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Invention Of The Baseball Glove

The baseball glove was seen as early as 1860 and wasn’t a very manly thing to use until 1890’s. Players wanted to conceal the glove so they made it flesh colored, designed from the railroads brakeman type glove.

This glove tanning process still remains the same today. Charles Waitt was the first player to use the flesh colored glove so it wouldn’t bring to much attention, because not using bare hands was frowned upon.

The first baseball glove was actually fingerless. Due to multiple injuries, the glove finally became a welcomed tool to use by 1890. 

From 1890, all the way up to today, the catcher's glove still requires the most demands of the game. The baseball glove really came from many different places so it’s hard to pin point who invented the many different types of gloves.

However, the catchers mitt was invented by Harry Decker who had the “Decker Safety Catcher's Mitt” with fingers in 1890. The most interesting fact of the baseball glove that completely transformed the glove from being a hand protector to a catching tool was Bill Doaks brilliant idea.

Bill Doak was a St Louis Cardinals pitcher in 1919 who went to Rawlings with the idea to put a web between the index finger and the thumb, coined the Bill Doak glove.

The baseball glove we see and use today was then born. From the early days prior to the web, everything had to be caught with two hands. Not having a web and having to catch everything in the palm eliminated diving plays or any backhands from being a flawless play.

Most of those plays were probably  knock it down, pick it up and throw. Batting averages back in those days were most likely much higher pre 1919 due to this fact. The defensive players also had many limitations so there’s no telling how good some of them really could have been.

The first glove company to manufacture padded gloves for use was a New Hampshire based Draper and Maynard. They provided the majority of the gloves in 1920 for the MLB players like Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner.

Rawlings came on the scene and started making headway with the new Bill Doak glove and has been a glove leader to present day.