Breaking in a baseball glove is a rite of passage for every player. It’s the process that transforms a stiff, new piece of leather into a supple, personalized tool that feels like an extension of your hand. While this process is essential, there are certain do’s and don’ts that can make or break the outcome of your glove’s break-in journey.
1. Use a Trusted Method:
- Start with reputable methods like glove oil, creams, or specialized glove break-in kits. These products are designed specifically for conditioning leather gloves.
- Our favorite conditioner is the Sarna Baseball Glove Conditioner.
2. Gradual Approach:
- Break in your glove gradually. Use it during practice sessions or toss a ball with a friend to help the leather form to your hand’s shape and movements.
3. Focus on the Pocket:
- Concentrate on forming a deep pocket in the glove. Repeatedly catch and squeeze a ball in the pocket area to help it mold according to your playing position.
4. Flexibility Matters:
- Work on increasing the glove’s flexibility. Bend and flex the glove regularly to soften the leather and make it more pliable.
5. Patience Is Key:
- Understand that breaking in a glove takes time. Patience is crucial; rushing the process can damage the glove or make it uncomfortable to use.
1. Avoid Extreme Heat:
- Don’t use methods like microwaving, baking, or leaving your glove in direct sunlight. Extreme heat can cause the leather to dry out, crack, or lose its shape.
2. Steer Clear of Excessive Oil:
- Don’t overuse glove oils. Excessive application can saturate the leather, making it heavy, greasy, and prone to break down faster.
3. Skip Moisture Overload:
- Avoid soaking your glove in water or using excessive moisture-based methods. While some moisture is helpful, too much can lead to mildew, warping, or weakening of the leather.
4. Say No to High-Speed Break-Ins:
- Don’t try quick-fix methods like forcefully bending or folding the glove or using machines to expedite the process. These methods can damage the leather and compromise the glove’s integrity.
5. Steer Clear of Unconventional Items:
- Avoid using sharp objects or unconventional tools to stretch or shape your glove. These can puncture or tear the leather, ruining the glove.
Breaking in a baseball glove is an art that requires a delicate balance of patience, proper technique, and care. Understanding the do’s and don’ts is crucial in ensuring your glove becomes a reliable extension of your playing ability.
Remember, every glove is unique, and the break-in process may vary based on the leather quality and personal preferences. Respect the craftsmanship of your glove and treat it with care. Follow these guidelines, take your time, and enjoy the process of creating a personalized, well-broken-in baseball glove that will be your trusted companion on the field for years to come.