If you ask people what pieces of equipment pop into their mind when it comes to baseball, a lot of them would think about the baseball ball, the actual ball used in the sport, and the baseball gloves. Baseball gloves are essential baseball gear that players and teams should have because, without them, players wouldn’t be able to catch the ball well on the baseball field.
There are many types of baseball gloves used in professional and amateur baseball games, and these types offer different features or functions for players. To learn more, here are details you should know about the different types of baseball gloves.
The infielder’s glove is worn by players that are positioned in the infield or inside the brown section of the baseball field where the pitcher, the batter, the catcher, and several infielders are located. The infielder’s glove is much smaller and lighter compared to other types of baseball gloves that are worn by the outfielders and the catcher, and the reason why the glove is lightweight is that it helps the infielders move quicker to catch baseballs or to run to various bases.
In addition, the smallness and lightness of the infielder’s glove also enable the player to transfer the ball to his or her throwing hand (the hand not wearing a glove) quickly without being hindered by the size and the weight of the glove. But, keep in mind that there are also different types of infielder gloves worn by players on the field. Here are the main types of infielder’s gloves.
First Baseman’s Glove
The first baseman’s glove is larger in size compared to the gloves worn by other infielders, and it also doesn’t have finger holes or gaps, so the glove looks like one piece of leather from afar. The first baseman’s glove has a curved shape that can help the player scoop or pick up balls faster and with better efficiency.
Second Baseman’s Glove
The smallest gloves on the field are worn by the second baseman. The second baseman’s glove has shallow pockets compared to the first baseman’s glove and is designed that way to allow players to transfer the ball immediately to the throwing hand and into another player.
The shortstop glove is worn by shortstops, which are right next to the second baseman in terms of position. Much like the second baseman, the shortstop would have to catch the ball and throw it to another player quickly, which is why the glove that he or she wears is also small and has a shallow pocket. However, shortstop gloves usually have longer fingers that help players catch the ball at a longer range.
Third Baseman’s Glove
The position where the third baseman is located is usually the area where the fastest baseballs are hit, so the gloves should be sturdy and rigid in order for the third baseman to catch a quick ball safely and effectively. The third baseman’s glove has a deep pocket in order to catch the ball better without letting the ball fall out of the glove. Moreover, the glove also has longer fingers to knock the ball down even if it doesn’t go into the pocket of the glove.
The gloves worn by outfields are significantly longer than the ones worn by infielders, and the longer length of the outfielder’s gloves enables players to catch balls at a longer range and wider coverage. Even if they don’t catch the baseball right at the center of the glove’s pocket, the outfielders can still change the trajectory of the baseball by simply touching it with the long fingers of the glove.
If the baseball is about to fly over the wall outside of the field and into the stands, the outfielders can use their long gloves to touch the ball so that they can make the ball fall down on the field instead of over the wall. In addition to having longer fingers, the outfielder’s glove also has very deep pockets that make sure that the ball stays in the pocket or at the center of the glove once it is actually caught by an outfielder.
The outfielder’s glove has trapeze webbing that is effective in creating a deeper pocket for the glove. If you are an outfielder in a baseball game, you should have an outfielder’s glove, as any other type of baseball glove may not be effective in catching baseballs from the outfield.
The pitcher in the baseball field can use any type of infielder’s glove, but in order to have a higher chance of winning against a batter, the pitcher should wear the pitcher’s glove, which is a type of baseball glove that has shorter fingers and closed webbing. For the pitcher, it doesn’t really matter what size of gloves he or she wears, but the pitcher’s glove typically has shorter fingers to have better control of the ball.
The closed webbing on the pitcher’s glove allows the pitcher to hide his or her grip on the ball, which can often tell what type of throw he or she is going to perform. This closed webbing is arguably the most important feature of the pitcher’s glove, as concealing the ball is one of the best ways to win the game.
The catcher’s glove is arguably the heaviest and largest glove worn on the field, and its size and weight are needed in order for the catcher to catch baseballs that are flying at high speeds. Baseballs that are thrown by the pitcher can be quite painful if caught using the types of gloves we mentioned above, hence the reason why the catcher’s glove is heavily padded to absorb the impact of catching a high-speed ball.
Much like the pitcher’s glove, the catcher’s glove has closed webbing, but instead of being used to hide the ball, the closed webbing of the catcher’s glove is utilized to prevent the ball from flying through the glove and into the chest or the head of the catcher.
And there you go, the different types of gloves that are used by players on the baseball field. Each of these types of gloves serves different purposes on the field, so make sure that you are wearing the appropriate type of glove if you are an infielder, outfielder, pitcher, or catcher in a game.