What I Know and Remember About Baseball - Leather

By: Mitchell Dowdy

Lets Talk about Leather

Wilson Pro Stock, Rawlings Heart of the Hide, Kelley Ixosteer. The preceding are all genuine leather. Each processed at the discretion of the manufacturer to produce a fit and feel they think will win over customer opinion.

But what really makes a good baseball glove? Old time ecologically rough tannin? Sophisticated chrome or right out of the garden vegetable. Each process serves the purpose of converting the hide of the animal into a durable, malleable product that is used all over the planet. What separates the leathers is the final purpose. Say you need a Bentley with a suede interior without flaws, then you need hide from Switzerland or other location that does not use hard fencing or barbs to keep the roaming lawn mowers in. In the Bentley case you need soft, scar free hide sources.

Baseball gloves on the other hand (well, the catching hand) need to fit the purpose of the user. Intensity of game play, skill level, interest, all must be considered in the acquisition of the perfect glove. Perfect is as individual as fingerprints. Everyone has their idea of perfection and the manufacturers do a good job of providing a wide enough selection for all us Joe's to pick one out and shape it to our will.

Do heavier, more expensive gloves improve your game? The mechanics of baseball gloves are all very similar. There is a period of time where any glove will perform flawlessly. It's the duration of this time where the quality of the glove comes into play. Game ready glove leather is just that, ready for "a" game. They are designed to be comfortable and easy to close. How many games you actually get out of your $30 to $80 investment varies.

A simple analogy is to think of shoes. A $6 pair of discount shoes feel nice, look great and serve the purpose. Now a $200 pair of work boots are stiff, hurt your feet till they break in and have all the style and flair of dirt. Consider now, which will wear for years to come? At the task of protecting your feet, boots win without contest.

This same theme holds true for baseball gloves as well. Heavier, stiffer gloves will perform longer at the optimum level. Baseball gloves sever double duty. First, they are taught to 'catch' the ball. Stopping the ball in mid flight or skipping along the ground. Second, they protect the user from this same ball defenders are trying to catch. How many times have you seen a ball driven through a broken down glove. There is just not enough stiffness left in it to re-direct the ball back into the pocket.

Leather in and of itself is a natural, aspirating product. It absorbs and releases moisture. It can dry, crack or become brittle. Similar to your boots, if the baseball glove gets dirty you clean it. Gets wet, you set it out to dry. Give your glove what it needs. Don't apply so much oil that it clogs all the pours and can no longer breathe. Don't fold it in half like an omelet and expect the ball not to jump out of the pocket.

As mentioned previously, Steer Hide, Cow Hide, Pig Skin, Deer Hide, Kangaroo etc., each will have their time to perform as a flawless baseball glove. The duration of this flawless performance does change drastically.

So, consider your level of play; how often you want to buy and break in a new glove then make your selection, get the best deal then...............

GET OUT AND PLAY!

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