The History of Baseball Gloves: Evolution of Rawlings Gloves
Baseball is a sport where there are many brands of equipment to choose from, but when it comes to baseball gloves, only one is considered the “Finest in the Field.” Since its inception in 1887, Rawlings has been a leader in baseball equipment with the goal of providing innovative and high-performance equipment for players of all ages.
Rawlings is a recognizable brand at the Major League level, considered the Mark of a Pro. The top defensive honor in Major League Baseball is the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, created in 1957 by Rawlings and given to the best fielding player at each position in the field. Rawlings also just announced this December that they are becoming the Official Glove of Major League Baseball. The licensing agreement makes Rawlings an official glove partner with Major League Baseball in 2020 and provides exclusive on-field rights beginning with the 2021 MLB season.
So how did Rawlings get to be the giant in baseball that it is today? We will look at the history of Rawlings and the history of baseball gloves and their evolution.
The history of baseball gloves goes back as far as the earliest days of the game, back to the 1860s. The need for baseball gloves started to rise when players experienced more hand injuries. Players started to experiment with a more traditional glove in the 1870s and by the 1890s, wearing gloves was a normal and common sight in baseball.
Evolution of Rawlings Baseball Gloves
Rawlings was founded in 1887 and was among the brands creating gloves in the early stages of the game. It wasn’t until 1919 that they started to become a leader in baseball because of their innovative features to gloves. A St. Louis pitcher named Bill Doak went to Rawlings with an idea to give the glove webbing between the thumb and index finger, an extension of the fingers. This turned the baseball glove from a protective element to an added tool to become a better fielder. When you hear the term “Web Gems,” it is referring to the webbing of the glove, the part of the glove that corrals the ball and makes fielding more comfortable.
Since then, Rawlings has continued to be a leader in baseball with more innovation and development of baseball gloves year after year. At all levels of baseball, you will find Rawlings gloves. There are other brands in the industry like Wilson and Mizuno that have been creating baseball gloves for decades and making innovations of their own, but Rawlings has stood out at the top brand that is most widely recognized in baseball.
Choosing a Baseball Glove
Let’s go back to talking about webbing and comfort. The webbing helps to make the glove an extension of your hand and there is a certain comfort that is expected to make the feeling more natural.
The comfort of the glove should be a top priority when choosing a baseball glove. You want to find something that is properly sized and that allows you to complete a catch very naturally. When choosing a glove, you want to take a few things into consideration.
The first thing you need is to choose the right glove by position. There are several different positions on the field that have a specially designed glove that helps to field better at the position. A first baseman’s mitt has a deeper pocket to make it easier to receive throws from around the field. A catcher’s mitt has more padding and extra protection to handle high-speed pitches from the mound. It contains a deep oval-shaped pocket and is built to be strong and durable. Gloves for use at infield positions can range in size, but usually, have a deep pocket and strong open webbing. Outfielders wear larger gloves that have deeper pockets for catching balls that are hit hard and also have a closed webbing.
There are also gloves that are designed to be used at multiple positions, from the mound to third base to left field and more. The size and webbing of gloves is entirely dependent on the player and the comfort they feel, so don’t feel like any element is a requirement.
The other things to consider with a glove are the specific parts of the glove. First, you want to find a glove that collectively is going to be durable. Rawlings gloves are made from 100 percent genuine leather. The glove you choose needs to withstand the beating it will take from ground balls, fly balls, line drives and throws from around the field. When a glove is made like Rawlings gloves are with genuine leather, you get something that is made to be tough and handle the workload that comes with regular baseball play.
There are many players that choose a glove basely entirely on the webbing. People like both open and closed webbing. Closed webbing allows for more secure control and added support when fielding. Pitchers will also use closed web gloves to mask the type of pitch being thrown when setting their hands. Open webbing allows for faster retrieval of the ball. The pocket of the glove is also considered since it comes in different styles.
Obviously, the size of the glove is going to be important as well, especially if you are buying for a child. What you want to keep in mind is that there needs to be comfort and control with the glove. Just like when buying a bat, you don’t have the right size if the glove is too big and can’t be controlled. You need something that fits snugly and really becomes the extension of your hand that you need and not too much of an extension that looks unnatural.
When you get a new glove, it can need to be broken in. New gloves are stiff and the leather is not flexed and worn enough to close easier. So how can you break it in to feel more natural? The obvious answer is to keep wearing it and using it. Play catch regularly. Take it to your local field and use it in friendly practices and you will start to get a feel for the glove in no time. You can also use a mallet to break in the glove. Leather gloves can also be moisturized with different glove conditioners or oils to try to give the glove more flex and substance. You can also use a glove wrap to try to give the glove some wear as well. The thing you shouldn’t do is put the glove in the oven or microwave, because this can do damage to the fibers of the leather and make the glove very brittle.
Caring for your glove
Once you buy a new glove, you have to take care of it. You can find glove care accessories and kits that can help you keep your glove looking great and performing even better. A brush can help to remove dirt that builds up. A leather-safe cleaner can be applied using the proper instructions. You can also moisturize the glove to look and feel the best it can throughout the life of the glove.
Your glove may also need to go through some repairs over time. There are laces that can become damaged or webbing that may need to be repaired. Even if you take great care of your glove and condition it regularly, you still need to make sure it holds up well and goes through the right repairs.
Get Your Rawlings Gloves at HB Sports
Now that you know what goes into the history of baseball gloves, specifically Rawlings gloves, and how to select them, it’s time for you to find the perfect one for you and what you need. You know your style of play, your top position in the field and what kind of glove makes you comfortable. You can find the brand new glove that has a lot of games and practices in it right here at HB Sports.
HB Sports is providing people of all ages the largest selection of baseball and softball equipment at prices that everyone can afford and customer service that ensures you get the right product the first time.
When you want to find a new glove, it isn’t hard with HB Sports. Choose the brand you like, for example, Rawlings gloves, and take a look at all of the different gloves available for sale. HB Sports can be your one-stop-shop for everything you need to get on the field and have a great time -- from gloves to batting gloves to bats to equipment bags and so much more. When you choose HB Sports, you get all of that at affordable prices.
If you are looking for something very specific or need guidance to find the right bat or glove, you get treated like family with HB Sports. Customers get one-on-one personal customer service so all of your questions and concerns are answered and you get the right equipment so you can have the most success on the field. HB Sports sells top-rated gear, the best in the industry -- and when it comes to Rawlings, the “Finest in the Field,” so you know you are getting the best in the business.
HB Sports also offers same-day shipping on orders placed before 4 p.m. EST and gets you the gear you need on time, every time, exactly as promised. We want you to have the best shopping experience getting the right gear for yourself or for your child as you prepare for the upcoming season and having the most success and fun you can on the field.
Rawlings has a history in baseball that is as legendary as some of the players who have used their equipment. It is a brand that is recognized widely throughout Major League Baseball and around the world, the signature ‘R’ emblazoned on the leather of each baseball glove. It has been used by the past greats of the game, the stars of today and is even the choice of the stars of tomorrow who are continuing to grow within the game every day. You can become a small part of that history when you wear a Rawlings baseball glove that is made with the same quality as it has been for decades.
So head over to HB Sports and find the best baseball glove for you at the best price and get helpful customer service to find the best fit and style for you. With HB Sports, it is about more than just the product. It is about the experience. Your great shopping experience today could mean a great experience on the field is on the way with the help of the right baseball glove for you.
- Blog Admin