America’s pastime has not changed that much in terms of gameplay since its inception during the mid-1800s. One thing that has assuredly changed throughout the years is the advancement in equipment. No longer is it just a mere ball, stick, and glove apparatus that are used today, like it was all that time ago. The one piece of gear that has arguably had the biggest advancements in terms of specificity and improvements has to be the baseball glove.

The five main types of baseball gloves

  1. Outfielder’s Glove: Outfielder’s gloves are the largest gloves on the field, typically ranging from 12 to 13 inches in size. They have a deep pocket and a longer, wider design to help outfielders catch fly balls and make reaching grabs. The added length and size provide more surface area for catching and help secure the ball securely in the glove.
  2. Infielder’s Glove: Infielder’s gloves are smaller and more compact compared to outfielder’s gloves. They typically range from 11 to 12 inches in size, offering a balance between control and the ability to make quick transfers. Infielder’s gloves have a shallow pocket and a shorter, narrower design, which allows infielders to quickly retrieve the ball from the glove and make accurate throws.
  3. Pitcher’s Glove: Yes, even nowadays, pitchers have gloves specifically designed for them. Pitcher’s gloves are similar in size and design to infielder’s gloves. They generally range from 11 to 12 inches in size. Pitchers primarily use their gloves to conceal their grip on the ball and to protect their hands from line drives hit back at them. The design of a pitcher’s glove emphasizes control, grip, and quick ball release.
  4. First Baseman’s Glove: The first baseman’s glove is designed to assist the first baseman in fielding throws from other players and making stretches to catch the ball while keeping a foot on the base. These gloves typically feature a longer, wider design compared to infielder’s gloves, with sizes ranging from 12 to 13 inches. One distinctive feature of the first baseman’s glove is the presence of a deeper pocket which often has a more open webbing, such as the single post web or modified trapeze web. The first baseman’s glove also tends to have extra padding on the palm side of the glove. This padding helps absorb the impact of throws and provides additional protection when catching the ball.
  5. Catcher’s Mitt: The catcher’s mitt, also known as a catcher’s glove, is a specialized glove designed for catchers. It is heavily padded to absorb the impact of high-speed pitches and protect the catcher’s hand. Catcher’s mitts have no individual finger stalls, and instead, the entire hand slips into the mitt. The mitt is typically larger than other gloves, ranging from 32 to 34 inches in circumference, to provide a bigger target for pitchers to throw at and help catchers handle pitches effectively.

These five main types of gloves are designed to suit the specific needs and requirements of different positions on the baseball field. However, it’s worth noting that there can be variations and specialized gloves within each category to cater to specific player preferences and playing styles.

Best outfield glove: Wilson A2000 1799 12.75″ Baseball Glove – Blonde

Wilson A2000 1799 12.75" Baseball Glove - Blonde colored on a white background.

The Wilson A2000 1799 12.75″ Baseball Glove is a high-quality, top-of-the-line glove designed for outfielders. Made with Pro Stock Leather for durability and performance, this glove offers excellent craftsmanship and a comfortable fit. The deep pocket and larger size of 12.75 inches provide outfielders with the ability to make outstanding catches and secure the ball confidently.

  • Top Reason to Buy: Experience unparalleled performance and reliability with the Wilson A2000 1799 12.75″ Baseball Glove, allowing you to track down fly balls and make game-changing plays with its exceptional craftsmanship and deep pocket design.

Runner-up: Rawlings 12.75” HOH R2G Series Glove – Camel

Rawlings 12.75'' HOH R2G Series Glove - blonde colored on a white background.

The Rawlings 12.75″ HOH R2G Series Glove is a premium glove designed for serious outfielders. Crafted with high-quality leather, this glove offers exceptional durability, while the 12.75-inch size and deep pocket provide ample catching surface and help secure the ball. The “Ready to Go” feature ensures a quick break-in time, allowing players to take the field with confidence right away.

  • Top Reason to Buy: Get a high-performing glove with excellent durability and a quick break-in time featuring premium Heart of the Hide leather.

Best infield glove: Nokona 11.5″ Classic Walnut Series Glove

Nokona 11.5" Classic Walnut Series Glove walnut color on a white background.

The Nokona 11.5″ Classic Walnut Series Glove is a top-quality infielder’s glove known for its craftsmanship and performance. Constructed with high-quality Walnut Crunch leather, this glove offers exceptional durability, flexibility, and a classic look. The 11.5-inch size provides infielders with excellent control and quick ball transfer for precise plays.

  • Top Reason to Buy:  Superior craftsmanship, durability, and precise ball control, allowing you to make confident and smooth transitional throws.

Runner-up: Wilson A2K SC1786 11.5″ Baseball Glove – Tan/Black

Wilson A2K SC1786 11.5" Baseball Glove - Tan/Black colorway on a white background.

The Wilson A2K SC1786 11.5″ Baseball Glove is a top-of-the-line glove designed for infielders seeking exceptional performance. Crafted with Pro Stock Select leather, this glove offers outstanding durability and a premium feel. The 11.5-inch size and H-Web design provide excellent control and quick ball transfer, making it ideal for making precise plays in the infield.

  • Top Reason to Buy: Premium quality craftsmanship, durable Pro Stock Select leather, and precise ball control for making quick, accurate plays.

Best first baseman’s glove: MARUCCI Ascension M-Type Baseball Glove – Beige

MARUCCI Ascension M-Type Baseball Glove - Gray colored on a white background.

The Marucci Ascension 12.50″ First Base Baseball Glove (MFG2AS37S1-CM) is a high-quality glove specifically designed for first basemen. Constructed with premium Japanese Kip leather, this glove offers exceptional durability and a soft, game-ready feel. The 12.50-inch size and single post web design provide the first baseman with a large catching surface and excellent ball retention.

  • Top Reason to Buy: Artisinal Japanese Kip leather for durability and a soft feel, as well as a spacious design and single post web for secure catches and excellent ball control.

Runner-up: Under Armour 13” Flawless Series First Base Mitt – Cream

Under Armour 13'' Flawless Series First Base Mitt - Cream colored on a white background.

The Under Armour 13″ Flawless Series First Base Mitt is a high-quality mitt specifically designed for first basemen. Crafted with premium leather, this mitt offers excellent durability and a comfortable fit. The 13-inch size provides a large catching surface, while the deep pocket and wide design help secure the ball for reliable catches and quick scoops.

  • Top Reason to Buy: Exceptional durability, a comfortable fit, and a spacious design for reliable catches and quick scoops, helping you make flawless plays and even dig up balls in the dirt.

Best pitchers glove: Wilson 11.75″ Clayton Kershaw A2000 Series Glove – Black

Wilson 11.75" Clayton Kershaw A2000 Series Glove - Black colored on a white background.

The Wilson 11.75″ Clayton Kershaw A2000 Series Glove is a high-quality glove designed in collaboration with pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Crafted with Pro Stock Leather, this glove offers exceptional durability, a comfortable fit, and quick break-in. The 11.75-inch size and H-Web design make it ideal for infielders and pitchers, providing excellent control and ball retention.

  • Top Reason to Buy: Comfortable fit and a versatile design, allowing you to showcase your skills combined with solid coverage allowing you to hide your grip.

Runner-up: Easton Professional Collection 12″ Baseball Glove – Blonde

Easton Professional Collection 12" Baseball Glove - Blonde colored on a white background.

The Easton Professional Collection 12″ Baseball Glove (PCK-D45) is a top-tier glove designed for players seeking professional-level performance. Crafted with premium steerhide leather, this glove offers exceptional durability, a supple feel, and a quick break-in time. The 12-inch size and traditional web design make it versatile for various positions, providing excellent control and ball retention.

  • Top Reason to Buy: Quick break-in time, featuring premium steerhide leather and superior durability and a closed web to hide pitch grips.

Best catchers mitt: All-Star 33.5″ Pro Elite Series Catcher’s Mitt – Black/Tan

All-Star 33.5" Pro Elite Series Catcher's Mitt - Black/Tan colorway on a white background.

The All-Star 33.5″ Pro Elite Series Catcher’s Mitt is a top-of-the-line mitt designed for serious catchers. Crafted with premium leather, this mitt offers exceptional durability and a comfortable fit. The 33.5-inch size provides a large catching surface, while the deep pocket and stiff construction help secure the ball for reliable catches and quick transfers.

  • Top Reason to Buy: Premium leather, superior durability, and a deep pocket for secure catches and quick transfers, allowing you to confidently handle pitches and control the game from behind the plate.

Runner-up: Rawlings 33″ HOH Series Catchers Mitt 2023 – Brown/Black

Rawlings 33" HOH Series Catchers Mitt 2023 - Brown/Black colored on a white background.

The Rawlings 33″ HOH Series Catcher’s Mitt is a high-quality mitt designed for serious catchers. Crafted with premium leather, this mitt offers exceptional durability and a comfortable fit. The 33-inch size provides a large catching surface, while the deep pocket and soft construction help secure the ball for reliable catches and excellent ball control.

  • Top Reason to Buy: Heart of the Hide leather, superior durability, and a deep pocket for secure catches and excellent ball control, allowing you to confidently handle pitches and make throw-outs a thing of ease.

The evolution of the baseball glove

Since the 1800s, baseball gloves have undergone significant advancements in terms of design, materials, and functionality. Here are some notable changes and improvements that have occurred over the years:

  1. Glove Design: The early baseball gloves were simple leather gloves with minimal padding. In the late 19th century, glove designs started to evolve with the addition of finger stalls, allowing players to have more control and grip. As time went on, the design continued to develop, leading to specialized gloves for different positions such as catcher’s mitts, first baseman’s mitts, and outfielder’s gloves.
  2. Webbing: The introduction of webbing between the thumb and forefinger was a major innovation. This feature improved the catching ability by creating a basket-like structure, making it easier to trap and secure the ball. Various types of webbing patterns have been developed, including the trapeze, H-web, I-web, and T-web, each offering different benefits in terms of flexibility, visibility, and ball retention.
  3. Padding: Early gloves had minimal padding, providing little protection for the player’s hand. As the game evolved and the ball was thrown at higher velocities, the need for better protection became apparent. Gloves now incorporate padding, typically made from materials like foam or synthetic fibers, to absorb impact and reduce the risk of injury.
  4. Materials: Leather remains the primary material used in baseball gloves, but advancements have been made in the tanning and treatment processes to enhance durability, flexibility, and break-in time. Synthetic materials like synthetic leathers and mesh are also used in some modern gloves, offering lighter weight, increased breathability, and quicker drying times.
  5. Glove Size: Over time, glove sizes have increased to accommodate the evolving demands of the game. In the early years, gloves were relatively small, but as players sought larger target areas for catching, gloves expanded in size. Fielders’ gloves have grown to have larger pockets and wider patterns, allowing for increased catching surface area.
  6. Customization: Nowadays, players can customize their gloves to suit their preferences. They can choose the size, webbing, color, and other features to create a personalized glove that fits their playing style and position requirements.
  7. Technology and Manufacturing: Advancements in manufacturing techniques have allowed for greater consistency and quality in glove production. Computer-aided design (CAD) and other technologies have improved the precision of glove patterns, resulting in better-fitting and more comfortable gloves.

By utilizing our guide, you’ll find a glove for all positions on the field, mound, or behind the plate — these are our favorite baseball gloves of 2023.