Fewer items are important when it comes to the sport of baseball than your baseball glove. Personally, I consider it just as important as a good baseball bat. Having a high-quality glove that is comfortable and form-fitting can really enhance your ability to catch a baseball in-game.
With that being said, baseball gloves don’t last forever. However, there are ways to increase the longevity of your glove to get the most out of it. In this article, we’re going to answer the question “how long should a baseball glove last?” and explain how you can increase the longevity of your glove.
The Impact of Glove Quality
The quality of your baseball glove will have a direct impact on how long it will last. As you will see, it is worth it to put out more money for a high-quality glove for the sake of longevity.
Taking Care of Your Baseball Glove
In addition to purchasing a high-quality glove, the manner in which you take care of your glove will also affect how long it will last. The main thing you can do to expand the life of your baseball glove is to oil it regularly.
As mentioned, oiling your baseball glove will help maintain your glove for a longer period. It is crucial to use specially made baseball oil which will help keep the leather soft and prevent it from cracking or drying out.
A second way to take good care of your gloves is to make sure your glove is broken in, as this will make it less susceptible to cracking. This is especially important if you live in a very hot or dry area. In this case, you would also want to oil your glove a bit more frequently.
How Frequently Should You Oil Your Baseball Glove?
When determining how often to oil your baseball glove, you need to consider the climate in which you live.
If your area is hotter and drier, it’s best to oil your glove once a week. In other climates, once a month should be sufficient. If you don’t plan on using your glove for a while, make sure to store it in a cool, dry place.
The best way to oil your glove is to purchase a specially made baseball oil, such as a leather therapy restorer. This type of oil is designed to extend the life of your glove.
Why It’s Important to Take Care of Your Baseball Glove
If you value your baseball glove and want it to last a long time, then it is very important to take good care of it.
Even professional baseball players are committed to taking good care of their gloves so they can use them for four or more seasons. That’s impressive considering how often they use their gloves. If you don’t take care of it, it could dry out and crack rather quickly, possibly giving you only one season of use.
If you’ve ever slipped your hand into a dried-out baseball glove, you’ve probably noticed how stiff and uncomfortable it can be. Oiling your glove can keep it soft and comfortable.
When to Replace Your Glove
Even with the best of care, no baseball glove will last forever. Read below to learn when it’s time for a new glove.
1. If you start losing easily to catch baseballs during a game
Rather than getting frustrated with yourself if you start missing baseballs that you know you normally would have caught, consider the need for a new glove. When gloves get too worn out, they can definitely affect your ability to play.
2. You find it hard to release the ball during a game
If you notice problems when you attempt to release a baseball, that’s another sign that you may need to replace your glove. It’s actually been stated that over 70% of all release mistakes can be attributed to an old glove.
3. If your fingers are uncomfortable in your current baseball glove
As noted earlier, older, dried-out gloves can be very stiff and uncomfortable. This will affect the flexibility of your glove, which can affect the quality of your play. When this occurs, you should definitely look into getting a new glove.
If your glove isn’t that old and you’ve been taking care of it, check to see if adjusting the laces eases your discomfort. Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting the laces just right, rather than too tight or too loose.
4. Want to switch to a different position
If you decide to take on a different position on the field, you may need a different type of glove than what you’re currently using. Do a little research into the best type of glove for the position you’re interested in playing.
Signs you need a New Baseball Glove
On the opposite end, if you’re dealing with your glove being too broken in or floppy rather than dried out and cracked, this is also an indicator that your glove needs to be replaced.
1. It has a rip. Anywhere.
If you notice any rips or tears in your glove at all, you definitely need to replace your glove. It doesn’t matter if it’s just one rip, even just a small one.
During the game, one catch could tear through your glove and possibly injure you. Some people have tried to repair their gloves with glue or by sewing it, but unfortunately, this is just not adequate. You’ll need to accept the fact that you need to replace that glove.
2. It feels like you’re holding a 10-pound dumbbell in your hand.
If your club starts feeling awfully heavy, you’re going to want to replace it. This can be caused by several things, such as allowing the glove to get wet too frequently or even from going overboard with the baseball oil. Unfortunately, it really does need to be replaced.
3. It used to have Perfect Form, but now it just feels blah.
When you get a baseball glove perfectly broken in, it can feel just right on your hand and improve your quality of play. However, after a while, you may start to notice that it doesn’t feel so good anymore. It loses the qualities that made it just right for you. This is just telling you that it’s time for a new glove.
4. The padding feels nonexistent.
When you start to notice that the padding in your glove is wearing a little thin and catching balls is becoming a bit painful, it’s time to get a new glove.
5. The leather is cracked. Everywhere.
We’ve discussed the issue of cracking earlier, which is a very clear sign that you need to replace your glove. The cracking will only get worse and affect the condition of your glove even further. This will then have a negative impact on your playing ability.