When you purchase a new baseball glove, it’s not quite ready to catch just yet. You need to break it in and create that perfect pocket for your perfect catch. Brand new and stiff, the glove just can’t do its job. As far as how to break in a glove, there are several options and you just have to find the right one for you.
Sunlight and Oil
- Apply a small amount of conditioning oil or shaving cream with lanolin to the pocket of your glove. Remember, only a small amount. Too much will not benefit your glove.
- Place a baseball into the “sweet spot” between the thumb and index finger.
- Use rubber bands to secure glove tightly around the ball. The ball should be secure in the glove so that it cannot move.
- Leave the glove in direct sunlight for a few hours. Be sure to leave the glove only for a few hours so as not to overheat the glove.
- Remove the bands and throw the ball into the pocket of the glove many times to help ready the pocket.
- Replace the ball in the “sweet spot” and the bands around the glove, then store it in a dark, dry place for a few days.
- The glove will be ready to use after this process and will continue to gain better fit and break in with regular use.
- Coat the entire glove in conditioning oil and let dry.
- Place the glove on a rack above a pot of boiling water. Make sure the glove is high enough above the water to avoid splashing. Cover.
- Leave for three to five minutes before removing the glove. Towel dry.
- The glove will be soft and flexible now. Fold it in half and use a mallet to pound it into this folded shape.
- Continue using the mallet to help build the pocket.
- Apply foam to the entire glove and allow to soak in for several minutes while heating over to 300 degrees.
- Place a cloth over a baking sheet and then set the glove on the sheet as well. Put it into the oven on the top rack. Leave for four minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before wiping away any extra residue from the foam.
- Work the glove with the ball in the pocket continuously for ten minutes. This will help craft the perfect pocket.
Try these methods out to find what works best for you. No matter which you use, remember that regular use will keep the glove in perfect condition and build the best pocket as well as shape it more comfortably to your hand. Not to mention that playing is the real fun anyway!