buying your Glove
from the Pros -
Snow: First Base Tips
J.T. earned International League MVP and
Rookie of the year honors in Triple-A. He has won 6
Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, and is only the forth player in
baseball history to win multiple Gold Glove awards in both
the American and National leagues.
"The best way to improve your defense is persistent
practice and repetition. My philosophy on defense is
practice, practice, practice. There really is no substitute
for hard work and practice. Typically, I keep the following
in mind when working on my defensive":
- There is no substitute for hard work and practice.
- Whenever you get a spare minute in practice, work on
ground ball drills.
- Try to have someone throw balls to you in the dirt.
- When scooping balls out of the dirt, try to keep your
- If you see the ball bounce, try to raise your glove
with the ball and make sure to give with, or cushion, the
- Another thing a first baseman should always do is
expect a bad throw from your infielders. It won't always
happen, but when it does, you'll be ready for it.
Ventura: Third Base Tips
Ventura was the first major leaguer to
hit grand slams in both games of a doubleheader. He is a
six-time Gold Glove Award Winner. In 1987, he was the
College Player of the Year. The following year, he won the
Golden Spikes Award (nation's best amateur player), and was
a member of the U.S. Olympic Gold Medal winning team.
"Properly positioning yourself is one of the most important
aspects to your fielding game."
- Position yourself as far back as you feel
comfortable, but take into consideration how fast the
batter runs to first.
- If the batter has a reputation of bunting, try to get
in close, and be ready for it.
- When in a double play situation and a ground ball is
hit toward the third base side, try to wait for the ball
to get close enough to you and then start your movement
towards second base. Catch it and throw it all in one
- If a runner on second is threatening to steal third,
make sure that you keep an eye on him. If he attempts to
steal third, wait as long as you can to see if the batter
at home plate hits the ball. But try to be close enough
to third to get to the base by the time the catcher
throws it. You might want to cheat a little bit to third
base to play it safe.
- If a runner is rounding third base and heading home,
and a ball is hit to the outfield, try to position
yourself about 15 feet in from the grass. Make sure the
runner touches third base, and also be on your toes for
the ball coming in.
Robinson: How to Straighten Your Throws
Legendary third baseman for the Baltimore
Orioles, Brooks Robinson is tied for the MLB record with 16
Gold Glove awards. He holds 10 career fielding records for
third basemen, and led American League third basemen in
fielding percentage 11 times.
"Whether throwing to a base, or simply playing catch, the
best thing to do is step toward your target. I had an
accurate arm, but my arm got stronger just by throwing a
- The best thing to do is to step towards the base you
are throwing to.
- Mix in some long tosses to make your arm stronger.
- To straighten out your throw, get on top of the ball.
- If you throw 3/4 over the top, do not let your arm
drop to the side.
- Always try to hold the ball across the seam.
Alomar: Conditioning Your Glove
Finding a glove that best suits your
needs is mostly based on how it feels to you, according to
the Mets second baseman Roberto Alomar. "My gloves usually
last two to three years," he said. "I always have a glove
that I only use in games, and one that I use during batting
practice that I break in to eventually use in games. The
glove I'm using now is two years old. I started using it in
spring training two years ago, and I've kept it since
- I like my glove to be very flexible so I like soft
- I do not like a glove with a deep pocket because when
you are turning a double play, the ball can get lost in a
deep pocket. I like a relatively flat, shallow glove,
which allows you to find the ball quickly.
- Tying any of the laces that stick out from a glove
makes it tighter and more rigid. Since I like my glove to
be flexible, I just let the laces dangle. When I get the
glove new, all the laces are tied up in knots but they
eventually work themselves loose and then I just let them
stay that way.
- My glove is pretty small, even for a middle
infielder. Second basemen usually have the smallest
gloves of all the fielders, and in most cases, shortstops
will have slightly bigger gloves than second basemen.
- All of the guys in the clubhouse know that I also
don't like anyone putting their hand in my glove. It's
built for my hand, and if someone else puts their hand in
it to try it on, I can usually tell, because it will feel
looser on my hand when I put it back on.
- It's hard to say exactly what makes a good baseball
glove, but mostly it has to feel right to you.
- In cold weather, sometimes I will spray some stick-um
on the inside of my glove to give my hand a better grip
on the inside of the glove. I spray it on the outside of
the thumb so I can rub my throwing hand on it for a
better grip on the ball for throws.
This is a fun drill to help first and
second graders develop good hands, and a quick release.
Have the players line up accross from a partner about 20
feet apart. They are to make good throws back and forth as
many times an they can while the coach counts down from 30
to zero. The player who does not have the ball at zero
wins. (You should see the kids scramble for a dropped, or
(coach Kevin Nickelson)
Young players often make the mistake of
fielding ground balls with their glove directly beneath
them, rather than extended out in front. This drill helps
ensure proper extension.
Lay a bat on the ground perpendicular to a line of players.
The first player in line should be 6 feet from the bat in a
ready position. The Coach stands about 10 feet away
opposite the players, and rolls a ball toward the bat. The
pPlayer must approach the ground ball and assume a good
fielding position right behind the bat, without his feet
touching or going over it. In order to prevent the ball
from rolling into the bat the player must have his glove
extended in front of the bat. Once the player secures the
ball, he sprints forward, places it at the feet of the
coach, and runs to the end of the line. The Coach keeps
rolling a ball to the next player each time a ball is
placed at his feet.
This drill is designed to quicken
reaction time to grounders and line drives using lateral
movement. The entire team competes in a contest to see
which player can keep the most out of 10 balls from hitting
a fence or wall behind him.
Mark an area of a fence or wall about 20 feet wide and 6
feet high. One at a time, fielders stand in front of the
fence. A fungo hitter stands about 40 feet away, and hits
balls to him. The hits should be to different spots within
the fence markings (left, right, grounders, line drives).
The fielder has to prevent the balls from hitting the fence
behind him. Each fielder gets 10 balls hit to him. The
fielder with the most stops of the 10 balls wins the round.
Lines Ground Ball Drill
This drill is used to teach young players
to get their hands and glove out front when fielding
a grounder. The young player often gets in the habit of
catching grounders close to his or her feet or slightly in
front of the toes. As coaches, we want infielders to extend
their arms and get the glove out in front so that they can
see the ball into it. The player should "lay" the glove on
the ground out in front of his body . Each players distance
will vary. However, a good rule of thumb is to try and
extend the length from the players arm or from the tip of
the fingers to the armpit. Another good measuring scale is
they should be able to extend the length of the the bat
they use. This distance is measured on the ground from the
back of his heel outward. For this drill we pair two
players. The players will roll grounders to each other from
about 6 to 8 feet. The coach draws two lines in the dirt
about 8 feet apart. The players must catch the ball out in
front of this line. The coach will then draw a second line
for each player - this is the "feet" line. The players feet
must stay behind this line. The players roll the ball and
catch it while making sure to:
- Get extension.
- Keep the elbows off the ribs.
- Funnel the ball in using the top "bare" hand.
- Work their feet as they bring the ball up to the
correct "T" throwing position.
- Roll the ball back to your partner.
- Repeat the process 50 to 100 times.
Break In and how to select your glove
|There are many methods
to breaking your glove and everyone has their own
opinion. The following ideas come from our craftsmen's
personal experiences and what tends to work for them.
There really isn't an overnight solution to breaking
your glove, we will show you some of the do's and
don'ts to breaking in your new glove.
First we will give you a step by step process to the
best way we believe, to breaking in your new glove.
- Rub in glove oil or glove conditioner of your
choice, we prefer to use Rawlings Glovolium. Start
with the palm of the glove and work outward from
there, be sure to cover the entire glove (DO NOT
SATURATE, JUST COAT IT). Some people like to use
shaving cream in this step which is fine.
- When glove has dried, play catch with someone,
the more catching you do the better the glove will
form to your hand and fingers.
- When you are finished playing catch, apply a
light coat of oil or conditioner. Then put a baseball
or softball in the pocket of the glove (We prefer
using a softball to increase the size of the pocket).
Then close the glove around the ball. Using a string
or rubber band to tie the glove tightly with the ball
in place. Repeat this step whenever you are not
using the glove until the glove is broke in the way
you want it, this will help hold the shape of your
- Repeat steps 2 and 3, until the glove is broke
in. The more you use your new glove the faster the
glove will break in.
Notes: Try to keep a ball in your glove when it
is not being used to prevent the glove from getting
flat and losing its shape. Condition or oil your glove
a couple times a year, maybe more depending on how dry
and dirty your glove is.
Glove Repair Don'ts:
- Do not submerge your glove under water, some
believe this is a quick solution to breaking in you
glove. All you are doing is ruining the leather and
run a risk of cracking and drying out your glove.
- Do not put your glove in the oven or microwave.
- Do not dry your glove using a heat source such as
a hair dryer.
- Do not buy a pre-broken in glove, they are not as
durable and will not last as long.
|Glove Repair Do's:
- Keep a ball in your glove when it is not being
- Condition your glove occasionally to prevent
drying and cracking.
- To protect the inside of your glove you can wear
a batting glove to keep sweat from drying and
cracking the leather.
- Tighten your laces routinely, occasionally
leather will loosen.
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