Wednesday, December 5, 2007
When you add the cost of a new top of the line baseball bat, with the cost of a new glove, shoes, accessories and tourney fees, your son's baseball exploits can be a budget buster. The good news is that they usually don't need a new glove every year at this age...A glove is a personal preference and in high school and college, players tend to hang on to their favorite glove for a while. It's an extension of their body and has to fit and feel just right. So, shopping for a glove for your son is like shopping for an evening gown with your wife. They need to try on just about every one on the rack...and that's the way it should be...they are a very personal thing.
So, if your son needs a new glove, now is the time to buy it to allow for it to be broken-in before the season starts in a month or two, depending on where you live. Today, we rate the top gloves and they aren't cheap...but they are the best and will last, so the value is there.
TOP OF THE LINE
1. Rawlings Primo I-Piece 11 1/4" Baseball Glove $399.99
If mom and dad can buy $200-$300 Italian leather shoes or purse, why can't junior have an Italian leather glove? Two layers of the finest Italian leather work in tandem to create a pocket built for performance at your position. Upon ball impact, the inner palm and lining adjust to the shape of the outer palm in order to absorb the impact. It's not as silly as it sounds...Italian leather is usually softer, smoother, decreasing the break-in period...It is also more durable. If your son is the type to leave his glove in the dug-out, then this glove is not for him. However, if he is the conscientious type, he'll never let this glove out of his site...it's that good of a glove.
2. Mizuno Pro Limited Series $299
Another soft feel that will reduce the break-in period. We don't know what Japanese tanned Deguchi leather is, but it does feel good and has a good fit. Mizuno has made huge inroads in the Bigs and many top athletes are wearing this brand.
3. Wilson A2K 1796 $299
A2 is a Wilson Glove preferred pattern that has been used by the pros for years. The NEW A2000 A2K is made from the top 5% of Pro Stock hides. What are Pro-Stock Hides? Pretty self explanatory, but it is stock that has been selected by pro athletes for softness, durability, fit, thickness and protection. Pros actually do talk about things like low-rebound performance, optimal weight, extended durability, & unmatched pocket stability, like a surgeon would talk about a new non-invasive laser tool. This glove and the gloves preceding it in our rankings have the features professionals demand.
1. The Rawlings Heart of the Hide. $179
The meat and potatoes of the Rawlings sports empire...Preferred by more Gold Glove players than any other mitt. Like the Wilson featured below, this glove is a classic. Rawlings Heart of the Hide leather is used by more pro players than all others and comes from the top 5% of all leather available.
2. Wilson A2000 $189.99
This is the staple of the Wilson brand and also uses pro-stock leather. I'm sure many of your son's have this model and for the price, you can't go wrong with this glove.
3. Mizuno Classic Pro X Series $189.99
Some pro athletes wear this glove like Andrew Jones, Tom Glavine and Adam Everett. Made from Deerskin, which is a soft leather and tough too. Has a good feel to it and many players may prefer this pattern to Rawlings and Wilson.