Your choice of glove in pitching is just as important as your step, timing and release. The right glove will benefit a player in every way. Pitchers will often go for a glove that feels comfortable for them, but still has the ability to hide the ball before the pitch. In order to not give the advantage to the batter, a pitcher will look for these specific glove features, pocket depth, size and webbing.
Fastpitch gloves have a deeper pocket, these gloves are designed with the player as priority. The deeper pocket is because a softball is larger than a baseball. There are a lot of variations amongst gloves by positions. The deeper pocket also makes it easier to control the grip on your pitch and keeps the ball hidden from the opposition.
A closed web also helps the pitcher to hide the pitch. The one-piece-web or two-piece-web both give no viewing window to the batter. This makes sure that the ball and the hand from the pitcher are completely covered. Web design is an important part of the glove to keep in mind because it can be the difference between a strike and a home run. Keep this in mind.
Knotless Back Design
This is a feature that younger players might need. In pitching pulling down your glove hand at the same speed as your throwing hand during a windup is very important for your timing. A typical technique to accomplish this is to slap your leg with your glove. When you do this with a knotted back design can harm your leg and leave marks or even bruises. Therefore the softball pitcher glove designs have taken this into consideration and ended up with a knotless back design. This decreases the aftereffects of this technique.
Pitchers will look for a glove that they can control comfortably. They field less balls than other position players, they don’t take range or ball transfer into major consideration. Web design is the most important feature in a pitcher’s glove. A glove which is to small can cause problems while hiding the ball. Try to look for a glove that will cover up the whole ball.
Always check in what league you are playing: fastpitch, slow pitch or an adult rec league. The ball is an inch bigger in slow pitch, so you’ll need a larger glove to cover up the bigger ball. Always pay attention to this.
A fastpitch ball is 11”, youth pitcher’s gloves usually have a size between 11,5” and 12”. In the adult rec leagues, the softball is even bigger – about 14”- so, these players should go for a glove sized between 12,5” and 13”.
There are a couple of options to choose from when going for a pitcher glove. For example synthetic, cowhide, full-grain, pigskin and steerhide. Cowhide and pigskin will be better for your wallet, but full-grain and steerhide gloves have been shown to last longer. This is why most of the premium and pro series gloves have been made from these two leather types. But the decision is still up to the player.
Just like any other piece of your equipment, you have to make sure that you’re comfortable with it. A nice and controllable fit is essential for the player and they can still use their personal preference when it comes to color and material. Remember that you have to feel confident with the glove.