More than bats or helmets, a glove plays a more vital role for a baseball player. For younger catchers, palming the catch is quite common.
Receiving pitches in the palm seems like catching a pitch without a trampoline. Therefore, the players must know how to break in a glove so that it ensures a perfect catch every time.
There are several ways to make baseball gloves sticky. But the most common technique is to spread glove oil on the palm and fingers of the glove. Then rub it deeply and put the baseball in the middle of the pocket.
Wrap a belt around the center of the glove and pull it tight. You have to leave the glove-like it overnight. Make sure to repeat this process three nights in a row.
Having a reliable glove always eases the burden of making plays. Besides, having the proper grip is also necessary for better performance. However, skill and performance are also vital for a good performance. But If you want to know How often do baseball players change gloves? Check out this blog.
Before proceeding further, you must know the baseball glove should be sticky enough so that it ensures perfect grip. The baseball glove is more required on the defensive side of the field.
But the grip of a baseball glove is also needed for catch line drives. And for batting also, the players need a pair of sticky gloves.
The players’ hands become very sweaty and tired during the fourth and fifth swings. Without the proper grip, the players may completely lose the bat. Therefore, the baseball gloves must be sticky enough so that the ball doesn’t fall from the players’ hands.
Breaking in the gloves is necessary as it helps to soften the leather. Thus the gloves will be comfortable and flexible enough. Also, it helps to make a pocket or mold an area in the glove’s palm that will grip the ball tightly.
So, the ball won’t slip out from your grip. Now, let’s have a look at the various methods of making a baseball glove sticky.
Method 1: Use Glove Conditioners
Glove conditioners are a specific product that helps make a baseball glove sticky. Usually, glove and sporting goods manufacturers produce these conditioners. These conditioners are different from the standard oils as they contain some added ingredients.
These particular ingredients of the glove conditioners help soften the leather and make the gloves capable of absorbing dirt and moisture. These conditioners are the most expensive substance for breaking in a glove.
Some leather conditioners are specifically designed to use with particular types of leather. Such glove conditioners work with low grade to premium cowhide and steer hide leathers.
Method 2: Use Shaving Cream
When you purchase a baseball glove for the first time, the leather is stiff enough. This stiff leather causes difficulty to open and close the baseball glove during the match. Until you make the baseball glove sticky, you may find it difficult to catch the baseball.
Here, shaving cream helps to soften the leather and make the baseball glove more flexible and comfortable. It is an amazing alternative to conventional conditioners and oils. Also, shaving cream helps to moisturize the gloves.
However, don’t use shaving gels on the baseball gloves. Also, don’t use shaving creams containing alcohol or perfumes. Otherwise, the baseball gloves may damage or dry out. It is recommended to use a standard fragrance-free foam shaving cream.
For the procedure, you have to take a quarter-size amount of shaving cream onto a clean cloth. Here, you can use a dish towel, soft cloth, or a washcloth to take a shaving cream.
Then massage the shaving cream into the leather in a circular motion. You have to continue this process until you cover every inch of the leather of your gloves.
Now let the baseball glove dry overnight on a tabletop or a shelf. The following day, wipe the baseball glove with a dry cloth to remove the extra oil.
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Method 3: Use Lanolin oil
Lanolin oil is one of the best oils to make baseball gloves sticky. Most baseball experts and professionals suggest using lanolin oil to break in a baseball glove.
However, keep in mind that the oil must have lanolin as an ingredient. Usually, this oil gets derived from sheep and has specific properties that help to keep the baseball gloves healthy.
Lanolin oil is a significant component to treat leather, and it is even more effective than the standard glove conditioners.
Most of the glove oil products and glove conditioners include lanolin oil. This oil is effective for baseball gloves as it helps to soften, protect and preserve the gloves.
Thus the baseball glove remains supple over time. You can use pure lanolin oil directly on the gloves if you don’t want to apply extra cleaning chemicals to break in the glove. These oils are pretty available also as you will find them at most hardware and some sporting goods stores.
You have to apply the lanolin oil to the affected area and slowly spread the oil on the entire baseball glove for the applying procedure. Make sure not to dump the whole bottle of lanolin oil on the glove.
You must be cautious while applying the oil to the glove. You can add extra oil if required. But small portions of lanolin oil work effectively to make the glove sticky. Then you have to keep it aside and let it dry properly.
Twenty-four hours to 48 hours will be enough to make the gloves completely dry. It will be enough time for the glove to absorb the lanolin oil before you use it. Once the glove gets dry, you will get the ultimate experience of a renewed glove.
Method 4: Use Vaseline
Breaking in the baseball gloves is necessary as it gives the gloves a customized fit and makes them flexible and comfortable at the same time. This petroleum jelly based product helps to clean and lubricate the baseball gloves.
Also, it works as an excellent glove conditioner that softens and protects the leather. Besides, it helps to last the glove for years to years. Vaseline works even better than leather conditioners and glove oils.
Vaseline includes several mineral oils and moisturizers that work as effective leather softeners. It is also effective to seal and protect the baseball glove from drying out in hot environments. It protects the gloves from dust and dirt as well.
You have to apply vaseline to every part of the baseball glove with a rag or cloth for the procedure. However, make sure to apply it sparingly before adding more. Too much use of vaseline can make the baseball glove stickier.
Leather works like human skin, and vaseline helps to protect the leather from dirt, moisture, and harsh weather. Apply the vaseline into every part of the baseball glove and wipe off the extra with a clean rag. Keep the baseball gloves aside to let the gloves dry for one to two days so that the gloves absorb the vaseline properly.
After playing catch, you can apply more vaseline to the pocket. It helps to make the leather flexible and comfortable. Keep the baseball glove with a baseball in the pocket and wrap a rubber band around it. It helps in the break in process and ensures proper grip.
While you don’t play catch, you can keep the glove stored like this for at least 2 weeks. However, some baseball gloves take longer to break in. It depends on the quality of the leather.
Also Read: Baseball Rules for Kids
Ans. Yes, you can put vaseline on a baseball glove. If your baseball glove is stiff and you want to soften it, vaseline will be very effective. Petroleum jelly or vaseline helps to break in a baseball glove. It is an excellent alternative to baseball glove conditioners. You can apply the vaseline as required from the pocket to the thumb.
Ans. To lubricate a baseball glove, you can use several things like lanolin oil, vaseline, shaving cream etc. However, shaving cream with lanolin oil is the most effective option to lubricate a baseball glove. Also, you can use mink oil, saddle soap, tanner’s glove oil, etc., to lubricate a baseball glove. But we recommend using shaving cream to lubricate the baseball glove.
Ans. Yes, you can use wd40 on the baseball glove. Spray the glove with WD-40 and fold it sideways. It will help to soften the leather and ensure a comfortable grip. However, you have to tie up the glove overnight and then you can wear it for a while. Thus the glove can fit the shape of your hand properly.
The options for making the baseball gloves sticky are numerous. But the easiest way is to apply oil or lubricating cream on the gloves to make the gloves sticky and flexible. But the best way to break in a glove is to play catch with it. If you practice catching checkout best pitching machines under $500 with the review.
You have to treat the glove for continuous two or three months to make it sticky. Also, the tips mentioned above will help you make the gloves sticky and comfortable.