A couple of months back, a friend came to me with a blonde baseball glove and asked how he could get a palm stain in it. His exact words were – I want this glove to look mean and angry. This is my spare glove, so do what you have to, just get me the stain.
Well, I didn’t need any more convincing than that. And considering how much I love experimenting with all things baseball, I jumped at the chance. Long story short – I used a glove conditioner to get him the stain, but I also found two other ways to achieve it pretty easily.
And I think this is a good moment to help my readers out. I know how many of you are in the same boat and trying to give your glove a gritty feel. Getting a palm stain is the simplest way to do that.
In this article, I will give you a quick rundown of how to get a palm stain so that you know the right way and don’t damage your glove while you’re at it.
What Is A Palm Stain And Why Does It Matter?
For those that don’t know, a palm stain on a baseball glove is the natural wear and tear in the pocket section of the glove. If you have any old gloves lying around your house that has seen extensive use, there’s a good chance you will notice a round, dark shade at the center of the palm. That’s what’s known as the palm stain.
While it usually comes from natural wear and tear, some people try to achieve the stain with artificial methods such as applying conditioners or glove oils. And I’ll admit – it does look pretty with some glove colors. It gives your glove a more rugged, streetwise look and adds a touch of personality to it.
But apart from the aesthetics, it does little more to improve the performance of the glove. So, whether you want to get a palm stain on your glove or not depends entirely on your aesthetic preferences. Some people love it, and if you want a palm stain on your glove, there are ways to get that pretty easily.
How To Get A Palm Stain In Your Baseball Glove
As of today, there are three ways to get a palm stain on your baseball glove. And I’ll go through each of the methods in this section, and you can decide which process sounds more practical for you.
1. Use It Regularly
The simplest and most cost-effective way to get a palm stain on your glove is to let nature take its course. Simply use your glove regularly every chance you get, and you should get a palm stain after a couple of months. You won’t get a stain overnight with this method, but it does look more natural this way.
To speed up the process, you can dirty up the ball a little bit. The main trick is to use it every single day. And if you’re lucky, you might even get a finger stain at the back of the glove, which is basically the sweat from the fingers staining up the leather.
2. Condition The Palm
Another trick you can pull to get a palm stain on your glove is applying a bit of glove conditioner in the palm area of the glove. You want to apply the conditioner in a circular motion and only on the area where you want the stain to appear. Conditioning the entire glove is not a good idea as it might make the glove heavier.
You can use just about any glove conditioner available to you. Personally, I went with the Nokona Glove Conditioner, and the stain began to appear after about two or three applications.
One thing to remember if you decide to go this route, though, is to make sure you let the first coat of conditioner dry completely before you apply another coat. If you apply too much conditioner, it might damage the leather, which is the last thing you need.
3. Oil The Palm
If the other two methods fail, you can use glove oils as a last resort. Now, I am not a huge fan of using oil on my baseball gloves. A lot can go wrong here, and there is a real risk of damaging the glove in the process. So, if you decide to go this route, and things go south, it’s on you.
The idea is the same as using glove conditioners – just apply a dash of oil in the center of the palm and rub it in a circular motion in the shape of the stain that you want in your glove. Let the first coat dry completely before you start applying a secondary coat.
As for what oil you want to use, any oil works, but I would recommend using lanolin oil since it is used widely in glove conditioners and works well as a preservative.
If all else fails, using oil will definitely bring out a palm stain in your glove. But truth be told, it might also make your glove unusable. So, proceed with caution, and only use it if you have a spare glove to fall back on as a backup.
Now That We’re Here
Getting a palm stain on your baseball glove isn’t exactly rocket science. Just play catch with it daily, and you should start to notice some stains before you know it. But to get that deep, dark shade that we all know and love, you need to wait a while.
Some gloves get stains sooner than others. For instance, I have seen light-colored Wilson gloves that are quick to get a palm stain, while Mizuno gloves typically resist getting any stain in the palm area.
So, your choice of gloves also plays a small role in the texture of the stain. If the stain is an important factor for you, I would recommend doing some research on gloves that stain easily before you buy one.
Of course, you can also apply the tricks that I mentioned if you are the impatient type. The artificial methods work pretty well if you want to get a palm stain as fast as possible. Just make sure you are not damaging your glove in the process.
I hope my article on how to get a palm stain could help you give your glove a rugged look. Good luck!