actually playing catch or spending your afternoons throwing a ball into your glove, there are a number of ways to form a pocket in your baseball glove. Another great method (especially if you don’t have a partner to play catch with) is to visit a batting cage and instead of batting, use the machine to simply catch balls and help break in the glove.
How to shape the glove pocket
The most popular way to form a pocket in a baseball glove is to place a baseball or softball in the pocket and tie the glove shut with a rubber band or belt overnight. A regular daily practice workout of at least 100 good tosses will ultimately continue to soften the glove and help mold the pocket to the user’s hand. If you do not have someone to play catch, you can visit a batting cage and use the machine to catch balls. Continue to place a ball in the mitt each night and secure it tightly. Continue this process for at least 2 weeks. When breaking in your baseball glove, avoid the following techniques:
- Baking or microwaving the glove. This will damage the leather.
- Soaking the glove in water will also damage the leather.
- Completely soaking the glove in any oils.
Simply using the glove will produce the best results. The more playtime your glove experiences, the better it will properly form to your hand. This will have your glove broken in and ready to use before you know it!
Baseball / Softball Glove Care Helpful Hints:
- Remember glove leather is like your own skin on your face so don’t treat leather any differently than your own skin.
- Do not soak your glove in water.
- Never put your glove in the microwave or oven.
- Don’t over oil your glove thinking more is better.
- Do not store your glove in a plastic bag for over 12 months.
- Treat your glove well, don’t throw your glove around the field.
- Keep your glove dry, wipe off built up dirt with dry cloth.
- Keep something in your glove pocket, a baseball, softball, or whatever works for you.
- Put conditioner all over glove pocket and back of fingers and let it sit for 24 hours. Then wipe off with dry cloth.
- Use Vinci Conditioner or non-treated Petroleum jelly or Petroleum jelly. Remember you want to keep pores of the leather open. Some oils will close the pores and makes the leather dry, harden and become heavy.
- The number one thing is to play catch and form your pocket the way you like it.
- Treat leather as you would your own skin.
- At the end of the season make sure your glove is clean of all dirt, place ball inside of pocket and store in a dry location.
- You can treat your new Vinci glove once you receive it and wipe dry with a cloth.
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