If you just bought a new baseball glove, you’ll notice that the feel is very different from the old one you’ve been using, and it can be very uncomfortable especially if you’ve been using the old glove for a long time.
Fortunately, breaking in a baseball glove isn’t that difficult.
Just follow the breaking in baseball glove steps below and your new glove is going to feel just like the old one.
Breaking in Baseball Glove Method 1: Oil the Glove
There used to be controversy over this method as some people thought oil and other lubricants should never be used.
The line of thinking was that the oil would make the glove heavier as it absorbs liquid. Others even suggested that oil damages the mitt.
However, experts have since determined that this method is safe provided you use the right oil.
If you do opt for this method, make sure to use something like Wilson Premium Glove Oil as it’s produced specifically for baseball gloves.
If you don’t have this oil, you can try saddle soap, shaving cream, Vaseline or baby oil as they can be just as effective.
Whichever you decide to use, don’t overdo it. If you’re going to use glove oil, follow the instructions on the label.
If you’re going to use baby oil or another lubricant, pour the liquid in a spray bottle and lightly drizzle the glove. Do not drench the glove, but do drizzle the glove so the liquid gets into the leather.
If you’re just learning how to break in a baseball glove, you’ll know that in some cases additional drizzling will be necessary. Just repeat if required but again, don’t use too much.
Beat the Glove
If you ask some players what the best way to break in a baseball glove is, don’t be surprised if some of them tell you to smack the living daylights out of it.
That means getting a ball peen hammer or mallet and using it to pound the inside and outside of the glove. You don’t want to destroy the glove, but make sure that it gets a thorough beating to loosen things up.
You can also put the glove on the ground and hammer with a baseball bat. This is going to take a bit of time but many players have attested to its efficiency.
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Heat the Glove Up
This method isn’t as well known as the other techniques above, but there are people who have used this successfully to break in a glove.
Just like the use of oil, there are those who are opposed to using heat out of fear this will lead to deterioration, but if done properly your glove should be fine.
If you want to heat up your glove, there are many ways to go about it.
The microwave: this sounds scary, but there are cases of players who break their gloves by toasting them until soft.
While this can be effective, there’s no question there are risks involved, so put your microwave to the lowest setting and don’t leave your glove for longer than a few minutes.
The oven: preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and once the desired temperature is reached, turn it off. Get a cookie sheet, put your glove there and place it inside the oven for 10 minutes.
Make sure to check the glove every few minutes or so to make sure it hasn’t burned.
Put the glove in your car: if you don’t fancy cooking your glove in the microwave or oven, just leave it inside your car.
During the summer, the temperature inside can reach up to 150 F, and that ought to be enough to break in even the stiffest glove.
If you want to try this method, just choose a hot day, park your car and leave the glove inside. Leave the glove for several hours (leave it there in the morning and get it in the evening) and it should soften up.
Are There Other Ways to Break in a Glove?
Aside from the methods given above, you might also want to try the following. It’s a little more involved but it’s been proven to work.
Get your new glove and put a baseball inside it. Tie the ball onto the glove with a string and leave the two under direct sunlight for a few hours.
When you tie the ball, make sure your glove’s right or left end folds on the opposite side.
Retrieve the ball and glove after a few hours, and you’ll notice that the glove is softer now.
Untie the ball from the glove. Shape the glove by pressing the pocket, closing and opening it.
Hurl the ball in the middle of the glove’s pocket as hard as you can. Repeat this several times.
If the glove is still tight, close the glove over the ball and tie with a string. Store the glove and ball in a dry, dark container. Leave the glove there overnight.
Take the glove out and untie the ball.
Video: Breaking in a New Baseball Glove
Forming and Shaping the Glove
It’s normal of course, to want to shape and bend the glove so it becomes comfortable to wear.
However, there is no specific method for doing this as you just need to keep bending the glove until it fits right.
Using the glove every day is another way to break it in. Some folks will tell you that the most effective way of breaking a glove in is letting it get some action.
After weeks of fielding in and catching balls, the glove will soften up.
While this method can be effective, it’s going to take some time. The reason you’re breaking the glove in is so you can play the game quickly.
If you need to play in a few days, use any of the methods above.
4 Methods for Breaking in a New Baseball Glove
Conclusion on Breaking in a Baseball Glove
Breaking in your quality baseball glove is not as difficult as it seems, and as you can see there are several methods you can try.
As to which is most effective, most will probably go with the oil as the idea of beating up that new baseball glove isn’t appealing.
However, the other breaking in baseball glove techniques given here ought to work fine if the instructions are followed.