In baseball, a player's glove nearly becomes an extension of their body. Baseball players first experimented with gloves in the 1860s, and they became the norm by the 1890s. This piece of equipment is just as much a part of the sport as the bat or the ball.
Players usually become attached to their particular style of glove, and finding the right one makes all the difference. However, a brand-new baseball glove can be a bit rigid and inflexible straight out of the factory, so it is important to have it properly broken in by game time.
The common ritual of breaking in a baseball glove goes back just about as early as the use of the glove. Here is a little bit more about the process.
How to Quickly Soften a Baseball Glove
The process of breaking in your baseball glove can be time-consuming, but every once in a while, you may run into a situation where you need to break in a new glove quickly.
The goal is to be able to easily close your hand around the ball while wearing the glove so that you can fully secure it.
The first step in softening up your new baseball glove is to use hot water. You want the water to be around 150 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Pouring hot water over the glove immediately softens the material and will allow you to bend and flex it easily.
After softening up the glove with hot water, you can continue the breaking-in process by bending, stretching, and flexing the material with your hands, particularly at points on the glove where you want it to bend when closing your hand. You are just looking to achieve the right shape and amount of flex that works for you.
You will also want to use a hard and heavy object to pound on the glove, focusing on areas where you need the most flexibility but covering most of the material. Doing this softens the material and reduces its rigidity. A baseball bat or ball would work well for this, but any heavy rounded object where you can pound your glove can do the trick.
Pay close attention to the inside and outside of the glove, paying particular attention to the inside pocket. You should do this step with the glove both on and off your hand to help make sure it is just right.
Repeat these steps as needed; you want to work on the glove until it feels right. Breaking in a glove is not an exact science and will be a little bit different for every style of glove.
You can also further shape the glove by wrapping rubber bands around it while a ball is placed inside the pocket. This helps create the perfect shape for the ball to fit into and helps it stay more secure within the glove.
Can you Put a Baseball Glove in the Oven?
Another trick some people use is to bake their gloves. To do this, heat up the oven to 350 degrees, and leave it in for about 15 minutes. Always make sure the material of your glove is safe to heat up and keep a close eye on it in the oven. This technique can also help reduce your glove's rigidity if given the proper care.
How to Oil a Baseball Glove
Another important and helpful part of preparing your glove for use and keeping it in good shape is to use a glove oil or conditioning cream. Using these products can help the material to become more pliable and even make it last longer.
You never want to apply the oil or conditioner directly to the glove. Instead, apply a small amount of the product to a sponge or soft rag and methodically rub it into the material, making sure not to overdo it. Keeping your glove conditioned in this way will increase its lifespan and usability, so make sure that you give it all the love and care it needs.
How to Break in a Glove Overnight
If you're really in a rush to break in a brand new baseball glove, you will want to go through the steps previously mentioned, but there are a few old tricks to get that glove broken overnight.
People try all kinds of methods to break in a glove quickly. One old-school method includes wrapping it in newspaper and a trash bag and running it over a few times in the driveway with your car. Some people will also put a ball in their glove, put it underneath their mattress, and sleep on it. These odd but effective techniques can help achieve the desired shape and fle, but make sure not to ruin your glove or your night's rest before a big game! How
At the end of the day however, the best way to get your glove in perfect game shape is to simply use it. So whenever you can, grab a friend and go out and play some catch, and break that new glove in!