Good baseball gloves are important to protect a player’s hand during catching and fielding balls.
Top brands offer different kinds and models of baseball gloves. The quality of the gloves may differ from one brand to another, but the basic process of making a baseball glove is the same.
So, how are baseball gloves made?
The process of making a baseball glove contains both machine work and handwork.
The level of detail required in the manufacturing of a glove is so high that it can’t be achieved by using a machine.
Therefore, the work of hands can’t be replaced.
Making of Baseball Glove
Watch this short video presented by Wilson. They are showing the process of how they manufacture ball gloves.
Step 1: Leather Selection
The number one step of creating a ball glove is the selection of leather.
In the making of a ball glove, leather selection is one of the most important steps because the quality and durability of a glove depend on the leather.
A good quality leather glove can last for years, while a cheap quality leather glove may only last for only one season.
Along with that, the time it takes for breaking in the process also depends on the leather quality.
For that, a certain level of softness and stretchiness is necessary for the perfect ball glove. If the leather is not soft and stretchable, then it’ll not be comfortable and a player can easily break in the glove.
Step 2: Leather Cutting
The selected leather is now cut into some particular directions that give them a rough shape of a glove.
After cutting the leather, the leather takes the shape of a palm along with the holes.
The hydraulic press is used to punch holes in the leather which is later used for the lacing in the glove.
Step 3: Stamping
After the cutting of leather, stamping is done very carefully. A different stamping die is used for each and every stamp of a model name or for the brand name.
The stamping should be done before the stitching because once the stitching is done, then stamping will not take place properly.
Step 4: Stitching
The process of stitching is done very carefully. The glove should not be too tight or too loose.
These gloves are made from the inside out.
After the stitching, stretching is done to some extent and to give them a proper shape.
Step 5: Lace Making
Laces are made from thin high-quality leather.
If the laces are thick, then the glove will not function correctly, while if the laces are too thin, then they can break during the game.
This is the basic process of making a baseball glove. The catcher’s mitt is different from the baseball ball gloves but still the process of making them is the same. So, you can say that the overall process is the same, it doesn’t matter whether you’re making a baseball glove for a pitcher or catcher, or for an outfielder.
The brands use the same process in manufacturing whether it’s a mitt or a glove.
There are some brands like Rawlings who do some extra work on the breaking in the process because their gloves already come with the broken in from the factory.
All the gloves are made with hands because the level of detailing can’t be achieved with the machine.
These are the general steps, but it depends on the brand to brand how much they invest in a glove, and that decides the price of a glove.