One of the most important sports gear for a baseball player is probably his/her bat or the glove itself. If it’s the latter one, you must be wondering how to break it in for the very first time.
Whether it is your newly bought baseball glove or a gift from your loved one, it is important to break in your baseball glove before you start playing with in in big matches.
Breaking in your baseball glove is a necessity as it will allow you to play with better flexibility and ease during real matches. It will also help with retrieving the ball better and faster, so you can expect enhanced accuracy and precision when you play with a broken in baseball glove instead of a completely new one.
However, since not many people actually know how to break in a baseball glove, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about it in this article of ours for a change.
From revealing tips and tricks to breaking in a baseball glove to maintaining it throughout the off-season, we are going to discuss about it all here.
Why Do You Need to Break in a Baseball Glove?
One of the reasons why you need to break in a baseball glove is because of how stiff and hard it can really be when it is manufactured and sold in the market. For obvious reasons, a baseball glove will be made of leather.
The firmness and durability of the leather used for the construction will vary with the brand and model. Some baseball gloves can even be as hard as a boulder when it is first manufactured.
Due to its hardness, the baseball glove can simply be unusable for matches or for even wearing in the first place- unless it is broken in first.
By breaking in the leather of the baseball glove, you will be reducing its hardness and making it just a bit more flexible; that is, flexible enough to be worn on by your hand.
Use a Mallet or a Pounder
The first thing that you can do to effectively break into your baseball glove without necessarily ruining the leather of it is to use a small mallet or a hand-held pounder to shape the glove and break it into something wearable and flexible.
If you are a newbie, it is better if you let a professional or experienced adult handle this part of the break-in process of your baseball glove.
However, if you are going to attempt on it by yourself, make sure to not exert too much pressure as that could actually ruin the quality and firmness of the glove instead.
What you want to do is simply pound down on the middle of the baseball glove as gently as possible. It is okay to put in a bit of effort and pressure though; just don’t go overboard with it.
Moisten the Leather
Another way you can break in your baseball glove leather is by wetting it with warm water gradually. Pour a very small amount of warm, fresh water on your baseball glove and leave it like that for a few minutes to an hour or so.
Make sure to never really submerge the entire glove in a bucket or bowl of water as that could damage the entire product.
What you actually should be doing is kind of like spot-treatments, except with water. Pour in small amounts on certain areas and continue in this process until you have got the entire glove covered and softened properly.
Push Down on the Fingers
After you wet the baseball glove with either warm or hot water, what you want to do is push down on the fingers and middle of the glove in order to really break in the leather around it.
For this, push down mainly on the thumb and pinky of the baseball glove towards the middle of the product. At the same time, you could also alternate between bending the mentioned fingers backwards and forwards one after the other. This will create more flexibility around the palm area as well.
Use Glove Oil
Similar to hot or warm water, you can also find many glove oils meant to soften baseball gloves in order to process them for proper break-in later on.
Before you use your glove oil on the baseball glove, it is recommended that you properly heat the substance in the microwave oven before usage as that will allow the baseball glove to really absorb the oil into the leather of it.
When applying the oil, use a soft sponge or brush to do so as you should never put oil in direct contact with the leather of a baseball glove.
- Never place your baseball glove inside the oven itself.
What to do During Off-Season
Play with it
One of the easiest ways to actually break in a baseball glove is to simply play with it. Yes, wearing it to begin with can be quite the ordeal, but once you get your hand in there, make sure to play catch with the glove on as long as possible.
This way, the glove will contour directly to your hand shape and that is really beneficial in the long run.
When having the glove on your hand while playing catch, try to move your fingers inside as much as possible as that will ensure some amounts of flexibility in the near future.
Condition the Glove
Use conditioners meant for leather and glove oils in little amounts all throughout the off-season to properly break in one the baseball glove. Use a clean brush with soft bristles or a sponge to apply the products onto the baseball glove and you will be good to go.
We hope that by now you have a good idea about how to break in a baseball glove with complete ease. As hard as breaking in a glove can be, the results of it are truly amazing and worth the energy and time spent over it.