The infield is the backbone of any baseball team’s defense. Without a good infield, a pitcher cannot be successful. Without a good infield, the chances of winning drop dramatically. Thus, it is incredibly important for infielders to have equipment they are comfortable with so that they can perform at their highest level of play.
An infielder’s glove is very similar in size and design to a pitcher’s glove. The only difference is the variety in which they are designed. Unlike a pitcher’s glove, the webbing of the glove can be open as infielders do not have to worry about their pitches being stolen on the mound.
Infielders have to have incredibly quick hands when making plays. This is because the difference between a runner being safe or out is often milliseconds. To help facilitate their speed, infield gloves are very streamlined and lightweight to aid the player in having quick hands. The gloves are typically between 10 and 12 inches in length. They also have a very shallow pocket. This is to aid in quick transfers of the ball from the glove to the hand. The exception to this rule are shortstops, who often have a somewhat longer glove with a slightly deeper pocket to help with catching line drives that go over their head.
Here are some of the best infield gloves currently on the market:
The Wilson A2000 series are some of the best gloves ever made. Very few if any people have anything negative to say about them. The A2000 is incredibly comfortable and has top tier support installed within it. The glove is lined with a material called Dri-Lex which is designed to make the glove more breathable. It also helps keep your hand dry by wicking sweat off the hand. The glove is designed to fit snugly to the hand. This is to help the A2000 feel more like an extension of the hand rather than just another glove. It also helps reduce the amount of errors that occur from the glove itself.
Nokona is very good at manufacturing high quality gloves while keeping them individualized. The Pro Line Infielder’s Glove is no exception. The glove, once broken in, fits around the hand of each player who wears it. Essentially, this glove slowly personalizes itself to the player over the course of a few months by conforming to the player’s hand. This individualization gives the infielder the ability to make smoother transitions of the ball from glove to hand. It also allows for tosses to be made with the glove with less difficulty than with other models of gloves. The glove is also designed with a modified T-web pocket. This lowers the overall weight of the glove, an obvious plus for an infielder. This pocket design also allows for more glove flexibility. Both factors contribute to an infielder making top of the line players more easily.
Rawlings is possibly the most well-loved baseball glove brand out there. Their gloves are high quality, they keep their shape very well, and they are comfortable. The Wing Tip is no exception. The pocket is designed in a PRO I-Web pattern that makes the glove lighter overall, which is perfect for an infielder. The glove is also made from Kip Skin leather, meaning it conforms to your hand when breaking it in. It also gives the glove the ability to form a consistent pocket, allowing for easy fielding and transferring of the baseball. The inside is lined with sheepskin, for added comfort. The glove measures at 11.75 inches, making it the optimal size for an infielder.
Another Nokona glove, it functions much like the other Nokona glove on this list. It conforms well to the hand and is easy to break in. This glove measures at 11.5 inches, making it extremely light and easy to use. The I-Web design for the pocket adds to the lightness, with less material being used there. It is made from tough American Buffalo and Steer hide leathers.
Louisville Slugger produces excellent gloves. Chief among them is the HD9. The HD9 is crafted from a combination of steer leather treated with oil and synthetic performance mesh. The synthetic mesh makes the glove lighter. It also makes it easier to break in, thus decreasing the time needed to reach optimal performance. It measures at 11.5 inches, making it an ideal size for infielders looking to get quicker hands when making plays.
To find more great infielder glove options check out these products and reviews.