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How to Break-In a Baseball Glove

How do I break in a baseball glove? Let me count the ways. Ballplayers have tried hundreds of ways to break in a new baseball glove.

All methods of breaking in a baseball glove have had various degrees of success. Some methods naturally have worked better than others.

For the most part breaking in a baseball glove comes down to the glove owner.

ball in glove


Top 10 Ways for Breaking In
a Baseball Glove 

Everyone chooses a personal way to break his or her glove in and there really is no one-way to do it. For example, I will give you my top ten methods for breaking in a new baseball glove.

These methods of breaking in a glove are just examples and some I would never try, but they have been attempted before by others.

My top 10 attempts at prepping your glove for game use…from worst to first.

10. Run over the baseball glove with the car. Not my top choice but I think the cowhide leather would be a little softer to work with after a ton or two of metal rolled over it. Keeping the glove shaped like you like it is kind of out the door so there might be some better ways.

9. Pound the glove with a hammer, rubber mallet or a baseball bat. Again, the leather will soften but not sure the shape of the glove will turn out good.

8. Put baseball glove oil on the glove. One of worst baseball glove care and break in methods is adding baseball glove oil to your glove. The glove will hold the weight of the oil and make the glove too heavy. And worse, the glove leather softens too much and the leather will tear at the laces prematurely.

I think the glove manufacturers invented glove oil so gloves will wear out quicker so you will have to buy a new one much sooner then normal. Never use glove oil to break in your glove. Some gloves come with pre-oiled leather.

7. Soak the glove in water. I have seen players take expensive baseball gloves and put them in a bath full of water overnight. They usually will stuff some rags or a small towel in the pocket; tie up the glove with a string or large rubber bands to form some sort of shape and pocket. Then they let the glove dry out for a couple days.

The theory is the glove will dry in the shape that the player molded and tied up the glove prior to soaking. I am like a cat with my glove around water. I just don’t think gloves and water mix too well.

More Breaking In a Baseball Mitt

breaking in a new baseball glove

6. Microwave the glove for a few minutes. Again, water, ovens and gloves and it sounds a little risky to me. Supposedly the glove leather softens with the heat. Artificial glove break in methods are not for me but you are welcome to try them if you like taking a little risk.

5. Put shaving cream on the glove. Not as bad as putting baseball glove oil on your glove but it will have very little affect. You are probably going to have to add additional methods to get the job done.

4. Work the leather with your hands. I saw my old coach Doug Camilli take a player’s brand new stiff premium leather catchers mitt on a two-hour bus trip to a minor league ballgame. Douger told the catcher that the glove would be ready to catch with the glove in the game later that night.

So Doug worked the catchers mitt with his hands off and on during the 2-hour bus ride and sure enough the glove was pliable enough to use in the game. The glove surely was not as broken in as you would like but definitely playable. Wow.

3. Put two baseballs or a softball in the pocket and tie a string around it. This method in some form has been around many baseball generations. Tying a baseball sanitary sock, a strong heavy cord or rubber bands around the glove with two or three baseballs in the pocket is a standard overnight break in mode. Good for when the glove sleeps at night.

2. Turn the glove inside out. My favorite glove break in method. You should see the expression I get when I take a ball players brand new baseball glove and poke and prod the glove until it is completely inside out. They are like…you got to be kidding! But I tell them just leave it inside out all night.

The next day when you put it back to shape it is much more pliable and workable and you didn’t have to do a thing. Plus you want the fingers to stay straight and the glove to open very wide when it breaks it and this helps to shape the glove pocket to be very wide open.

Curling the fingers and bending them in toward the pocket is not beneficial for catching the baseball…it makes the pocket opening too small.

#1 Best Method for Glove Break-In

Actually, along with using it and adding a few more of the techniques here in the baseball article and you will have a perfectly shaped broken in glove just like you like in just a week or two at the most.

Maybe in a two-hour bus ride if you really need to break in a baseball glove fast.

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#1 Top Method for Glove break in: USE IT.

Go Back to Baseball Gloves from Break in a Baseball glove.

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