"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

But Like My Leather You Butta Soft

Last weekend during the Mets-Astros broadcast, Keith Hernandez talked about breaking in a baseball glove. He used two mitts per season in his playing days which came as a surprise to me. I thought a player would hang onto a favorite glove for longer than that, but Mex talked about liking his glove to remain stiff, and I suppose that makes sense for a first baseman.

As a kid I loved the ritual of buying a new glove and breaking it in.

On that note, check out this cool article on craft of glove repair over at A Continuous Lean.


1 Jon DeRosa   ~  May 20, 2011 2:10 pm

A big disconnect for me and my dad was how we viewed our gloves. I loved mine, but in a rag-doll, tattered blanket kind of way. I wasn't interested in keeping it alive forever or taking care of it obsessively. Meanwhile, my dad was using the same glove from he was young.

A kind way to put it is that it was a generational thing. But really it was the ignorance of youth and knowing I'd always get a new one if needed. A spoiled brat thing is the less kind, more accurate way to put it.

I would leave it around, misplace it, all kinds of careless crap and it drove him crazy. But I paid the price, lost my favorite glove once - best one I ever had, and never found it.

2 Alex Belth   ~  May 20, 2011 2:18 pm

I think I lost one each year.

3 ms october   ~  May 20, 2011 2:36 pm

i was pretty obsessive with my gloves.
i couldn't even imagine losing it.
i had my darryl strawberry red glove for many, many years. i loved that thing. it was broken in perfectly, it really felt like an extension of my hand. i liked my glove to be really flexible which i guess made sense as a ss.
never did anything fancy with it though, like oiling it up - just left the ball in it and put it in its little place in the closet.

4 BronxToCT   ~  May 20, 2011 5:26 pm

I play catch with my daughter with the same glove I got when I was her current age -- 15. That's (gulp) 42 years ago. Spaulding. Johnny Callison model. Wonder Web. Made in the USA.

5 NYYfan22   ~  May 20, 2011 5:54 pm

I'm a dad of two. My son is 7 and my daughter, 5. They both love baseball--a natural extension of my wife and me loving baseball, I suppose. My son is in his second season of tee ball (coach pitch). Next year is the big time.

We upgraded him to a bigger glove this season, and we've oiled it up a few times to really loosen it up, since I'm trying to get him wrapped around the mechanics of catching the ball. It's a tough thing to explain--and really, it was just a matter of getting him to move in front of the ball, instead of flinching away.

I'm happy to report that he's catching really well. And let me tell you -- there's nothing more pleasing to me than having a catch with my boy on the front lawn while the evening sun filters through the maples. I get emotional just thinking about it. A few weeks ago, he said, "Dad? When I'm grown up, will you come over and have a catch with my son?" I certainly hope so..

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver