What is the Definition of a Glove in Baseball?

A glove is a protective item typically made of leather, worn on the left hand by defensive players to help them catch and field balls hit by a batter.

Baseball gloves are an iconic part of the sport, and their iconography is as prominent as baseball bats. Gloves are worn mostly by the defense team, as their duties include throwing and catching the ball in order to put a base runner out.

Also known as mitts, the gloves are worn on the non-dominant hand of the fielder and are designed in a way to optimize catching potential.

What are Baseball Gloves Made of?

Baseball gloves are traditionally made of leather, although there are several different material options available nowadays that are legal for play. Leather baseball gloves are renowned for being hard to break in, but are considered the most durable and effective option, along with being lightweight for the players to carry.

Different types of Baseball Gloves

As the game of baseball has developed over the years, a “one style suits all” approach to gloves was eventually discarded. Presently, gloves are able to be bought in a multitude of different styles to accommodate a fielder’s playstyle and preference. Both LH and RH gloves are available, each acronym standing for left handed and right handed respectively.

In addition to this, there are different styles of gloves which can assist in certain jobs on the field.

  • First baseman’s mitts are referred to as mitts due to the lack of distinct fingers that the glove possesses. These gloves are larger to enable the first baseman to catch more difficult or problematic throws.
  • Catcher’s mitts are almost funnel-shaped, in a way which helps scoop a ball up and provides a suitable target for pitchers. These gloves are also referred to as mitts due to their lack of fingers.
  • Infielder’s gloves are often smaller to enable more range of motions and for ease when removing the ball from the glove.
  • Outfielder’s gloves are larger than infielder’s gloves due to the range at which they are expected to catch balls at. Their gloves are often longer and contain deep pockets to securely catch the ball.
  • Pitcher’s gloves are made in a way which assists in concealing their grip on the ball so that the batter can’t prepare fully for the pitch.