Friday, December 5, 2008
Stocking Stuffers...Rating The Gloves
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 Series Infield 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?
Born in the Florence region of Italy, Primo leather exudes quality. 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. Additionally, position specific break points have been cut into the pattern to enable the glove to close naturally and easily giving you the durability and function you need at the moment of impact. And now you can get comfort without sacrificing function. With 100% wool padding and a third layer of Italian calf skin lining, the Primo creates a luxuriously smooth feel unlike anything you've ever touched.
It is the highest quality leather due to their small production runs and small local tanneries. Dual shell palm has both an inner and outer shell. Inner palm (like a double wall bat) is made of calf skin, with specifically cut break-points designed for each model glove. This helps with break in and shape of glove. Leather is also tanned with water resistant process and lace is water resistant as well. Carry bag is included.
2. Mizuno Pro Limited Series $299
Another soft feel that will reduce the break-in period. 4D Technology for position specific patterns developed from researching the dynamics of catching.
-Designed using data from the best players in the game.
-Japanese tanned Deguchi leather for the ultimate feel and softness.
-Utilizing only the best sections of hide. Mizuno has made huge inroads in the Bigs and many top athletes are wearing this brand.
3. Wilson A2000 Pro Stock $199
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. 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.