A T-ball or baseball glove, is one of the most important tools used by young ballplayers. It’s worn during games and practices all season long, and therefore, a glove must be comfortable, must fit properly (not too snug, not too loose) and it must be durable enough to withstand regular use during the season. Buying a T-Ball glove can be a challenge for parents. There are so many options available, including a range of sizes, vinyl gloves, leather gloves, and specific position gloves like a catcher’s mitt. To help you make the right choice, we’ve compiled a list of five tips that can help you pick out the right T-Ball glove.
- Choose a Glove That’s Durable: T-Ball gloves are commonly made from leather, vinyl or a leather-vinyl composite. Vinyl gloves are the most cost-effective, and they generally last for a season or two. Vinyl gloves, though, are often designed for limited use, and they may be more difficult to break in. This can make it harder for your child to close the glove for a catch. Leather gloves, on the other hand, are more durable, and they generally last two seasons or more. The Rawlings Player Series T-Ball Pattern, Left Hand Throw, 9-Inch is a great option for T-Ball players.
- Properly Size the Glove: T-Ball and baseball gloves are measured from the heel of the glove (just below the palm) to the top of the glove (just above the index finger) and gloves range in size from 8 to 15 inches. T-Ball gloves are typically at the lower end of the size spectrum, from about 8 to 9.5 inches. For first-time buyers, trying on a few different gloves is one of the best options for getting the right fit. Look for a glove that’s not too tight around the wrist, that fits the entire palm of the hand, and that allows the fingers to move around comfortably. Plus, be sure to have the player squeeze the glove to ensure he or she can close it; new leather gloves need to be worked in again. Wilson has a variety of gloves like the Wilson A200 TeeBall Glove, Brown/Black/White, 9.5-Inch for young baseball players.
- Don’t Purchase a Glove That’s Too Big: For parents of kids who plan to continue on to baseball or softball, there’s often a temptation to purchase a larger glove that your child can grow into over a season or two. Buying a glove that’s two or three inches too big is not recommended; it can make it more difficult to catch and close the glove for the child, and it will be heavier on the hand. For a growing child, you might benefit from purchasing a glove that’s a half-inch or one-inch up in size; but the key is ensuring that the player can squeeze the glove closed easily. Franklin Sports has several good T-Ball gloves including their Teeball Performance Series Fielding Glove.
- Choose a Right-Handed or Left-Handed Glove: There are gloves made for right-handed and left-handed throwers. For example, if your child throws right-handed, they need a RH glove, which sits on the left hand. Left-handed throwers need a LF glove that sits on the right hand. A good choice may be the Louisville Slugger Youth Genesis Series 9″ Fielding Glove from Baseball Express.
- Considering Special Gloves: In baseball, position players often require a special positional glove. For instance, the catcher uses a special glove, while outfielders tend to use a glove with a larger pocket. With T-Ball, special gloves are much less likely to be used, as players are still learning, but if they are required, you should consult a store attendant or coach for more information on buying a proper positional glove.
For kids, T-Ball is all about having fun and learning new skills, and a T-Ball glove is an integral tool. It’s important to find one that’s comfortable for your child and that fits correctly. The best option is to go to a sporting goods store and try on a few different gloves; get a sense of what feels comfortable for the child and ask questions of the sales staff if needed. Just remember: Shopping for a glove should be fun for your child and you!