Breaking in a Baseball Glove

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When you first get a new leather glove, it can be very stiff and hard to use. Here are tips to softening and breaking it in for use on the baseball diamond or just to play catch.


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February 27, 2005

Did you know that you can use Vaseline instead of oil to soften the leather of a baseball glove? Works just fine!

By Robin

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March 14, 2007

The best way to break in a baseball glove is to use it, but here's a way to speed up the process. The goal of breaking it in is to create a nice pocket for the ball and soften the leather. Apply a dab of shaving cream to the center of the glove and then put a baseball in the pocket. Secure the glove closed by tying a shoelace around the glove and put it between your mattresses overnight.

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April 9, 2005

My son just started baseball he has played for a few years. This year he had to get a new glove. Can anyone give us an idea on how to break it in. He has a game and we need to get his glove broke in before the game.


Thank you


By Sharon Shearer (Guest Post)
April 9, 20050 found this helpful

You can buy glove softener at most sporting goods stores, but my boys used to use white vaseline and put a ball inside to form a better pocket and tie something around it if you don't have a rubber band that big use something like an old tie. After they left it like that for awhile they'd regrease it and take the ball out and tie it together flat. Takes alittle working with for a few days till you get it like you want it. Let me share a little story with you about those Baseball years. As a young mother one day I was whining to a friend about having to wash all those dirty pants. She looked at me and said "Trust me-- there will come a day when you'd give anything to have a dirty pair of baseball pants to wash." Years fly by so quickly--they're grown men now, and my advice to you is Keep 'em playing ball , it makes good kids.They learn discipline and keeps many a boy out of trouble in those formative years. Good Luck--a former BASEBALL MOM

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By JR (Guest Post)
April 9, 20050 found this helpful

Breaking in a new baseball glove is a bit of an art form. (It's also changed a bit over the years, with the advent of newer "pre-broken in" gloves.) Generally, the higher quality the glove (the better the leather) the longer it takes to break it in. Catcher's mitts are the hardest. In the pros, they send new catcher's mitts to be used in the bullpen for a full season before they're game ready. They do sell stuff for breaking in gloves faster. I forget what it's called, but there's a spray on foam which you rub in and then you put the glove in the oven at a low temperature for something like four minutes. You probably do this two or three times. You want to be careful with this and adhere to the times and temps exactly. And you don't want to do it too much because basically what you're doing is breaking the leather down. They also sell oils, like gloveolium, which are good, but which you want to use sparingly or else the glove gets saturated and very heavy.


(Those oils are actually best for re-conditioning older gloves.) But even after you do all that stuff, you still need to break it in. I like to put two baseballs in the pocket and wrap it very tightly with rope or a belt and leave it overnight. Then you want to open it up and pound the ball in there, over and over and over for as long as you can take it, then wrap it back up and leave it over night again. (You can treat it with oil or whatever in between.) It can be a fairly long process. If it's not a professional quality glove, it can be ready to use in a game in a few days or a week, though it will still be a bit stiff. The more you use it and pound it with the ball the quicker it will break in. Your son might not feel it is perfectly broken in until near the end of the season. But then he will have a glove that will serve him well for many seasons to come. Hopefully your son's at an age that he isn't going to grow out of the glove relatively soon. Post again if you have any more questions.

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By CHML (Guest Post)
April 11, 20050 found this helpful

Many years ago I was faced with the same problem. My daughter won a new Wilson glove. She was very young and had small hands. I took the glove outside with a piece of wood and a hammer and folded the webbing all different ways and started hitting it with the hammer.


It took quite a while. I also used leather conditioner on it. When not in use, I wrapped rubber bands around it with the ball in the pocket. 30 years later it is still in useable condition.

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By LOH (Guest Post)
February 10, 20060 found this helpful

use rawlings glove oil, not too much, then put a ball in it where u like the feel, then tie rubberband around it for a day. just throw the ball in it how you like it, and play catch

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By Julian Dunn (Guest Post)
March 21, 20070 found this helpful

Ok, this sounds weird but i swear it works.

You begin by soaking your glove in a bucket of water, not long, maybe 2 to 3 minutes, then let dry by hanging it in a cool dry place, so as not to form mold, for a week or until it is completely dry. Then, you can rub petroleum jelly as a leather conditioner on the entire glove. The leather should soften.



Also if your glove seems to be over oiled

This may seem weird, try rolling your glove in kitty litter. Kitty Litter is grounded dried clay, and is routinely used at car service stations to sop up oil spills. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT THIS WILL WORK.

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By momo (Guest Post)
February 9, 20080 found this helpful

Never put your glove in the oven!

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February 10, 20080 found this helpful

Rub well with Dubbin and put in the sun to soak in.

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By lucas pulis (Guest Post)
March 24, 20080 found this helpful

Put some olive oil in it or any kind of oil in it then put it in the microwave for about a minute then play a good game of catch.


Editor's Note: I don't know about putting a glove in the microwave. I'd be afraid it would damage it. I have never tried it but I'd use caution.

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By Shnoobz (Guest Post)
April 12, 20080 found this helpful

I prefer the old fashioned way. The best way is to just keep whipping git into your glove to form your perfect pocket. I do use glove conditioner the first day and not again until the color of the pocket wears off a bit. But in the beginning apply glove oil (any kind) and whip the ball into your glove repeatedly. Whenever you get tired, simply place the ball in an area you'd like to form and put it under your mattress(fingers part down). Make sure you treat it like its your girlfriend, show it love, care and treat it to the finer things in life hahahaha. It'll give you everything in return.

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By (Guest Post)
April 24, 20080 found this helpful

Rub pocket of glove with lanolin oir shaving cream.This will soften the leather. Wrap it with a ball in the pocket and play a lot of catch.....DON'T PUT A LEATHER GLOVE IN WATER OR OVEN.....

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By Derek Jeter (Guest Post)
June 9, 20080 found this helpful

Play catch, use it and be competeitive and more importantly have fun.

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By Jon (Guest Post)
July 3, 20080 found this helpful

I watched something on t.v. and Orlando Cabrerra said he puts his glove in a microwave to get it nice and soft. I tried it. All I did was put it in the microwave for about 45 seconds, then took a stick taped to a baseball and pounded it for a while to get the form of your hand and also makes it softer. Wait about 5 minutes and put it back in the microwave and pound it again. Repeat this it should get it soft. Ive only been doing this for about 10 minutes and its already getting soft. So keep doing this it should be soft and formed to your hand without using any oils or anything like that.

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