Baseball season is in full swing, and if you're among the players ready to hit the field you're probably familiar with how stiff and awkward a new glove feels. Don't worry, like a pair of shoes, a good baseball glove or softball glove gets worn in with time and use. Want to help move this process along a little faster? All you need is some baseball glove oil, a ball, and rubber bands.
- Start by applying a few drops of the oil to your glove with a washcloth. Don't be too generous, or you could deteriorate the leather. Rub it into the areas where the glove needs to move, like the finger webbing and the pocket (where the ball is held). You'll want to repeat this application every other day for the first week.
- Take a baseball and place it in the gloves pocket. Your other hand should be in the glove to hold the ball in place.
- Wrap the rubber bands around the glove with the ball still there. Now that you've got the rubber bands holding the shape, you can take your hand out.
- Adding some warmth to the equation will help the process along further, but be careful not to go overboard. Setting it on a windowsill for an hour or two can do the trick, but don't leave it too long because sunlight can be damaging. You can also tuck it under your mattress overnight to keep it compressed. Some people have tried to speed along the process by hitting their glove with a hammer, running it over with a car or even put it in the microwave (NOT recommended).
Make sure to use the glove daily, spending as much time as you can to let the glove fit the shape of your hand. Try not to let anyone else use it until you've got it broken in - you want it to shape itself to your hand without interference. As soon as you're done playing with the glove, wrap it back up with the ball and rubber bands. If you do the oil, play, wrap process as instructed, your glove should be ready for action in a week.
Here's a few more resources on breaking in a baseball glove: