A youth glove is designed for younger players with smaller hands. They are typically cheaper than the adult gloves and are much easier to close. The youth gloves are not made of the same high quality leather, but the materials they are made of make them easier to close. Youth gloves have smaller, narrower fingers and should be used for a player under 10 years old. They sometimes can be used for a player up to 12 years old, but after then, kids should be using adult gloves. To fit an adult glove onto a younger player’s hand, the back of the wrist can be tightened. This is done on softball gloves with a Velcro strap, but on baseball gloves, the glove needs a minor re-lacing. The picture below shows the difference of how a tightened glove looks compared to a non-adjusted one.
A catcher’s glove is more commonly referred to as a catcher’s mitt because it does not have separately cut fingers like other positions. This allows catchers to catch fastballs for an entire game without wearing down quickly or the catches becoming painful. For this reason, catchers’ mitts tend to be very stiff right off the shelf and take a while to break in. Many catchers buy their replacement mitt a few months before they think their old mitt will wear out so they have time to break their new glove in. Catcher mitts tend to have a closed pocket because they can be attached with the most lacing and take the most abuse without breaking.
First Baseman's Gloves
A first baseman’s glove is very similar to the catcher’s mitt with the exception that it is longer and doesn’t have as much padding. It’s designed to have the same catching area as a catcher’s glove, but is flexible for scooping throws out of the dirt. The first basemen’s glove is stronger than a standard glove so that the fingers do not flop back like a regular fielder’s glove would. They also have open web designs to allow the pocket to be a little deeper and lighter than a closed pocket. First basemen’s gloves normally start being worn at age 10 or older, because it can be difficult for younger kids to close the big glove. The typical size range for both baseball and softball is from 11.5 to 13 inches.
These gloves won’t have as much padding as other gloves and instead rely on being comfortable. They’re usually larger than other gloves to allow pitchers to move their hands around to grip the ball and hide their hand movements from the batter before a pitch. A pitcher doesn’t need to be as worried as other players about the performance of their glove. But the comfort is important since they are constantly catching and will often have to stop line drives hit back through the middle. It’s also important to make sure the glove isn’t too heavy. Many manufacturers make light versions of high-end gloves with special materials that weigh significantly less than standard gloves.
These smaller gloves are made to allow for quick plays like a double play in the middle infield. They are shorter and have a shallower pocket than other gloves. Infielders typically want an open pocket that makes it easy to get the ball out quickly. This is typically an I-web, post web, Dual Post web, or modified trapeze pocket. The only position that sometimes wants a closed pocket is third base. This is because third base gets harder hits that a closed pocket can handle better than an open one will. The standard size for a baseball infield glove is 11.25 to 12 inches.
These larger gloves are made for diving catches and to catch fly balls. This means that the gloves are longer and deeper with extra support in the fingers. The pocket designs for baseball are typically open with the main options being a modified trapeze and an H-web. These pockets are the best for long extension plays that need to keep the ball in the glove, such as diving plays and snow cones. The typical size of an outfielder’s glove is 9 to 15 inches for baseball.