Gloves are essential for playing baseball, as they enable players that are not pitching (throwing the ball) or batting (hitting the ball) to catch the ball with ease. There are many types of baseball gloves used by players, and the one we will talk about in this article is the outfielder glove. To learn more about what this specific glove is and who wears it, here is an introduction to outfielder gloves.
What are Outfielder Gloves?
Outfielder gloves are longer and wider compared to regular baseball gloves, and the bigger size of these outfielder gloves makes them suitable for outfielders that want to have a wider reach to catch a baseball from longer distances. Outfielder gloves are about 12 inches in length, while regular baseball gloves worn by infielders are 11 inches in length. In order for us to know how important outfielder gloves are, let us first talk about outfielders and their role in the sport.
The outfielders are the players on the baseball field that are the farthest from the batter, which basically means that they are positioned in the outer areas or sections of the field. The role of outfielders is to catch fly balls (successfully batted balls) and ground balls (balls that roll toward the outfield). Once they have caught a ball, the outfielders would then need to return the ball to the infield before a runner advance to another base.
There are three outfielders that are playing on the field, and these outfielders are designated to the left field, center field, and right field. Each of these outfielders is wearing an outfielder glove that is large and wide enough for them to catch fly balls with ease.
What are the Benefits of Wearing Outfielder Gloves?
Wearing outfielder gloves is beneficial for outfielders or baseball players that want to have a longer and wider reach while on the field. However, it is important to note that outfielder gloves still work similarly to other types of baseball gloves, so some of the benefits that players get from wearing outfielder gloves can also be given by other gloves. Here are the facts that you need to know about the benefits of wearing outfielder gloves.
Obviously, the biggest benefit you can get from wearing outfielder gloves is that they can increase your reach. So, if there are fly balls that fly quite high on the baseball field, the outfielder will have a better chance of catching those fly balls before they fly out of the playing field and into the stands. While other types of baseball gloves do provide longer reach for players compared to using just their hands, outfielder gloves have the advantage when it comes to length and width.
Deep Pockets for Better Grip on the Ball
Besides having longer fingers, outfielder gloves also have deep pockets between the thumb and the pointer finger so that outfielders will have a better grip on the ball. The pocket or web in an outfielder glove is an H-Web, which is a type of glove web that have two vertical posts and two horizontal posts that create the letter H or a hash mark (#) shape between the thumb and the pointer finger.
The H-Web provides sturdiness so that the ball will stay in place once the outfielder catches it. In addition, the web can also offer flexibility so that the outfielder can easily close his or her hand to secure the ball.
Extra Padding for Support and Protection
Outfielder gloves have extra padding that you wouldn’t find on other types of baseball gloves. This extra padding could be found on the palm areas of the gloves, as well as on the fingers. It is known by all baseball players that fly balls can hit pretty hard, so outfielders would need all the support and protection that they need to catch heavy baseballs that are traveling at high speeds without getting wounded or injured.
Although the extra padding can make the outfielder gloves heavier compared to other baseball gloves, outfielders would rather get protection than hand speed. Fortunately, when you are catching fly balls, you really don’t need lightweight gloves that make your hand move faster, as you will already know where and when fly balls will land. So, you don’t need to have quick reaction time and faster hand speed in catching fly balls as an outfielder.
Made from Strong Materials for Durability
All high-quality baseball gloves are made from strong materials for durability, but outfielder gloves are usually more durable since the materials used on them are thicker. There are different materials that are used for outfielder gloves, but a few of the most popular include full-grain leather and steerhide, the types of leather that are resistant to wear and tear (if they are thick) and can last for years, depending on how much they are used.
If you are looking for the best outfielder gloves, you should find ones that are made of full-grain and steerhide leather since they are so reliable that you won’t have to worry about them getting damaged while you are playing baseball.
And those are just some of the best details that we can provide about outfielder gloves and the benefits that they provide to outfielders. If you are playing baseball casually or if your league allows their players to buy and use their own gear, then you should get the best 12-inch outfielder glove that is made from high-quality leather and has sturdy webbing or pocket. Read or watch online reviews so that you will have an easier time finding the best outfielder gloves on the market. You may also check out our tips on How to Fly with Baseball Equipment if you are going to fly with outfielder gloves and other pieces of baseball gear.