Breaking in a baseball glove

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My 14 year old received an A2000 infielders glove for Christmas and I was looking for advice on the best way to break in the glove.  It has been a long time since I have broken in a high quality glove and I do not want to screw it up.  I want to make sure it lasts for all of high school.
 
Thanks.
 

TheYaz67

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I have always been a proponent of a very small amount of oil (glove oil and/or shaving cream) - too much and the glove will gain weight/pick up grit.  I would just spend time working (flexing the glove back and forth) the stiff parts (the heel joint, thumb hinge area and inner pocket) while sitting watching a game, along with a bit of light oil on the tough areas, then just get out and throw with it.  You can also of course wrap it with a ball (sometimes a softball works best if it is a larger glove, FYI) in the pocket with rope or straps for a while if the pocket isn't great/it is not laying down right. 
 
If you have a sunny porch, put it out for a couple hours to absorb some sunlight then bring it in and work it while it is warm.  Your son can also speed the process by wearing it inside (while watching TV or whatever) and popping a ball in the pocket - he has to "break in" the inside finger part of the glove as much as you can break in the outside.  Of course at the end of the day, nothing beats throwing & catching ultimately for breaking in a glove the rest of the way, but at least where I am, alot of days recently have made it tough temperature wise to consider going out for a catch....
 
Now catchers mitts are a different story altogether - I dunk those in a bucket of water to start with, but that is a much more tortured process not really relevant to your needs.... 
 

PaulinMyrBch

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Throwing with a weighted ball helps the break in process also.  Just a 6 or 7 oz, nothing heavier.  
 
Also if you want it to last 4 years, never allow him to shut it.  Always store it so the pocket is open.  Don't ever let it sit in a bag and fold like a taco.
 
Get a softball or something slightly bigger and always put that in the pocket when he's not playing with it.  Teach him to put his glove down so the fingers touch the ground, not the sides.  My son found a small nerf basketball that was slightly larger than softball and he uses that inside his IF glove.  He sets it down fingers down when its out of the bag.
 
Set it on the ground like the black glove in this photo (on the line with the plastic bottle)
 
 

LoweTek

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Last four years?. My A2000 XLO is over 20 years old and still vacuums baseballs. By miles the best glove I have ever owned and well worth the premium.
 

PaulinMyrBch

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No doubt.  I'm trying to emphasize the importance of proper break in and care.  My son has had two premium IF gloves.  An A2K and a Rawlings PP, and the A2K is literally worthless because we didn't do anything correctly in the first year.  Once he was more experienced and knew how to break in and care for a glove, the second go round with the PP was done right. It will last longer than he does.  I wasn't implying that glove won't last 4 years, just that it will be worthless pretty quick if you don't do things right while its stiff.
 

Bergs

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PaulinMyrBch said:
No doubt.  I'm trying to emphasize the importance of proper break in and care.  My son has had two premium IF gloves.  An A2K and a Rawlings PP, and the A2K is literally worthless because we didn't do anything correctly in the first year.  Once he was more experienced and knew how to break in and care for a glove, the second go round with the PP was done right. It will last longer than he does.  I wasn't implying that glove won't last 4 years, just that it will be worthless pretty quick if you don't do things right while its stiff.
 
That's what she said....
 
 
On a serious note, I always thought the glove's "pinky" was the key to a proper break in....left to its own devices, it will flare out and be worse than useless. If it's "taught" to fold in with the rest of the hand, your glove will rock.
 
edit: I always used to do that by wrapping the glove around a ball with the pinky tucked in (also what she said), but others in this thread have said that's a bad idea, and they certainly might know more than I do.
 

BillLeesJumpShot

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I just used Nokona gloves and bypassed most of the break in issues. Before that would strap a ball in the pocket and also have a catch with the teammate with the strongest arm.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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My Nokona is a tank! Using 100% pure lanolin periodically and playing catch as frequently as possible (for a 42 year old man). Each throwing session yields HUGE gains.
Breaking in beautifully, but slowly.
 
Paul, what's the theory behind resting on fingertips rather than sides (pinky/thumb)?
 

PaulinMyrBch

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Just middle infielder gloves.  But shortstops are picky about not letting it close once they become good players.  Theory being most plays they make don't require them to close the glove to a full squeeze, so if its stored open it stays as in a more open position and is easier to keep open when making quick exchanges and turning double plays. If it's laid down it sits like a taco and the crease usually won't line up with the way the glove breaks in your hand. Not allowing it to fold, and really not storing it that way, maintains a more open pocket.  But if you fold it, pinky/thumb obviously. 
 
Orlando Cabrera lives down here and is friends with a guy who trains some kids we play with.  He shows up and helps the infielders some and he was adamant about them not allowing the glove to close.  Showed them all how to maintain the pocket so the glove is open in your hand and only shut it when you are fielding a ball.
 

Fred not Lynn

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And if you leave it in the car in a baseball bag overnight, remember to lock the car...

Better yet, don't let him leave his bag in the car overnight. Or both yours and his passports from two countries...
 

jmm57

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Bringing back an old thread, but I didn’t see anything else...

My son (4) is starting t-ball in a few weeks. Is it worth buying an actual baseball glove that he can grow with, or just pick up one of the $15 Rawlings 9” gloves until he gets closer to little league age?
 

kneemoe

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Bringing back an old thread, but I didn’t see anything else...

My son (4) is starting t-ball in a few weeks. Is it worth buying an actual baseball glove that he can grow with, or just pick up one of the $15 Rawlings 9” gloves until he gets closer to little league age?
I went with whatever I could find that would fit that they could actually open and close. Then again I've had next to no luck getting my guys into baseball, so take it FWIW
 
Jun 2, 2016
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Bringing back an old thread, but I didn’t see anything else...

My son (4) is starting t-ball in a few weeks. Is it worth buying an actual baseball glove that he can grow with, or just pick up one of the $15 Rawlings 9” gloves until he gets closer to little league age?
No need to invest in anything special for tee ball. If you buy a glove that is too big, it will be harder for him to close and he will get discouraged. It is important that they gain the confidence to catch at that age. My son is now 8 and is a decent player. This is the first year that I actually invested in a decent glove. His first $15-$20 glove has served him well for tee ball and his first year of rookie ball.
 

OCD SS

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This thread is pretty old, but I figured I'd weigh in on kids gloves. My 10 YO has been playing catch with me for years, but only just started little league this season, and I've noticed that his glove is a lot more useful than other kids on his team. This could be a function of his using it a lot (many of the kids on his team's gloves look pretty new and they have trouble closing them) but I'm a big proponent of Mizuno's youth gloves because of our experience.

They have a little notch on the edge of the palm (touted as "power close" technology), but it really did seem to help him squeeze it closed when it was new. He oiled it once or twice and it broke in pretty quickly. It was a bit more expensive (about $40-50 IIRC) than a basic kids glove, but definitely worth it based on how quickly it got into useful shape and how long its lasted.