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Baseball

Best Baseball Gloves

With the extremely large selection of baseball gloves available today, it can be time-consuming and a bit confusing when trying to purchase the right glove for you or your kid. Here’s a quick guide to help you find the right baseball glove:

* Position: There has been specialized gloves for catchers and first basemen, but today that specialization goes much further. In addition to catchers and first basemen, you can buy gloves for middle infielders, pitchers, third basemen, and outfielders. For the casual youth player, one basic infield glove will do the trick, but as you move up in play, you will probably need a glove specific to your position. Some players may need two or more gloves, depending on how many potential positions they may play.

* Size: Smaller gloves are preferred by infielders and larger gloves are preferred by outfielders. The size of the glove also depends on the players size. Getting the most comfortable size is the most important consideration.

* Open back versus closed back: This is merely a matter of personal taste and feel, though open back gloves may be a bit cooler in hot weather.

* Web design: This is also a matter of personal preference as there are many different designs to choose from.

* Quality: This depends on the level of play, the seriousness of the player, and the size of your wallet! Cheap gloves can be uncomfortable and difficult to break in. You should expect to pay over $50 for a quality glove. Serious players and high school athletes will be spending close to $200 or more to get good quality for their level of play. Get the best glove you can afford if you are a serious player - gloves do make a difference in the field.

Rawlings Primo PRMCM Catcher's Mitt 32.5"

This finely crafted Primo glove is the hands down the best choice for players on the cusp of greatness, and those already there. Using European full-grain leather, the tight grain structure allows for a stunning appearance. Two layers of fantastic leather work create a pocket built for top performance, providing durability and comfort. Strategically placed break points allow the glove to close exactly when you need it, something worth its weight in gold for a catcher.

100 percent wool padding adds an extra layer of cushion, thus providing comfort without sacrificing function. The glove also undergoes an intensive hot-stuffed injection treatment that repels water and ensures durability. This glove was made to last without making sacrifices.

All Star Pro Elite Catcher's Mitt CM3000BT

This might be one of the finest catcher's mitts out there and one of the most popular mitts used in the Major Leagues. Designed for the serious ballplayer, this top of the line glove features Japanese tanned steer hide so this glove is durable and made to last along with a quick break-in time. The soft, cavernous pocket protects the catcher's hand but also gives a great pop which is something most pitcher's love to hear. The backing is just the right amount of support to handle a 90 mph fastball, and the pocket is designed for both strength and support. Individually handmade, each glove is unique and fantastic with quality being of the utmost importance.

Wilson Prostock A2000 1791ST 32.5" Catcher's Mitt

Easily the most popular of all the catcher's mitts Wilson makes, the A2K 1791 features an extended palm to ensure the ball sticks, meaning fewer pass balls along with a significantly wider web and a stiff thumb, ensuring durability and strength. The Wilson Dri-lex lining takes moisture away from the wrist, keeping the player cool, even during the hottest outings. Once you're through the quick break-in time, you're good to go with this long lasting glove that will survive season after season.

Franchise Series 33.5" Baseball Catcher's Mitt - GXC93

Franchise Series 33.5" Baseball Catcher's Mitt - GXC93

With the ParaShock and PalmSoft technologies within this glove, it's clear every precaution has been taken to protect a layer's hand, no matter how fast the ball is coming in. The ParaShock palm pad absorbs the shock of repeated use providing outstanding protection with ideal comfort. The PalmSoft incorporates increased comfort and feel. Made out of pre-oiled, Java leather, this glove barely needs any breaking in and should last as many seasons as you need it to.

At a much more affordable price, you get a lot of glove for not quite as much money with the GXC93 Catcher's Mitt. Using what they call "Pocket2 Technology", Mizuno has increased the pocket, or catching area, by 32 percent over previous models. This makes sitting behind the plate and catching balls easier with even more control.

Shoeless Joe Gloves Brown Catcher's Mitt, 34"

The Shoeless Joe catcher's mitt is individually hand-cut and sewn from specially aged antique tobacco leather hides and then hand-rubbed to soften the leather. After a rigorous breaking-in process, this glove is game-ready. With a 34 inch circumference, you'll be hard pressed to find a catcher with a pas ball on the score sheet. This glove features a wrist protector which ensures comfort and safety for a player. This is an old school glove and will make a player feel unique and original. A great pick at a decent price.

Rawlings Primo PRM1200 Baseball Glove

The Rawlings Primo Series glove is a top of the line glove. From minor leagues to the pros, this is the glove you want if you're trying to be a successful outfielder. European full-grain leather allows for a flawless appearance and this material produces the highest quality of glove. The exquisite Italian leather materials and stitching provides both durability and comfort. A layer of Italian calf lining creates a very smooth feel unlike any other, 100 percent wool padding adds another layer of cushioning, it’s an example of comfort without loss of functionality. The leather undergoes an intense hot-stuffed injection treatment which allows it to repel water and ensure durability, something worth its weight in gold for a glove.

Rawlings Pro Preferred Baseball Glove

The Rawlings Pro Preferred line is an elite line of gloves and while specified as an infielder’s glove, this model is suitable for outfield playing positions, as well. The sheepskin pals lining wicks away sweat from the hand, allowing the player to be more comfortable without loss of functionality. Made from supple and durable kip leather that’s aesthetically pleasing, the Pro preferred series is the glove for the serious baseball player. This glove will break in fast and easy, something important to any ballplayer and with 100 percent wool padding it’s ensured to be long-lasting. Used by a number of Major Leaguers, it's safe to say if you want a professional's glove, this is it.

Mizuno Classic Pro Soft GCP79S Outfielder Glove

The Mizuno's Classic Pro offers the best in craftsmanship, fit, and performance making it a glove good enough for the Pros. The throwback style leather is rugged and naturally pre-oiled allowing it to keep its shape over time as well as many rigorous baseball seasons. Every Classic Pro features an ultra soft palm and roll welting which helps increase structure and support throughout the fingers for long-lasting durability, year after year. Each Mizuno Pro ball glove is handcrafted to the highest quality control standards by certified Mizuno Glove Technicians in Mizuno's factory in China supervised by master craftsmen. You'd be hard pressed to find a better glove at this price.

Nokona X2-1275 Elite Baseball Glove

This glove is Nokona’s highest-performance, ready-for-play glove. This is the glove for the player that wants to play at the highest level of performance. Each glove is made from some combination of Nokona’s own Stampede Steerhide, Kangaroo Leather, and the Nolera Composite Padding System. Nolera Composite Padding provides a lighter glove, which aids in play. This American glove, made from durable materials with a Major League look to it is sure to last for seasons to come, and while pricey, is worth every penny. Not to mention, it looks pretty darn cool.

Louisville Slugger 12.75-Inch FG Omaha Flare Baseball Outfielders Glove

At a much more affordable price point, the Louisville Slugger Omaha Flare Series glove is the perfect glove for any experience level of player. The Flare design utilizes an outward bend of the top of the thumb and pinky fingers to create a larger catching surface. These gloves are made by using top grade, oil-treated steerhide leather for an outstanding feel and toughness in the glove.

The game-ready leather allows for a fast break-in time and the flare design helps to transfer the ball quickly from glove to hand. From a durability standpoint, its extra wide dye-through lacing will keep this glove together for season after season. Also, thanks to Louisville Slugger's patented Bruise-Gard padding, this glove takes the sting out of hard hit balls and throws. Comfort, performance, and durability, this glove has it all.

Rawlings Primo PRM1150T Fielders Glove

The Primo Series 11 1/2 inch baseball glove from Rawlings features the Modified Trap-Eze Web pattern, popular amongst players. This pattern allows for easier snagging of balls and is most useful to shortstops and pitchers. The glove also features hand-sewn welting, 100 percent wool padding and lacing tested to 100 pound tensile strength meaning it's going to keep your hand nice and protected. With two layers of the finest Italian leather, this glove will stand the test of time, which is extremely important in baseball.

Mizuno GMP600 Pro Limited Edition Baseball Fielders Mitt

This is arguably Mizuno's best glove, made from Japanese tanned Deguchi leather which is flexible, soft and extremely durable. Mizuno uses what they call 4D Advanced Technology which allows the glove to stay strong while permitting the fingers to move freely. This is important for keeping hands and wrists light and moving, allowing players to be prepared for whatever is hit their way.

Mizuno also prides itself on feedback from the pros using their glove, including Juan Pierre, Scott Rolen, Alfonso Soriano, Clint Barmes, Brandon Wood, Matt Cain and Ichiro Suzuki. If it's been given the okay by these guys, it should be okay for you. At around $500 dollars, this is a glove that will stand the test of time for many lifetimes.

WIlson A2000 Dustin Pedroia Baseball Glove 11.5"

Wilson gloves are synonymous with excellence. This particular glove is made from American Pro Stock Steerhide and beginners to professionals appreciate the quality material for both durability and comfort. This glove also offers Wilsons Dri-Lex Technology, a super-breathable lining around the wrist that absorbs moisture and keeps the player cool; essential for anyone who ever plans to play on a hot summer's day. This glove comes with a pre-curved finger design allowing  your pocket to stay durable and won't let it get wobbly. It's another pricey glove, but if you want the best, you have to pay a little extra.

Louisville Slugger Pro Flare Baseball Infielders Glove 11.75"

The Louisville Slugger pro series is a glove you can count on. By using top grade, oil-infused Horween leather, its durability will be tough to match. This leather type has an average break-in time, which is good for the player wanting the glove broken in specifically to their needs. The flare series is unique, in that it has a big flat surface, giving you more room to make plays and snag balls. The flat surface also allows for speedy glove to hand transfers of the ball. It’s cheaper than some of the other options, but without sacrificing quality materials.

Wilson A2000 Infield Baseball Glove 11.25"

With one of the smallest pockets on a glove, the A2K allows for the quickest glove to hand transition, which is the most helpful thing when playing the infield. The pocket is shallow so there's nowhere for the ball to get lost on your transfer; it's in and it's out. This glove is the highest quality glove Wilson makes with only the top five percent of Pro-stock hides used. Even then, these gloves are rigorously checked and tested to make sure each one is made with the best possible materials. This leads to a soft, durable, almost perfect glove with an extremely fast break-in time so you'll be using this glove in no time, for a long time.

Rawlings Primo 13-Inch First Baseman's Mitt

This Primo Series 13” 1st Baseman's mitt features the Single Post Double Bar pattern, giving it a stretchable web allowing it to form a secure pocket. As any first baseman knows, this is crucial, as it allows the ball to stick in the glove and not pop out. This glove also has a Double Ca-Thug style, allowing the player to mold the end of the glove to suit their needs for scooping, arguably the hardest thing to do at the position. Made with 100 percent Italian leather, you'd be hard pressed to find a better made, high quality first baseman's mitt that will last all the way through your career.

Wilson Prostock A2000 1613 12.25-Inch First Baseman's Baseball Glove (Left Hand Throw)

The Wilson company prides itself on getting input from Major League Baseball (MLB) players, and this glove has passed the test with them, designed by Andres Galarraga and used by four-time all star Paul Konerko. This sensationally sharp glove has the durability and success its fancy exterior suggests. This glove features pro stock leather and is revered for its rugged durability and unmatched feel; its perfect ball glove leather. Dri-Lex technology allows super-breathable wrist lining that wicks moisture from the skin, keeping the player cool and composed.

Louisville Slugger 13" Omaha Pro First Base Mitt

The Omaha Pro series uses unique vintage leather, giving each glove a special, distinct look. With trademarked Bruise-Gard technology, this glove has extra padding and ultra-thick lacing to provide a tough, durable glove that doesn't need a lot of strenuous breaking in. It's ready to play with almost immediately. Oil it up and play catch a couple of times and you're ready to go. With a slightly smaller pocket, it just allows for more ease in transferring the ball from glove to hand.

Rawlings Pro Preferred PROSFMMO 13" First Base Glove

An interesting wrinkle to the gloves of old, this glove is made from kipskin leather which makes the glove softer and arguably more durable. Kipskin is made from younger cattle, thus producing a softer leather. This leather is easier to break-in and allows players to form a pocket in the glove that they’ll feel most comfortable with. Since these gloves only come around 30 percent broken-in, the player gets to customize it as they see fit making it a real benefit to the committed individual.

Easton Professional Series 12.75" First Base Mitt  EPG36BW

Easton Professional Series 12.75" First Base Mitt EPG36BW

The Professional Series gloves from Easton are meant for serious, competitive ballplayers. Starting with high quality, US steer hide, the glove leather is then Japanese-tanned turning them into ultra durable and smooth Seto leather. The Pro Fit steerhide that makes up the interior of the glove is mainly built for comfort, but is strong enough to stand up to even the most demanding of baseball seasons. With a tensile strength of 100 pounds on the laces, the odds of this glove falling apart or breaking is very unlikely.

Joe Cristalli
Since winning a basketball state championship in 2004, I've stayed athletically-minded over the last several years. With an inkling toward basketball, baseball, softball and football, I pride myself on staying up to date on every trend in the sporting world. Whether it be playing, refereeing or coaching, I've seen every angle on sports, except for the one that pays me millions of dollars -- but I haven't conceded to that yet. I still think I may have a shot...
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