At first glance, you might not think much about wearing a baseball glove. There are five finger slots, after all. And that means you obviously put one finger in each hole, right? Well, yeah – but it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Sure, one finger in each slot works, but there are a couple of different ways to make your glove feel better in your hands. A finger for each slot is the traditional way to wear the glove, but some players prefer keeping their index finger outside the glove. I have even seen people go for two fingers in the pinky slot of the glove.
The main idea is to get the best grip possible on the glove so that it gives you the highest control of the ball when you try and catch it. And if you want the glove to feel good in your hands, you need to wear it the way that suits you best.
I will talk about the different ways how to wear a baseball glove so that you can figure out which method works best for you. So, let’s get started.
How to Hold a Baseball Glove
Now I don’t mean to sound condescending, but even if you’ve been playing the game since you were a kid, that doesn’t mean you are holding your glove perfectly. And there’s always room to improve. So let me give you a quick rundown of some of the most popular ways you can wear a baseball glove.
I’m not saying you need to pick one of these methods, but it is still worth knowing your options. That way, you can try out different grips and settle on the one that feels best for you.
· Traditional Method
Let’s start with the method that you’re most familiar with – the traditional method. In this style, you put one finger in each of the five slots of your baseball glove. This lets you slide your wrist all the way into the glove and makes it feel snug and comfy in your hands.
But while this might seem more comfortable, there are a couple of issues with the traditional method. For instance, with this wearing style, the pocket of your glove will feel a bit shallow, even if you are using an outfielder’s baseball glove.
The reason is that the upper part of your palm will slide into the insides of the pocket of your glove, pushing it forward. So even though this is the most intuitive method and one that most people are accustomed to, it has a few issues. Of course, if you are comfortable with this style, you are free to wear your glove this way.
· One Finger Outside the Glove
Now that you know about the traditional method, let me talk a bit about another style. And frankly, this is a popular wearing method that many young players try to replicate, albeit with some inconsistencies. Well, I’ll help you learn the right way to pull this off and also talk about the theory behind it.
Instead of sliding all your fingers into the respective slots of the glove, with this style, you will keep one finger (usually the index finger) outside the glove in the back. This wearing style is mostly used by infielders and catchers. And there are two reasons why this method is so effective.
Firstly, this gives your index finger an extra layer of protection, and since infielders and catchers need to deal with high-speed balls, it really comes in handy. And secondly, it opens up the pocket a bit more so that you will have an easier time capturing the ball whether you are scooping it off the ground or mid-air.
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Some players also claim that it enhances their control over the glove, but I think that has more to do with familiarity. Once you get used to this style of wearing your baseball glove, it becomes extremely comfortable. But it does take some time to get used to it at first.
· Two in the Pinkie
The two-in-the-pinkie method is more suitable for youth players who feel the glove is a bit too large for their hand. With baseball gloves, finding the right fit can be a nightmare. Even when you check all the baseball glove size charts before you pick one up for yourself, there’s a chance that the fingers will have a bit too much wiggle room.
To counteract this problem, people have come up with this method. The way it works is you take the last two fingers in your hand, the pinky and the ring finger, and jam it down the slot of the pinky in your glove. Don’t worry if it doesn’t go all the way in.
What ends up happening is the glove feels tighter and more well-balanced because of this style. And you then put your index finger in the middle slot of the glove, and the middle finger goes into the ring finger slot.
This style is also popular in adult and high-school baseball leagues as it gives the players more control over their gloves. It also makes the pocket deeper than normal and lets you scoop up balls much easier.
If you want to take things a step further, you can also put your index finger outside the glove. This will help you out quite a bit if you are playing in the infield positions.
How Do the Pros Wear Their Baseball Gloves
You will rarely see the pros follow the two in the pinkie style that I mentioned just now. But keeping the index finger outside the glove is a common trend. In fact, I first picked up on this style of wearing a baseball glove when I was watching an MLB game on the TV.
However, if you notice carefully, you will also notice another weird trend in how professional players wear their gloves. They rarely slide their hand all the way inside the glove. Instead, they keep the bottom part of their hand outside so that it rests against the opening of the glove.
And when I tried out this style myself, I was honestly a bit surprised by how much more efficient everything becomes as a result. You will instantly notice the pocket feeling a lot better, and while you need a bit of time to get used to the feel of the glove, over time, the glove becomes a lot more responsive.
I have seen many MLB pros wear their gloves this way, and if you feel like there’s something wrong with the way you are wearing your glove, feel free to try it out. It might feel a bit awkward the first couple of times. But give yourself a bit of time to adjust, and it will get easier after a while.
What Hand Should You Wear Your Baseball Glove On?
In most cases, players like to wear their baseball gloves on their non-dominant hands. This leaves their dominant hand to throw the ball after scooping it out of the glove.
So, if you are a lefty, get a glove for your left hand. And get a left-handed glove if you would rather throw with your right hand.
Should You Wear a Baseball Glove with Your Finger Out?
It really comes down to player preference. Wearing a glove with your finger out is a popular way to play the game. And it does offer some advantages such as better protection for your finger or more control.
What I would suggest, though, is to simply try it out. If it works for you, then all the more power to you. And if it feels weird and awkward, you can always go back to the traditional way of wearing a baseball glove.
Should a Baseball Glove Cover Your Palm?
In the traditional style, you are supposed to slide your hand all the way through the opening of the glove. So, we can assume that the manufacturers intended for the glove to cover your entire palm, at least when they initially came up with the design.
However, professional players or players who have been at it for a while typically like to keep the bottom part of their palms uncovered. This lets them have better control over the glove and also improves the pocket depth of their glove.
The Bottom Line
If I am being honest, the rules of wearing a baseball glove are not written in stone. Yes, there is a traditional method of wearing your gloves, but nobody is saying that you have to follow the traditional ways.
The best advice I can give you is to experiment with your glove. Only by trying out different things can you figure out what works best for you. My goal in this article was not to tell you how to wear your glove but rather to give you a couple of good things to try out.
In the end, you should go with what feels right and comfortable in your hands. Good luck!