A good baseball glove is one of the most critical investments a baseball player can make. Every baseball player has a unique bond with his or her glove. Countless catches, grabs, and snags have been used to secure every crease and seam. That mitt has taken a lot of work to shape, and it all starts with the break-in.
Before playing, players of all ability levels should break in their gloves. Breaking in your glove properly will ensure that it is comfortable to wear and moves smoothly with your hand. Your glove should feel like an extension of your hand and fit snugly. Breaking in your glove improves cohesiveness and reduces any undesirable stiffness or rigidity. It can also be used to make a more secure pocket.
Here are some ways by which you can break your glove-
- Traditional Method
Traditional methods are used to break in a new baseball or softball glove by purists. They simply play catch with their gloves for numerous hours over numerous days and weeks to break them in. Though this approach takes longer, it naturally breaks in your glove better than any other way, and it may be sped up with other methods. Overall, regardless of what you do to break in your glove, the more you can play catch and practise with it, the faster it will break-in.
- Glove Steaming
It’s simple, quick, and practical to steam your glove. However, the technique has the potential to harm the leather’s fibres. (Wilson’s one-year glove warranty is invalidated if you steam them.)
Steaming your glove softens it, but it also reduces its durability. Steamed leather also tends to lose its shape with time, breaking into the point where it’s almost too soft to use.
Their steaming procedure consists of three steps:
- Glove conditioner will be applied, allowing the pores on the leather to open up and soften during steaming.
- The mitt will be placed in a glove steamer, softening the leather and making it more pliable.
- The technician will remove the mitt and begin pounding it with a hammer to loosen up crucial spots.
- Oiling and Conditioning
There are oils and conditioning products that you can apply to make the leather of the glove soft. Apply a dime-sized amount of glove oil on a sponge or cloth, then use the oil to the sections of the glove that are currently firm with the sponge or cloth. Begin with the palm, then go on to the glove’s breakpoint, and finally the web. Later, you can use the glove oil to moisturise and protect all other glove sections, including the inside lining. Make sure the glove oil is evenly distributed throughout the leather. Do not apply the glove oil straight to the glove because it will be excessively concentrated at that time and could discolour the glove.
Make sure the laces are lubricated as well so they can stay moisturised. If you don’t, they’ll start to break, and the webbing will become loose.
When it comes to choosing an oil for your glove, most people go for shaving cream. Vaseline, mink oil, and other glove maker oils are also famous.
You should continue to apply glove oils and conditioners throughout the season after your glove has been broken in. But be careful not to overdo it.
- Glove wraps
Wrapping the glove is an essential part to end the process of breaking a glove, and here are some steps you need to follow-
- Using the crease that forms where you formed the pocket, fold your glove in half.
- Begin folding your glove in half, starting with your pinky finger. Make sure the pinky is folded in on itself.
- To knot the glove in this folded shape, use a glove wrap or even old shoelaces. It’s better to use a store-bought glove wrap for this technique because it’s specially made for it.
- Place a baseball in the globe’s pocket, beneath the wrap or laces, to help shape the pouch even more.
You’ll be entirely making the pocket, breaking down the leather, and creating your glove the way you’ll need it to play in a game by wrapping your glove after you’ve performed one of the procedures above.