So, I have delusions of being the next Derek Jeter...
February 1, 2011 8:49 AM   Subscribe

I need a baseball/softball mitt and the last time I played was more than 20 years ago...

So I joined a softball league here in NYC (through ZogSports) and I need a mitt.

What kind of mitt should I get? Preferably online via Amazon or some other retailer. Obviously this is a casual league and I'm not looking to become the next Derek Jeter or [insert the name of your favorite baseball player here].

Bonus question: what sorts of exercises are good to do to prepare for a season of casual softball? (I run and lift weights regularly, so I'm not in terrible shape.)

posted by dfriedman to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
Response by poster: I would imagine that I will be rotating positions.
posted by dfriedman at 8:57 AM on February 1, 2011

You probably do not need a mitt. Mitts are for catchers and firstbasemen, with the extra circular area, designed to catch throws more than field balls that have been hit. You want a glove.

Get out and throw. Take a day off, and throw some more. It's not a natural motion, and you should re-acquaint yourself with it.

As for a glove...Wilson, Rawlings, these are all mostly ok. I foresee that you may be stuck in the outfield a lot for lack of experience...I would get a 13" glove, for the more area to pull in the ball. And you should probably look for a softball glove, specifically, since the ball is larger by a good bit than a baseball.
posted by stevis23 at 8:59 AM on February 1, 2011

I wouldn't buy a glove online. The most important characteristic is going to be how it feels on your hand. The only way to know that is to go to a sporting goods store and try them on until one feels right. It shouldn't be real tight on your hand, but also not so loose that it easily falls off if you hang your arm down and shake it. If you want to save a few bucks you can easily find a glove at yard sales, 2nd hand stores, etc.
posted by COD at 9:12 AM on February 1, 2011

Response by poster: Yes, a baseball glove is what I mean, not a catcher's mitt.

And I think it's a good point for me to try one on rather than buy it online. Hadn't thought about it in those terms, but I see the point.

Thanks for the advice.
posted by dfriedman at 9:50 AM on February 1, 2011

Seconding the idea of a 13" glove. Mine is a 13" baseball glove (the size that outfielders use) and works just fine for softball once I broke it in. I honestly don't know what the difference is between large baseball gloves and softball-specific gloves other than the size/shape of the pocket, but my glove has served me well for softball in both infield and outfield.
posted by bluejayway at 10:56 AM on February 1, 2011

if you are only playing softball, make sure to get a bigger glove (designed for softball), as it helps... get some oil to help break it in, and do as much as you can to get a good feel in it... play catch, always store it with a ball in it to keep it's shape.... i even ran over my car with it to break it in...

as for exercise... stretch as much as you can... hit the batting cages... i feel like fielding is the easy part in the game, but hitting takes some getting used to, especially if you haven' t played in a while...
posted by fozzie33 at 11:43 AM on February 1, 2011

This will be a ridiculously specific recommendation. I play in a (very) casual softball league with my housemate. He recently bought a new glove -- first new one in 10 years. He bought this Easton glove in a 13". I don't know if it will be right for you, and I think you should definitely put your hand in it before you buy it, but I mention it because it came off the shelf incredibly soft. Not "broken in" soft, but something closer to "almost there" soft. Perhaps his had been stored near some heat or some such, I don't know, but it might be a good place to start if you're not looking to spend forever breaking in a glove.
posted by onetime dormouse at 1:57 PM on February 1, 2011

Buy a used glove if you can. Get one that's comfortable.

Later, when you decide that you're sticking with softball and you know what's wrong with that glove, you can buy a new one that doesn't have that problem.
posted by donpardo at 2:28 PM on February 1, 2011

You could also get a conditioning cream along with your glove purchase.

If you have sweaty hands, you may want to wear a batting glove inside the catching glove. It also helps a bit with sting-inducing throws. Whether you actually wear the batting glove while hitting depends on if other guys do too. Because if they don't, you might feel like the only guy wearing shades at a small stakes poker table.

I joined a softball league myself a couple years, so here's some newbie tips that might come in handy. And don't hesitate to ask teammates about technique/positioning/rules.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 11:18 PM on February 1, 2011

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