Following the history of baseball gloves, catchers were likely the ones to have their protective glove first – a simple leather piece with minimal padding and no fingertips.
Afterwards, as baseball is popularized, details such as web, finger paddings, lining, pockets, and more have been added to the design. And those details have also been tailored to fit players’ roles on the field, hence different types of baseball gloves.
To choose the correct one for your kid or your own baseball practice, check out the features, functions, and benefits of these glove designs below.
Table of Contents
Different Baseball Gloves by Position
1. Outfield baseball gloves
Outfielder gloves are the name for baseball gloves used for corner, left, and right fielder players.
They have relatively large designs, not as big as catcher’s mitts, but definitely longer than infielders’, as these gloves allow players to catch and secure the fly balls.
As outfielders are required to make leaping catches of the fly balls, their gloves must also feature deep pockets and flexible webs.
- Youth sizes: 5 – 12.5 inches, adult sizes: 12.25 – 13 inches
- Trap-Eze webs, H-webs
- Slightly large and deep pocket
2. Infielder baseball gloves
Among all baseball gloves for different positions, the infielder ones are the smallest for better mobility. They are shortstop, third, and second baseman gloves.
One feature that stands out is its relatively shallow pocket, compared to gloves for other baseball positions that require scooping or funneling high-speed fly balls. In fact, infielders need these gloves to field the ball, not throwing it.
- Youth sizes: 9 – 11.5 inches, adult sizes: 11.25 – 11.75 inches
- Single-post webs, H-webs, I-webs, 1-piece solid webs,
- Small and lightweight design
- Extra features: a slightly bigger design for 3rd base, longer than other infield gloves for shortstops, the most shallow pocket and many large holes for 2nd base
3. Catcher’s mitts
The catcher’s mitt is designed to be larger than other gloves for players on the field, with a distinct clam-like shape to easily grasp the ball.
Furthermore, these mitts come with extra padding on the thumb and pinky finger; such protection allows the catcher to safely funnel the ball flying at 95 mph and above.
A distinct feature of a catcher’s mitt is its single large pocket to hold the ball since there are no individual finger pockets like other baseball gloves.
Furthermore, there can be closed and open back catcher’s mitts; however, players prefer the closed design for better wrist protection and catching support. Indeed, some still wear the open-back mitt for more flexibility and mobility when throwing.
- Youth sizes: 31 – 32.5 inches, adult sizes: 33 – 35 inches.
- Closed webs, 2-piece closed webs (half-moon)
- Closed back, open back
- Deep and large pocket, with no individual fingers
- Extra features: Adjustable wrist guard, external finger slot, extra padding
4. First base gloves
There are many similarities between first-base gloves and catcher’s mitts, as they do not come with individual finger slots. Furthermore, they are also on the large and thick side compared to other infield baseball gloves.
These features benefit the player’s position as they allow better handling of a fast-flying ball from other infielders’ throws.
We can also easily recognize a first baseman’s mitt from its deep and large pocket with a curved edge. Such a design makes it easier for the player to scoop the ball and accurately throw it.
- Youth sizes: 12- 12.25 inches, adult sizes: 12.5 – 13 inches
- Single post webs, modified H-webs, and dual bar webs
- Deep and large pocket, no individual finger slots
- A curved edge
5. Pitcher’s gloves
Despite being one of the gloves for infielders, the design for pocket depth and glove length for pitchers can vary, depending on the individual pitcher.
However, since pitchers are supposed to hide the ball and the ball gripping position from the opposing team’s batter, almost all pitching gloves come with closed webbing.
- Youth sizes: 9 – 11.5 inches, adult sizes: 11.75 – 12 inches
- Closed webs, 2-piece closed webs, basket webs, modified Trap-eze webs
- Conventional open back
- Extra feature: thumb sleeve padding for comfort
6. Utility baseball glove
We often refer to this type of design as all position baseball glove, as players can wear it to play different positions on the field, including infield and outfield. For this reason, they are slightly larger than most infield gloves.
Besides, these gloves come with closed webbing, as players might need to conceal their ball grip to catch the batter off guard.
- Youth sizes: 11 – 12 inches, adult sizes: 11.75 – 12.5 inches
- Mostly closed webs
- Larger and longer than most infield gloves
Now that you know different types of baseball gloves, it’s easier to pick the right one for your playing position. Besides all the important features that support distinct purposes, please note that sizing also matters whether you purchase one for a kid, youth player, or amateur adult player.
The gloves need to fit well for players to bring out all of their best features. So pick a good one and have fun!
Rogers is a hardcore baseball enthusiast. He joined Nations Baseball as a writer to share his knowledge and help others realize their passions for the sport. Roger is striving towards becoming a coach at his local baseball club.