Youth baseball leagues are up and running across North America, and around the globe. The game is very popular in Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, the Caribbean, and in South America. Millions of kids look forward to playing on their local teams. It’s a chance to meet new friends, travel to other parks or cities, and to be on a ball team. It’s the camaraderie that makes playing baseball a fun event.
The practicing however is often a different matter, especially catching baseballs. In what is a pretty easygoing sport, kids have to catch baseballs moving along a good clip. They’ll have to learn catching skills, such as fielding balls that will bounce along with ground unpredictably or line drives that move toward them at a high speed. They may be kids, but some can hit the ball very well. For the kid that doesn’t know how to catch properly or doesn’t have a very good glove, there are few more angst-ridden activities than catching baseballs.
Leather baseball gloves have been around a long time. If you’ve been to the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame, you may have seen some unusual looking antique gloves and wondered how they could have caught a baseball with them. For those of us old timers who have been around long enough to actually use some of those antique gloves, we can tell you that it was not easy. They were stiff, heavy, clumsy, and tough to manipulate with your hand when they were new, and it wasn’t long before they wore out to a limp clump of hide that often let the ball fly right through it. Catching was an art, and stinging fingers and bruised shins were all part of the experience of playing youth baseball.
Youth Baseball Gloves
With those stiff or floppy youth baseball gloves, you’d wonder why kids didn’t give up on the game. Well, truth is, many youths wouldn’t play baseball or gave up for that very reason. They didn’t want to have any part of trying to catch a hot, bobbling grounder on uneven ground. Kids are the same way today. If it’s too unpleasant to use the equipment and play the game the way it is meant to be played, then they might think, “why bother?”
New Baseball Gloves and New Materials
Glove manufacturers today have designed them so they’re ready to play with. Instead of stiff, thick cowhide leather composing the whole glove, modern kids ball gloves are made of numerous materials including pigskin. Cowhide may be used where it is needed most, but these gloves are designed for comfort and performance. They almost feel like they can catch the ball themselves.
The design of youth baseball gloves is done with the child’s hand eye coordination and physical skills in mind. The physical skill of an adult means adult gloves can be made differently depending on the nature of the position they play, and with more webbing to allow them to snare baseballs a little more easily. A child’s finger dexterity and strength aren’t fully developed, so they’re not going to be able to use a glove with the skill of an older youth or adult ball player. There are gloves for young tots, something that couldn’t be done decades ago.
Additional helpful features of today’s youth baseball gloves, such as anti-microbial treatments, which keep bacteria at bay. It’s hot in the summer and your child’s hand will sweat inside the glove.
Franklin Sports Gloves
With the physiology and coordination of youth ball players in mind, Franklin Sports has designed a wide range of quality youth baseball gloves. Their leather ball gloves range in size and styles but all are designed for comfort in how they fit the child’s hand and how the leather is stitched. The result is an outstanding ball glove that will feel like a natural extension of the child’s arm. On models for older youths, the gloves are all leather with deep pockets and lengths up to 12.5 inches. That’s plenty of glove for making tough catches.
With a Franklin baseball glove, your child won’t have the same frustration or soreness from learning new baseball skills. Perhaps they’ll avoid the stinging fingers, summer sweat that sees smelly bacteria forming inside the glove, and bruised shins that take some of the fun out of playing. A good glove won’t rid your child of those embarrassing moments when they miss a catch, but it will increase their comfort level. They’ll be able to relax and they’ll be more confident that they can learn their fielding skills.