Choosing a Baseball Glove
A number of factors are involved in choosing a baseball glove to meet your needs, including size, your position and your budget.
Your Position: Baseball Gloves come in different shapes and sizes based on the position they will be used for. For example, pitchers gloves and infield gloves are generally smaller than an outfielder's glove, and first baseman's gloves and catchers mitts are unique unto themselves.
Your Budget: Baseball gloves range in price from under $20 for base models, to over $200 for high end gloves. Quality baseball gloves generally cost a bit more, but will last longer. If you expect to get heavy use out of your baseball glove, it may be less expensive in the long run to spend a few dollars more on a glove that will last. Additionally, younger players who may quickly outgrow their baseball glove may not want to invest in a high end model.
The Feel: Make sure to choose a baseball glove that feels right for you.If the glove is uncomfortable, it may affect your performance in the field.
Your Age / Size of the Glove: Baseball gloves come in many different sizes made to fit different ages, positions and game (baseball/softball gloves). Gloves are measured by their "pattern size", a measurement from the heel of the glove (by your wrist) to the top of the glove on the palm side (near your fingers). Youth gloves range from 9" (very small) to about 12". Adult gloves usually fall in the 12"-13" range.
General Sizing Guidelines:
Outfielders - 12"-13" gloves
Infielders & Pitchers 10 3/4" - 12" gloves
Adult Softball Gloves: 12" - 14"
Youth baseball gloves should be chosen carefully - a common mistake is to buy a big glove for a little kid. This often results in a younger child with a huge glove on their hand that they can't even close. Youth sizes range from 9"-12". 8 year olds can often use 11" gloves, while 11-12 year olds often may fit into 12" gloves.
Types of Webs & Backs
Open Web: Preferred by Outfielders and Third Basemen
Closed Web: Preferred by Middle Infielders and Pitchers
Open & Closed Back: Individual Preference, though middle infielders usually like open back.
Gloves By Position:
Catchers Gloves: They are heavily padded and are not used at any other position.
First Base Gloves (Trappers): First basemen's gloves resemble a catchers mitt in that they are heavily padded. They are also longer in order to help the first basemen more easily field balls.
Infield Gloves: Infield gloves are smaller gloves (generally 10 1/2 " - 12") so that the fielder can easily pull the ball out of the glove and throw it. Too large of a glove would result in increased time needed to retrieve the ball and throw it to base.
Outfielders Gloves: Outfielders gloves are larger and longer (12" +) , to provide fielders with the greatest possible advantage at catching fly balls.