Choosing the right baseball glove and bat can be a very difficult task, with all of the information needed to really understand what is actually a good fit for your player.
Choosing A Baseball Glove
Baseball gloves have many options to consider before purchasing. Length of the glove, size of the pocket, type of leather, and all of the endless customization options.
Type of leather can be a good starting point for any player. Recreational players that want a glove but don’t need the Rolls Royce of gloves can start with a supple cowhide glove that will be easier to break in and will have a chamber option that allows you to choose for a youth hand or adult hand.
The chamber is going to help make the glove fit around the fingers of the hand. A youth chamber usually starts around 11 years and under which helps with making the glove not feel too big on a smaller hand and fingers.
Length and pocket size of the glove can be general for recreation players. Smaller gloves in length are generally used for infield play and longer gloves are typically used for outfield play.
In order to specialize for a specific position (i.e. middle infield) you’ll want a glove with a shallow pocket that is shorter in length with an open web and open back. This will help with quick transfers of the ball from the glove into the hands for time sensitive plays and quick outs.
The open web helps with letting dirt sift through so you’ll grab the ball without a handful of dirt. The open back helps with making the wrist mobile in the glove for tougher plays that require wrist mobility. Third baseman gloves are like infield gloves except that they require a little deeper pocket to help compensate for the speed of the balls hit at the hot corner.
Outfield gloves will have a much deeper pocket and much longer fingers with a closed web and closed back to help make the glove feel more rigid, long and like a basket that can catch just about anything.
First base and catcher's gloves are pretty self explanatory and don’t give too many options other than sizes, limited web options and personalization.
Catchers gloves are measured in circumference. They range anywhere from 32” to 34.5”. First baseman gloves range from 12” to 13.5”.
Choosing A Baseball Bat
Choosing the right bat can come down to length, age, and league rules. From the ages of 9-12 they may be able to use a minus 10 bat or less. For example: a 30” bat that weighs only 20oz is a minus (drop) 10 bat.
Be forewarned of the league you play. USSSA bats will have a stamp that is required on the bat to be used. Also a USA bat has their own stamp as well for USA league or tournaments.
Picking the right bat can be difficult but one general rule is finding the right length of the bat. Measured from the sternum to the fingertips. This measurement may be close to the actual length they may need.
Minus five bats are required at 13u and 14u up to eighth grade. High school and up require minus three BBCOR bats. The BBCOR stamp will be on all legal minus three bats or it won’t be able to be used in any high school or summer tournament events.
Picking a bat comes down to a few things: an end loaded or balanced bat.
End loaded bats have more of a feel for the weight being towards the end of the bat generally for stronger players.
Balanced bats feel more balanced for smaller players or players that like to have more bat control. These can be preferenced by feel for each individual player.
Many bats come in different colors and specific sounds the ball makes when hit. These can also be big selling points for each player.
Sometimes getting the opportunity to demo a bat would be the smart way to really get a feel before such a committed purchase. Whether you are looking for a glove or a bat these can be simple steps to follow to help navigate your way through the buying process.