First Base Glove vs Regular Glove: What’s Key Difference?

Batting Gloves Written by MICHAEL ROGERS / Fact-checked by LEO HAGENES

first base glove vs regular glove

There are clear differences between gloves worn by a pitcher, catcher, infielder, or outfielder, with one worn by the first baseman. Therefore, you should be able to identify between first base glove vs regular glove to choose a piece that works for your position.

For your information, the first base glove is also referred to as a mitt, therefore you can quickly spot this glove among other regular ones due to its one-piece design.

Refer to this table for more comparison details:

  1st base glove Regular glove
Fingers A solid design with no finger slots Featuring slots that separate each finger (except for catcher’s mitt)
Edge Curved and round edge No unique curved edge
Pocket Deeper Deep
Webbing Open and deep webbing Can be either opened or closed webbing
Size
(For Adult)
12 inches – 13 inches Various sizes (11 inches to 35 inches)

 

Materials Mostly leather Mostly leather

Differences Between First Base Glove and Regular Gloves

first-base-gloves-different

Several points make first base gloves different from other gloves in general and gloves used by other players on the field. You can rely on one or several features at once to recognize the specially-made mitt to play 1st base.

1. Design

As stated above, the overall design of a first-base glove resembles a mitt, meaning it has no finger holes. In this aspect, it somehow resembles a catcher’s mitt, which also comes in a solid one-piece structure.

Other than featuring all fingers joined as one huge pad to embrace the baseball, this glove also has several unique design points:

  • Its edge has a distinct curve for swiftly scooping the ball from the dirt and reducing bobbles.
  • It has reduced paddin While this may sound like a bad thing, it actually makes the glove more comfortable to wear, if you don’t mind having less grip on the ball compared to regular ones.
  • The glove pocket is deeper than that of all other baseball gloves. This gives the player more control over the ball and reducing the chance of it falling out. That said, the design also makes transferring to throw more challenging.
  • The first base glove features open webbing, unlike the pitcher glove, which has closed webbing. It can be a dual or single post webbing glove.
  • Quality baseball gloves are mostly made of leather, including gloves designed for the first base position.
  • There are available glove designs for left-handed first basemen.

First-base gloves also include additional features such as extra lacing, D-ring or strap. These added design elements provide players with more flexibility when adjusting the glove wrist, therefore, they can also be found in gloves for other field positions.

2. Functions

One distinct function of first base gloves is its use to scoop the balls thrown in the field dirt. This explains the glove’s characteristic curve, which allows picking the balls without removing the glove.

Furthermore, in order to field and catch balls, the first base glove is slightly more rigid and larger than regular gloves (save for the catcher’s mitt), providing a larger surface area. Moreover, because it is designed as a mitt, it prevents the fingers from flopping back when catching the ball.

3. Prices

The price depends on whether you purchase youth or professional gloves, types of materials, brands, and other additional features.

An affordable baseball glove with decent features can cost you more than $70. However, if you want to play professionally, it’s better to go for quality ones for over $150, $200, or even $500.

For your reference, the Wilson A2000 first base glove is available at around $300.

To save money, you can also purchase used first baseman gloves from quality brands such as Rawlings and Mizuno, starting at about $125, depending on the glove conditions.

Meanwhile, a first base softball glove is available at around $40 to over $300. And gloves made for other positions also have varying prices, ranging from $50 to over $400, and more for customized designs.

4. Care and maintenance

Because first-base gloves are typically made of leather, it is vital that you care for them in order to preserve the fabric’s condition and protective properties.

Furthermore, you should take special care to retain the glove form because it is made that way for a reason.

  • How to break in a first base glove

You must loosen the palm, heel, and pocket of a new first base mitt. Fold the glove in half, then pound along the folded edge, with a special focus on the heel, using a 5-pound mallet to loosen the stiff leather sections.

You should also play catch and throw with the glove for it to close easily. However, avoid rolling/curling the finger part while breaking in the glove.

  • How to care for a first base glove

You can purchase cleaning products for leather, including wipes, brushes, and cleaners. Compatible leather conditioners are also important to keep the glove from breaking and becoming brittle.

5. Pros and cons

  First base gloves Regular gloves
Pros
  • Makes it easier to scoop the ball
  • Larger surface area for higher chances of successfully catching the ball
  • Offers more control over the ball
  • Usually more comfortable to wear
  • Shallower web for quicker ball transfer
  • Offer a tighter grip
  • Available in both open and closed webbing styles
Cons
  • Makes transferring to throw more challenging
  • Smaller surface area, which can reduce the chance of catching balls

Frequently Asked Questions

used-first-baseman-glove

What is special about a first base glove?

As elaborated above, a first base glove comes in a solid one-piece design, making it stand out among baseball gloves with separate fingers. You can notice the piece when looking at its deep pocket, open webbing, and distinct curved edge.

Why does the first baseman have different gloves?

The first baseman often scoops balls from the dirt, so having a large mitt with a unique curve helps them do the job effortlessly.

Furthermore, the open web, strong finger part, and deep pocket allow the first baseman to catch and field the ball better.

Can an outfielder use a first baseman’s glove?

It is actually illegal to use a first baseman glove when you are playing outfield. Furthermore, it is a disadvantage for the team to use a first baseman glove in the outfield since the glove is meant to catch a high-velocity flying ball. In other words, the first base glove and fielders glove are not interchangeable.

First base mitt vs catchers mitt

The first base glove and catcher’s mitt are the two largest baseball gloves, featuring no finger slots due to their design resembling a mitt. However, there are more paddings on the catcher’s mitt, while the first base glove is rather thin.

Conclusion

So, despite the fact that they are utilized in the same game, there are significant differences between a first base glove vs regular glove. The variances in gloves are determined by the various roles and their tasks in the game.

As a result, if you intend to buy a baseball glove for practice, make sure to choose the proper design. And if you’re looking for a first base glove, look for one that looks like a mitt.

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M. Rogers

Rogers is a hardcore baseball enthusiast. He plays with a team in his neighborhood three days a week and spends the rest either watching baseball games or reading the news about it. He joined Nations Baseball as a writer to share his knowledge and help others realize their passions for the sport

Michael Rogers

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