How to Break in a Catcher’s Mitt Fast
Baseball players have an intimate relationship with their glove. It becomes an extension of your hand, and using it becomes an automatic function. For catchers especially, it’s the one tool you’ll use the most, and it has to be flexible and pliable while providing a pocket for the pitcher to hit.
Buying a new glove is almost like the purchase of a new pair of shoes. They often fit just fine but start out feeling a little foreign and uncomfortable. The first step after the purchase of a new glove is to break it in, so it’s soft and comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, giving you that pliable texture you’re looking for. There are several ways to accomplish this, and some major leaguers have turned this process into something of a ritual. Check out our suggestions for how to break in a catcher’s mitt.
One step that is pretty much universally agreed upon is using some sort of leather conditioner on your glove. There are special formulas you can buy that are marketed to baseball gloves, but you can also use lanolin, or weirdly enough, shaving cream (makes sure it’s fragrance-free and contains lanolin). Don’t overdo it, because a little product, no matter what you use, goes a long way. Also, avoid using products that contain petroleum jelly, linseed oil, mink oil, or olive oil, as these have properties that can actually hurt the leather long term.
Some methods recommend steaming the glove by placing it on a rack over steaming water. Then, you trap the steam over the glove with a bowl or something similar and let it steam for 2–5 minutes. This will make the leather more pliable, at which point you’ll need to bend and flex the glove in all directions. Some sporting goods stores also offer glove-steaming services if you’re not comfortable with the DIY approach.
Two methods that are similar to steaming involve first submerging the glove in water for a brief period. From there you have a few options:
Oven – some major leaguers will place their gloves in a low-temperature oven (300 degrees) for 2-4 minutes. This will create a steaming effect, but you must take care; this method runs the risk of burning the laces or making them brittle.
Microwave – sounds weird, but some folks swear by it. Pop the damp glove in the microwave for 30 seconds (no more) then throw the ball in the pocket.
If you want to try an oldie but a goodie, and you have a lot of time, you can always try lightly conditioning the glove and tightly wrap it around a baseball or softball (whichever you play) and put it under a mattress for a few days or even weeks. This may not be the most efficient method, but still it works. I have added some more features to this method to make the process more efficient which I will be discussing later in this article.
Use Your Glove
The best method is simply to use your glove, play catch or have a pitcher throw to you repeatedly. It takes time, but it won’t damage your glove or run the risk of drying out.
My Own Experience in Breaking in Catcher’s Mitts
I have used various methods when it come to breaking in catcher’s mitts, but however here I will share the two methods I use most to get the work done easily and quickly.
The first and foremost method is freezing the mitt with rubber bands and a mattress, and you need to follow the below steps to accomplish it.
At first, you need to close the mitt and wrap around the whole mitt by using rubber bands.
Now, you can out your mitt under the mattress.
On the next day morning, remove the mitt from the mattress and now you will get a glove that is partially broken in.
Apply a small amount of glove oil all around the glove, which ensures every crevice of the mitt broken up.
These steps help you to do the first method of breaking the catcher’s mitt.
The second method of break in a catchers mitt is freezing the mitt and below steps tells you how to freeze the mitt.
At first, you have to put the mitt under the water faucet and leave it until it is soaked well.
After that put the mitt in the freezer and leave for some time to completely frozen.
Now, it’s a time to take out the mitt and leave the mitt in the sink to make it as completely dry. If you want to speed up the drying process, then you need to turn it over again and again. During this process, the water will enter into the mitt and makes in loose.
In short, there are multiple ways to break in your catcher’s mitt, depending on your personal preferences and how much time you want to spend on it.
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