As you may know, baseball mitts and baseball gloves are two different things. Gloves are characterized by their fingers, while mitts do not have fingers. Mitts are also known to have extra padding. Only the first baseman and the catcher wear mitts. A first base baseball mitt will have thin stiff pads running through the circumference of the mitt.
A catcher’s mitt will have thick padding around the circumference and padding in the palm, finger, and small pocket areas. Having these pads in place and the lack of fingers make mitts unique. They help their users catch balls that don’t fall into the pocket. This is important for catchers and first basemen as they often have to reach far to catch some balls.
There are many things to look at when buying a mitt. The first thing is quality. The best mitts are evenly stitched together, do not have velcro adjustments to make it tighter, and are made with high grade leather, the type that makes it difficult to break the glove in.
Size is another factor. When wearing a mitt, it should feel snug, and, preferably, little adjustment should be made. If you plan on wearing a batting glove, be sure that you try on your mitt with your glove on. Batting gloves help absorb sweat from your hands, which protect the inner lining of your mitt, helping it last longer. But be sure to change your batting glove when it is soaked. Remember, the perfect mitts adjust to your hand and feel natural when worn.
The height of the mitt is important as well. First base mitts are measured using garment tape measure. They’re measured from the top of the index finger to the heel of the glove, letting the tape measure fold into the mitt’s indent. There is rule in professional baseball that mitts should have a maximum height of 12 inches, but most first base mitts are around 12 to 12 ½ inches in height.
When you get your baseball mitt, make sure you break it in. You want to do this so that it is easier for you to catch balls. You want your mitt to be able to snap shut when you move your fingers as this is the best way to secure the ball with a mitt. There are many techniques for breaking in a mitt.
Some suggest putting in under a car tire or putting a bowling ball on top of it while it’s in the closed position. Before doing this, be sure to ask the retailer if they have any instructions with regard to breaking in the mitt. For example, if you should apply an cream or oil to the surface in order to protect the leather.