Do You Have the Best Baseball Glove for Your Position?
Depending on which position you play, the type of glove you select will vary. Trying to play shortstop with a catcher’s mitt wouldn’t work.
As a short stop, there is an emphasis on transferring the ball efficiently from your glove hand to your throwing arm. The split second that a good short stop saves on the transfer can make all of the difference when attempting to throw a speedy base runner out.
The first step in determining which glove is the best for you is figuring out where on the field you’re going to be playing. If you’re an outfielder, you want a deeper pocket to help you catch fly balls. If you’re an infielder, a smaller glove makes it easier to scoop up ground balls and make a quick transfer. If you’re playing first base, gloves are designed to have the maximum catching area so you can pick-up one hoppers. Finally, you have the catchers mitt which has extensive padding to protect the catchers hand.
Best Baseball Glove – By Position
“As your most important piece of equipment, the glove should just be an extension of your hand.” – Joe Giradi, New York Yankees Manager
A special bond between you and your baseball glove will undoubtedly grow over time; the leather will feel familiar and the grooves will align perfectly to the contours of your hand. Once you’ve found the specific glove you like, you might never change your mitt again.
Best Baseball Glove – Infielder
The Rawlings Primo Series is the cream of the crop. The leather is buttery soft and you won’t find a glove that conforms to your hand quite like this one.
It’s one of the most expensive gloves on the market, however, if you’re a serious ballplayer looking for an infielders glove this is an outstanding mitt that is incredibly durable.
Wilson A2000 Infielder Glove is a high quality glove in it’s own right. It’s price point is substantially lower and the leather is of high quality. The pocket on the A2000 tends to be slightly shallower than a Rawlings Primo Series which often makes it the glove of choice for short stops.
If you want a quality glove without the price tag, we recommend the Rawlings Gold Glove Gamer. It doesn’t have the same buttery feel to it as the A2000 or the Primo Series and it’s not as durable. For the casual game of catch, or the youngster still finding his way on the diamond, this is a terrific mitt.
Best Baseball Glove – First Base
Rawlings Heart of the Hide is our favorite first base glove. Like the Primo Series it features quality leather and breaks in quickly. Unlike the Primo Series this glove isn’t quite as heavy. First basemen gloves are typically heavier than middle infielder gloves and the Primo series first base glove feels a little bit like a brick.
Louisville Slugger Omaha Pro First Base Glove is the best bang for your buck on the market. It has the feel of an expensive glove without the price tag. If we were offered the Heart of the Hide or the Omaha for free, we would take the Heart of the Hide every day. If we were buying a 12 year old a new glove, the Omaha would be our choice.
Best Baseball Glove – Outfielder
Wilson A2K is an exceptional outfielder glove. It also works well as a third base glove and it’s what I now use for softball as well. It has a perfect pocket and the leather starts off quite stiff. This is generally a sign of a higher quality glove – it isn’t broken in out of the factory. Once it’s broken in this glove is worth taking care of.
Rawlings Gold Glove Gamer is perfect if you’re looking to spend less than $100. The glove is a little bit looser on the top than I prefer but as an outfielders glove it does the trick. The other drawback is it breaks down quicker than the more expensive gloves but this is to be expected. It’s a perfect mitt for a casual baseball player or beer league softball.
Best Baseball Glove – Catcher’s and Pitcher’s Gloves
The most unique glove on the field is the catcher’s and the most generic is the Pitcher’s. Pitcher glove’s feature a closed web, which allow them to disguise their pitches. If you’re a pitcher and also play infield, the only real difference between the two is the webbing.
Mizuno Franchise Pro Catchers Mitt is a great starters catcher’s mitt. It’s priced right and is robustly built. However, once the pitcher’s velocity begins to increase (60+ mph) you may find that it doesn’t have enough padding to protect your hand.
Nokona Classic Walnut Series Catcher’s Mitt has better padding than the Mizuno Franchise Pro. It’s a heavier set glove and has enough protection to receive harder pitches.
As for pitchers we recommend the Rawlings Heart of the Hide Pro Mesh Pitcher’s Baseball Glove – it’s a well manufactured glove. If you’re looking for something slightly cheaper, the Mizuno MVP Prime SE Pitcher’s Glove is a solid option as well.
A Discussion About the Brands
You may have noticed most of our top gloves are Rawlings or Wilson. In our experience these are the best brands on the market. However, Mizuno, Louisville and Nokona all make high quality products as well.
My only knock on Nokona is the price – typically their products of similar quality are slightly more expensive than their competitors. This is because all of their products are made in America – if this is important to you I encourage you to check out their gloves.
The last glove I wanted to include is theWilson A2K Brandon Phillips 11.5″ Infield Baseball Glove. In my opinion he’s the best defensive two-bag in the MLB. I love watching Phillips play, plus the glove is slick.
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Bottom of Nine
If you or your child is playing competitive baseball I highly encourage you to consider a higher quality gloves. The main differentiator between more expensive versus cheaper gloves is the quality of the leather. Many of the less expensive gloves will be broken in out of the factory. This will cause the glove to wear out quicker, and nothing is worse than trying to catch a routine fly ball only to have the glove wilt on impact.
I hope this in depth review helps you make an informed decision while purchasing the best baseball glove. If you need help selecting other equipment check out our other reviews. Do you agree with this list? Is your personal glove missing and think it should be added? Leave a comment to let us know what you think.
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