There are many different types of gloves in baseball. Each serves its own purpose and its form is designed for maximum efficiency for that position. The outfielders glove is, quite obviously, used at the left, center, and right field positions.
The outfielders gloves, when compared to others, are much longer and has a deeper pocket. They measure at roughly 12 inches in length, as according to the design rules of baseball. The reason it is designed this way is to give the outfielder as much reach as possible when catching fly balls. This is especially useful when making diving plays, as every bit of length on the glove helps.
When choosing an outfielders glove, it is important to know what you want and how it will help you on the field. Some of the things to consider are web design, the fit on your hand and the depth of the pocket. Much of this is opinion based, but the design of the glove can have a massive affect on the game. Outfielders tend to gravitate towards gloves that have an open web design, as it allows them to see through the glove when attempting to catch fly balls. The webbing also allows for blocking the sun, which is definitely important when playing the outfield. The open web design also allows for the glove to be closed with ease. It also makes the retrieval process easier when throwing the ball to your cutoff.
There are two main styles of webbing for outfielder’s gloves. They are the trap style and the dual post or “H-web”. The trap style is designed more for flexibility. It is also sometimes called the trapeze style. The dual post is stronger and allows the player to see through it.
Here is an example of a trap style glove:
Here is an example of a H-web glove:
It is not recommended to use an outfielder’s glove for anything other than an outfield position. For the infield, the glove is too long and the pocket too deep to make the quick transitions needed. First base and catcher have their own specialized gloves. On the mound, having an outfielder’s glove is disadvantageous because of the see-through pockets. One of the goals of a pitcher is to hide what pitch he is going to throw. A see-through pocket allows the other team to see and make an accurate guess as to what pitch is coming.
Below are some of the most popular outfielder’s gloves from 2018:
Akadema is a company that has been around for nearly two decades. Their equipment is used at every level of baseball and is well loved by many players. Akadema also has a few Hall of Fame baseball players on their board, one of them being Ozzie Smith. It is 12.5 inches in length. What is unique about this glove is that its pocket has closed webbing, meaning it cannot be seen through. It also has a strap right at where the hand goes in so that the tightness can be adjusted. This is helpful for making sure the glove does not fall of the hand when making a difficult play in the field. It also has extra deep pockets, to reduce the chance of the ball falling out when catching a pop fly or line drive.
Rawlings is a very old sports company. It has a well-established pedigree for high quality equipment. Its gloves are especially well-beloved by players all around the world. This glove is a very high-quality H-web made from bruciato leather. It is 12.75 inches long. The especially large design makes this glove ideal for higher levels of baseball. The laces, often the first part of a glove to break, are made from Tennessee tanned rawhide. This leather in the laces helps both the structure of the glove and the longevity of its use. The inside of the glove is also lined with very soft material. This helps reduce the friction of the hand being in the glove for long period of time.
Easton is another very well-respected sports equipment company, especially in baseball. This glove is made from synthetic leather and authentic leather. The synthetic leather is placed in those areas that do not receive as much abuse during the game. The authentic leather is used in the webbing and pocket because it is more durable than synthetic leather. The combination equates to a lighter glove. This is particularly helpful when catching line drives, as the lighter glove reduces the overall time needed to get your hand into position, which can be important in diving plays or when a ground ball takes an unexpected bounce in another direction. It is a 12.75-inch pattern with an H-web design. The only drawback to this glove is that it is an older model, which can make it harder to find.
This glove is incredibly unique. It is unique because it is made from real kangaroo leather. Why this is important and helpful for the glove is because kangaroo leather, beyond just being exotic, is one of the toughest leathers in the world. Also, along with being tough, it is incredibly light. This combination makes it an extremely viable source of leather for making gloves. This glove has a 12.75-inch pattern, as it standard for outfield gloves. The inside is lined with Nokona’s unique Nolera Composite Padding System to provide comfort for the hand while it is in the glove. This glove can also be obtained in either a trapeze or H-web design.
There are many outfielder gloves available, check here for more options and recommendations.