Next to a quality baseball bat, a decent baseball glove is an essential piece of gear for any baseball player. Notwithstanding that good quality gloves will last, there will come a time when even the best gloves start to show their age – so when do you need a new baseball glove?
You will need a new baseball glove if there are any tears or rips and if it starts to lose shape when on your hand. If the glove starts feeling very heavy, the leather has cracked, or you struggle to field ground balls, catch high balls and hold or throw them, it’s time to get a new glove.
Let’s learn a little more about what signs to look out for when your baseball glove is nearing the end of its career and when you would need a new one even if the old one isn’t showing signs of wear and tear.
You Will Need A New Baseball Glove If You Change Positions
Should you decide to switch positions on the field, whether the coach chooses to do this or you do, you will need to get a new glove. For the most part, unless you move to a First Baseman position or catcher, you could probably keep your existing glove, but many players that switch places opt to get a new glove.
If Your Glove Is Ripped Or Torn, You Will Need New Glove
Over time, the effects of catching, throwing, and fielding will cause the glove to deteriorate, and this is the time to get a new glove.
While many players have their favorite glove, and the thought of parting with it could cause some angst, the reality is that when the glove can no longer perform as required, you need a new one.
If you see any signs of wear, such as ripped or torn seams, holes, tears, or signs that the leather has cracked, these all compromise the performance integrity of the glove, and sadly ( or not), you will need to get a new one.
If You Start To Drop Catches Suddenly, You May Need A New Baseball Glove
Dropping easy catches could be a sign that the glove is wearing, and you need to examine it to see whether it has lost its shape and structure.
If it feels like a pancake in your hand, this is going to affect your ability to catch balls, and instead of looking at your technique for fault, you should perhaps consider that the main reason that balls are slipping out of your glove is that it’s is worn and needs replacing.
You May Need A New Baseball Glove If Releasing The Ball Becomes Difficult
Similar to the catching issue, you may want to examine your baseball glove for wear and tear when you struggle to release the ball cleanly during play or practice. As the glove loses its rigidity and wear-in, the ability to crisply remove the ball is hampered.
When you experience the ball slipping out of the glove on the throw, this is usually a sign that the glove needs to be replaced. Remember that having doubts about the glove when fielding is not something you want to have in your mind when playing, so rather be safe than sorry.
If you aren’t sure whether you need a new glove, check with your coach or at the sports store and get expert advice on whether to invest in a new glove.
If There Is More Impact When Catching, You May Need A New Baseball Glove
While the outer layer of the glove may still be good, the padding may be taking a beating, and if you notice that you are feeling more impact when catching high-speed balls, your glove’s padding may be coming to the end of its functional lifespan too.
Having played with your glove for some time, you will know what it feels like when catching fast-moving balls, so if there is a noticeable increase in impact and your hands and fingers start to experience stiffness and bruising from impact, it may be time to get a new baseball glove.
As baseball gloves dry out, your fingers may start to feel uncomfortable inside the glove, and this may also be because you need to re-tie the laces and not because the glove is worn, so check this aspect before spending money on a new one.
You Would Need A New Baseball Glove When It Feels Heavy
As you use your glove more, it may become heavier, and when it feels like you’re holding a 10lb weight in your hand, this is a sure symptom that you need a new baseball glove. The extra weight is caused by the glove becoming wet or even using too much oil.
This cannot be fixed, as it will only get worse as time goes on. When this happens, there is no option but to replace it.
How Can You Make Your Baseball Glove Last Longer
Professional ball players take good care of their gloves, and so should you. Good gloves can be costly, and while they are well worth the investment, taking care of your investment will extend the life of your beloved glove.
One of the ways you can look after your glove is to check and tighten the laces regularly. Where it feels like the fingers are getting soft or you’re dropping balls you would nornally catch, check and tighten the laces first. People can often mistake loose laces for a failing glove and buy a new one when it isn’t needed.
Another aspect of glove care is periodically oiling the glove, and, depending on the humidity levels you have where you live, you may have to do this once a week or once a month.
You can use saddle soap, which doesn’t leave a residue, and Lexol or even mink oil.
Where there are obvious signs of wear or damage on a baseball glove, you will need to replace it, as not replacing it will adversely affect your playing ability. Rips, tears, cracking leather, and the ‘pancake effect’ all point to a new glove on the horizon.
There are some instances where the glove is still good and only needs some minor lace adjustments and proper care to keep it going for a few more seasons, but let’s face it, the prospect of buying a new glove is just as exciting as having your existing one stick around for a few more games!