Monday, January 11, 2010

How Baseball Gloves Were Adopted Slowly by Players

By Ryan Beck

In the 139+ years that baseball has been played, 139 of those years were played with a glove. The earliest gloves were use more to protect the wearer's hand than anything else, some of the players scorned the use of gloves to show how tough they were.

There is even evidence of name calling and showing off who could play without wearing gloves in those early days. Those days are long gone. The showing off has been replaced by the safety that these gloves provide.

Those early gloves had a padded palm and were not much larger than a workman's glove, the game play of that day was to knock down the ball and then throw it. To that end the baseball glove did not have any fingers in them, either by design or because the user would cut them off, this would make throwing the ball with the gloved hand easier.

Forty years later the baseball glove began to look something like the modern day glove, the glove now had fingers and padding extended beyond the palm of the hand to include the fingers. The over all size of the gloves had not increased much but with the additional padding and the inclusion of webbing between the thumb and first finger they were larger than the preceding years.

Fifty years later and the baseball glove looks much the same as what is being played with now, the space between the thumb and first finger now has a patch of leather the finger tips are loosely stitched together and the end result is a much larger glove.

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