Players from Little League T-Ball to Pony Leagues think that the best way to break in their new baseball gloves is to keep punching it with their fists. There are recommended ways to break in a new glove that are much more efficient. Without your glove feeling like a second skin to your hand, it can hinder your ability to catch a ball accurately.
There are some preliminaries. First, you need to ensure that your baseball or softball glove fits properly. This is paramount. Then you need to purchase good conditioning oil. If your coach cannot recommend his favorite, ask your sporting goods store for the best conditioning oil for your type of glove. Does the same oil work on a catcher’s glove than on a fielder’s glove? The oil is intended to soften the leather, condition and preserve it so it will last for generations.
Now you’re ready to get to work. The same technique applies for softball or baseball, but we will use softball for illustrative purposes. You need a regulation softball – it does not matter if it is old or new as long as it is not out of round. Apply a generous amount of your conditioning oil in the glove and place the softball in the palm right where it should be caught. You may have to have someone throw the ball to you to find the plum spot. Or you can ask a more experienced player to show you where it belongs. You should be able to wrap each end of your glove over the ball. Now you want to tie the ball into the glove by securing the sides tightly with string.
Are you ready for some magic? Place your tied glove directly in the sun for one hour to an hour and a half. The oil and the heat make the glove malleable. After the witching hour, untie the glove and remove the ball. Now is the time you want to sock the pocket with your fist to get it into the shape you want. You also want to open and close the glove until it is soft and moves easily. Take your ball and keep throwing it into the pocket until you are happy with your result.
Now you are going place the ball in the pocket, close it and secure it with string once again. You can place it in a box and put it in a closed closet for a minimum of 12 hours on up to 48 hours. Once you remove the string and ball when the glove has had time to cool and relax, it will be perfect!
Some coaches may give tips on how to break in your new glove, but this way is one of the oldest methods and has been around for generations. Some major league rs put their tee ball gloves in the microwave but this is an advanced method and should only be attempted by professionals.