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Differences Between Baseball Gloves and Softball Gloves

baseball glove and a softball glove

What are the differences between a baseball glove and softball glove?

Many people often ask, what is the difference between a baseball glove and a softball glove? Although it is possible to play softball with a baseball glove, a softball glove is definitely more suitable for the game. The reason for this is due to the size of the ball used in each game. A regulation softball is significantly larger than a regulation baseball. A softball measures between 11.88 and 12.13 inches in circumference and weighs between 6.25 and 7.00 ounces; a baseball measures between 9.00 and 9.25 inches in circumference and weighs between 5.00 and 5.25 ounces (Source: Dummies.com). The size, pocket depth and fitting of the glove all affect the ease and accuracy of use when playing baseball or softball. But like anything else, this decision is totally up to the player. Both types of gloves are available in a variety of sizes, colors, and web, back, and leather options.

What is a baseball glove?

baseball glove or mitt is a large leather glove worn by baseball players of the defending team, which assists players in catching and fielding balls hit by a batter or thrown by a teammate (Source: wikipedia). Both baseball gloves and softball gloves come in several varieties based on the position being played. Both baseball and softball gloves have the following: Catcher’s mitts, First baseman’s mitts, Infielders’ gloves, Pitchers’ gloves, Outfielder’s gloves, Right-hand throw gloves, and Left-hand throw gloves.

  • Catcher’s Mitts, called so because they do not have fingers separated, like you would compare a pair of winter gloves to a pair of mittens, hence why the term ‘mitts’ is used.
  • First Baseman’s Mitts are also called ‘mitts’ for the same reason. They tend to be wider and longer than infielder gloves and outfielders gloves. This helps the player pickup balls thrown by infielders.
  • Infielders’ Gloves are smaller gloves compared to a first baseman’s mitt. The pockets are shallower, and the webbing on an infielders’ glove is often an open web to allow any dirt to flow through glove when the player catches a ground ball.
  • Pitchers’ Gloves mostly have a closed webbing so that the pitcher can conceal the ball as not to reveal the grip he or she has on the ball. They also tend to be on the smaller side in glove comparison.
  • Outfielder’s Gloves are longer and have a deeper pocket. This helps the player pick up ground balls easier as well as catch fly balls.

So, what is the difference between a baseball glove and a softball glove?

Glove Size

baseball glove and a softball glove

When it comes to choosing a glove for either game, size does play a role because of the differences between the two games. Compared to baseball gloves, softball gloves are larger. Softball gloves are larger because the ball is bigger than a baseball. For example, the average size of a baseball outfielders glove is 13 inches, whereas the average size of a softball outfielders glove is 15 inches. Another factor that plays a part in the size of the glove a player needs is the position that they play. In both games an infielders gloves and a pitcher gloves are usually smaller than outfielders gloves and catchers mitts. Outfielders’ gloves are longer and wider than infielders’ gloves to help them catch high deep incoming balls and make those diving catches with ease.

Pocket Size

Pocket size is also different between the two types of gloves. Meaning the depth of the pocket and the length of their pockets. The reason for this is because of the size of the ball the player has to catch. Baseball gloves are smaller than softball gloves so the size of the pockets have to accommodate that aspect. Baseball gloves have a smaller more shallow pocket and may also be slightly longer in length compared to a softball glove, which have a much deeper pocket and are shorter in length. The deeper, shorter pocket allows for better control and less spin of the ball. Both gloves pocket designs are tailored toward the size of the ball used in each game.

How the Baseball Glove and Softball Glove Fit

baseball glove and a softball glove
Mesh Series JCV34 Blue and White with Black Mesh 34 Inch Catchers Mitt

The fitting also plays a part in the difference between the gloves. While how the glove conforms to your hand should be the same for both of the gloves, how tight it fits to your hand varies. Softball players usually prefer their gloves to have tighter fit to their hand. Having a tighter fitting glove helps the player have better control of the ball. This is why most softaball gloves or fast pitch gloves have a velcro strap back. Fast pitch softball gloves often have a smaller opening for the hand to suit the market of fast pitch players mostly being female athletes.

Summary

So these are the main differences are glove size, pocket, and fitting all play a part, as well as the position being played. Choosing a glove suited for the game you are playing is important but the decision is ultimately up to the player.

FAQ

1). What is the main difference between a baseball glove and a softball glove?

The main differences are the size, pocket depth and fitting of the glove. They all affect the ease and accuracy of use when playing baseball or softball. But like anything else, this decision is totally up to the player. Both types of gloves are available in a variety of sizes, colors, and web, back, and leather options.

2). Why do baseball gloves and softball gloves come in different sizes?

Compared to baseball gloves, softball gloves are larger. Softball gloves are larger because the ball is bigger than a baseball. For example, the average size of a baseball outfielders glove is 13 inches, whereas the average size of a softball outfielders glove is 15 inches.

3). Why does pocket size matter when choosing a baseball glove vs a softball glove?

Pocket size is also different between the two types of gloves. Meaning the depth of the pocket and the length of their pockets. The reason for this is because of the size of the ball the player has to catch. Baseball gloves are smaller than softball gloves so the size of the pockets have to accommodate that aspect.

If you are looking for a high-quality baseball or softball glove for your next game, choose Vinci.

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Customized Baseball Glove Video

Custom GloveWhen ordering a custom glove, it is important to educate yourself about all of the different parts of the glove and what their functions are. Here at Vinci, we can help you build the perfect glove no matter what position you play.

Notes from the Video

As Nick mentioned in the video, Vinci gloves are fully customizable for color, style, and functionality. There are a few things you should know before you come to make your glove though. First, you must know which hand you catch with. This may seem basic, but it’s important to establish this especially if you are buying the glove for a child. Your glove hand should always be the hand you don’t throw with. Second, make sure you know your glove size. A lot of people are unaware that baseball gloves have specific measurements and sizes to ensure that you know approximately what size your glove should be.

Now it’s time to get a little more specific about what you want in your glove. You can choose from a few different options for the backing of your glove. You may choose a specific type of web for the front of the glove depending on which position you play on the diamond. The style of web varies according to the type of plays you’re making. So it’s important to take a look into what the best type of glove is for your position.

Parts of a Baseball Glove

Nick mentions a few other parts of the glove that may not be as familiar to some people. The welting runs vertically behind each finger, providing extra support and strengthening the pocket.

The lace is the parts that weave around through the top of the fingers and into the web.

The binding is on the bottom of the rear side of the glove and provides comfort to the player. Binding provides comfort without rubbing against or digging into the back of the player’s wrist.

Again, all of these parts and more are fully customizable at our Custom Glove page for the full list of options. You can even choose to have your name or a nickname woven into the glove to add that extra bit of personalization. After all, a glove is a part of a player’s style and it’s important to look good while flashing the leather in the field.

Before building your customized glove, find out the correct size for your hand, the type of glove you need, and of course, the hand you catch with. Having those basics out of the way is the key to getting the right glove for your needs. After that, play around with our customizable options and choose the style and color, and personalize your glove the way you want.

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How to Find the Right Baseball Glove

baseball softball glove how to choose the right glove

Like with any sporting gear or equipment, choosing the right baseball glove for your needs is essential to succeeding on the diamond. For children, there are a few factors to take into account but often times they are not locked into a specific position yet so you can be a little more flexible with the type of glove to get them. For adults, it pays to be more particular about glove selection since position, durability, and material all play factors into how a certain glove feels and performs. Baseball gloves can be extremely personal and are a visual symbol of a player’s style and ability. From Little League to the Major Leagues, every player takes time to find the glove that suits them the best for their needs and allows them to perform at the top of their game.

When children are just starting out in the game, it is important to find a durable glove that fits comfortably and is the correct hand. These may sound like rudimentary things to consider, but it’s quite common to see children running around with gloves that are much too large for their hands, with parents hoping that they will grow into them. Not only do these oversized gloves make it difficult for children to catch a ball, but it also hinders the development of their overall catching skills.

Oversized gloves can also be heavier for their developing anatomy, causing unnecessary strain to their wrists and hands. As parents you should aim to purchase a glove that the child can squeeze closed fairly easily allowing them the least amount of resistance when catching a ball. As with most other apparel or clothing, children will continue to outgrow gloves as they progress from season to season so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that they outgrow multiple gloves during their childhood.

Adults have a little more personalized customization that they can look for when choosing a glove (see Vinci’s Custom Glove Builder option for more details). Positional variance is one thing to look at when deciding on a glove. The webbing is a key feature of every glove that players often have a preference for. For example if you are a pitcher you may opt for a basket web or a two-piece web so that the ball is concealed from the batter and it is easier to disguise the grip you have on the ball. If you are an infielder taking hard balls through the dirt you may prefer the H-Web or I-Web that allows dirt and other debris to fall through the holes, ensuring a clean ball that won’t slip out of your hand when throwing. Outfielders may prefer a 6 finger web with a deeper pocket to soften the blow from high pop flys. First basemen and catchers have their own specific type of gloves as well, given the velocity that the ball is often travelling when it reaches their gloves.

For children and adults, it is vital to find a glove that fits your hand properly and feels secure, otherwise it could affect your performance on the field. Your glove should be durable and it should be able to be squeezed close without much resistance, when new. The style and color is up to your own personal preference, but keep in mind the different types of gloves for each position.

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How To Break In A Baseball Glove: Step-by-Step Guide and Demonstration

break in kit breaking in a baseball or softball glove

How To Break In A Baseball Glove

Manually breaking in a baseball glove is superior to having it done mechanically. When you personally break in your glove, you get a closer fit to your hand. You can also more closely control the magnitude of wear and prevent any damage to your glove. While it takes a little time and effort, the advantages to this method make it worthwhile. Additionally, there’s a level of satisfaction players attain after breaking in a baseball glove using their own two hands.

How to Break in a Baseball Glove Overnight

The steps below will show how to break in a baseball glove overnight. However, a glove will continue to be more broken in with each play. Preparing it for that first play is what this break-in process is all about. Baseball and softball gloves are stiff and less flexible right out of manufacturing. When you get a new baseball glove, it is necessary to soften the leather for increased flexibility and ease of squeeze. Forming the pocket will ensure better control. Learn quickly how to break in a baseball glove overnight so you can get started playing with your new glove right away!

Warnings About Breaking in a Baseball Glove

Before we get started, it is important to note that there are a couple things that can ruin your glove. Though you may have heard of break-in techniques that include use of a microwave, steam or water, don’t do it. The amount of heat that would cause a glove to be too hot to touch is damaging. A warm glove that is still cool enough to handle with bare hands, is ideal. This can be accomplished by sitting the glove in a warm car. Water is harmful to baseball gloves and should be avoided when breaking in a glove.

Steps to Breaking in a Baseball Glove or Mitt

Follow these steps when breaking in a baseball glove. Each step is essential to the overall outcome of the process. Keep in mind that your glove is not delicate. There is no need to be gentle as you bend, fold, beat and manhandle the glove.

    1. Pre-Condition the Glove or Mitt:

Coat the glove with glove conditioner, avoiding the mesh. The conditioner won’t hurt the mesh, it simply won’t absorb and can leave you with a mess. Be sure to coat the pocket, laces, rear and opening of the inner hand. You can wear gloves to protect your hands but the conditioner won’t hurt your hands either. Gloves are used for quick clean up. The thin layer of conditioner does not need to be left overnight. You can begin breaking in a baseball glove immediately after applying.

    1. Allow to Warm Briefly:

Set the glove in a warm car for approximately twenty minutes or so to warm the glove, but not make it too hot.

    1. Roll the Glove:

Using your hands and the weight of your body, roll the glove side to side.

    1. Beat the Glove:

Using a glove mallet, beat the palm a little. Focus more on beating the inner glove, heel and hinge points. It is best to place on a concrete surface when doing so.

    1. Roll Some More:

Repeat step three.

    1. Shoe Shine Method:

To loosen glove fibers and inner linings, firmly move the heel back and forth simulating a shoe shining motion. Repeat with the fingers and at the point where the lower web joins the glove.

    1. Beat Edges:

Beat along the edges where the seams are with the glove mallet.

    1. Repeat Steps One and Three:

Apply more conditioner to the glove and roll the glove some more.

    1. Place Ball in Pocket and Wrap:

Place the forming pocket ball into the pocket of the glove and wrap the glove tightly. Wrap the glove in an X pattern.

    1. Warm Overnight:

Store the wrapped glove overnight in a warm vehicle.

    1. Manipulation:

In the morning, unwrap the glove and continue to beat, fold and manipulate as needed to complete the glove break-in procedure. Be sure to toss a ball in the pocket area many times to further form the pocket.

Try the Vinci Baseball Glove Break-In Kit

To make breaking in a baseball glove easy, Vinci has developed a glove break-in kit. This exclusive glove break-in kit includes everything you need to effectively break in a baseball or softball glove. The tapered handle of the glove mallet can easily be used to help shape finger stalls. For forming the palm pocket, use the hollow forming ball (or use a baseball or softball if you prefer) with the glove bands.

Included in the kit:

      • Vinci Glove Bag
      • Glove Mallet
      • 2 Glove Bands
      • Rubber Gloves
      • Glove Conditioner
      • Forming Pocket Ball

For Help Breaking in a Baseball Glove

Thank you for choosing a Vinci glove. If you need help breaking in a baseball glove, please feel free to contact us. We support our players and are happy to help you make the play! Email Wayne at askwayne@vincipro.com with any questions or concerns about breaking in your Vinci glove! Also, check out this video that shows Wayne breaking in a Vinci.