It’s amazing how big a difference is made by ¼ inch when choosing the perfect glove. The most important thing when trying to find the baseball glove size that is best for you.
|Position||Most Common Glove Sizes|
|Pitcher||11 ½” – 12”|
|First Base||12 ¼” – 12 ¾”|
|Second Base||11” – 11 ½”|
|Shortstop||11 ¼” – 11 ¾”|
|Third base||11 ½” – 12”|
|Outfield||12 ½” – 12 ¾”|
|Catcher||32 ½” – 35”|
Baseball glove sizes are not set in stone. The most important thing when trying to find a one that is best for you is something you are comfortable with. This baseball glove sizes guide is arranged by position, followed by some thoughts about my personal gloves and what I like.
Outfield Glove Sizes
Lets start with the easy ones. Outfield, the same glove can be used whether you are playing left, center or right field. Outfield gloves are usually 12 ¼ inches to 12 ¾ inches.
It all depends on what you like. Some like having that extra half inch to get to baseballs, some players like less glove so they can get rid of the ball a little quicker on throws to bases.
Also most outfielders will stick their pinky and ring finger of their glove hand into the last hole which was made for the pinky. This hand configuration allows for a deeper pocket which outfielders like especially when they have to dive or make contact with a wall, it helps keep the ball in the glove.
Middle Infield Glove Sizes
A middle infield glove (shortstop and second base) will be the smallest on the field. The reason is that they need to field the ball and get rid of it quickly.
A good example is on double plays, if you get the ball stuck in your glove you will not be able to get two outs on the play. Glove sizes in the middle infield range from 11 inches to 11 ½ inches.
Every now and then you will see an 11 ¾ inch glove at shortstop. Once again it all depends on how comfortable you are with the baseball glove size. Infield gloves can be worn two ways:
- One way is with two fingers in the pinky hole.
- Another way is with each finger in its own hole.
If you put your pinky and ring finger in the pinky hole you may feel you have a little more control and a deeper pocket, but you may have a problem with getting balls stuck in your glove.
The infielders that put each finger in their appropriate finger hole have a flatter pocket. This allows for the ball to almost ricochet out of your glove if you need it too. I think this allows for better ball control after you catch it. There seems to be less glove for the ball to get lost in. (Check out our Guide to Infield Gloves)
Catcher’s Mitt Sizes
Catchers mitts are pretty standard, some brands make their mitts a little bigger, some smaller, some are a little longer. Catchers mitts should be tried on because all catchers are a little different when picking out a mitt they like.
Just as with infield gloves, smaller catcher’s mitts are easier to get the ball out of if you need to make a quick move. The trade off is that if you are catching a pitcher who is a little wild or has good movement on his pitches it may be more difficult to catch the baseball.
You’ll have to decided if a bigger or smaller mitt is better for you. Catchers mitts should be very stiff, just playing catch will break them in. It may take a while but in my opinion, the longer it takes to break in a Catchers mitt, the better quality it is and the longer it will last. (More about catcher’s mitts in our Guide to buying Catcher’s Gear)
1st Base Glove Sizes
The first base size is between a catchers mitt and outfield glove. They have a little length to them. They range from a 12 inches to 12 ¾ inches. They have a scooped end similar to a catchers mitt without the padding, and are designed to help with scooping balls in the dirt.
The length comes in handy when a throw is not on line and the first baseman needs every ¼ inch he can get to either catch it or knock it down. Be sure not to get a one that is too long, it can get floppy and balls can fall out of the webbing. A first base glove can only be used at first base it is illegal to use it on the field at any other postion. (More about 1st base mitts in our Guide to Best Infield Gloves)
3rd Base Glove Sizes
Third base gloves are a little bigger than the gloves for shortstop and second base. The main reason is balls are hit very hard and the more leather to knock the ball down the better. Also you normally don’t need to get the ball out of your glove really quickly like the middle infielders need to do when turning a double play.
The most common baseball glove size for third base would be either an 11 ½ inch or 11 ¾ inches. Every now and then you will see a person using a 12 inch glove but that is pretty big for the infield. (Check out our Guide to Infield Gloves)
Pitcher’s Glove Sizes
Pitchers will use any type of glove from really small to outfield size. The one thing that all pitcher gloves have in common is that they have a closed web, so the hitter will not be able to see the pitcher moving his fingers inside the glove to see what pitch he is about to throw.
Hitters and coaches alike are always trying to find any tip given by pitchers that will show what pitch they are about to throw. Many pitchers are using gloves that have finger sleeves that the index finger will slip into for pitchers that expose that finger. Some times pitchers will move this finger on certain pitches giving away what pitch he is about to throw. A pitchers glove is mostly used to disguise what pitches he is going to throw.
Choosing a Glove – Learning from a Pro’s experience
I have played every position except for pitcher and catcher, so I have many different sized baseball gloves. I have an average sized outfield and first base gloves. Normally, I play all infield positions so I need a one for third, shortstop, and second base.
I used to use a different baseball glove at every position until I started feeling comfortable with one. I use an 11 ¾ inch infield glove and for infield standards that is pretty large. I formed it with a very shallow pocket, so it is large, but balls don’t get lost in it.
I started using a bigger glove when I spent some time playing third base, then when I moved around the infield I kept the same glove. At second base, I tried using a 11 ½ inch glove but was having trouble forming it with a very shallow pocket and balls would get stuck on double plays. I have used gloves as small as 11 inches, but over time I have realized that a little bigger one gives you more room for error.
However, the size of the baseball glove can make it harder to get the ball out in a hurry, and it is just as important that you can get the ball out quickly when you need to. Its amazing how much a ¼ inch can change the feeling of a glove. No matter what size you use, the best glove is always the one you feel most comfortable with.
I hope this baseball glove sizes guide has been helpful for you. If so, I hope you’ll share it with your friends and help us spread the word about the free baseball tips and info from PBI. Also, I welcome you to ask questions or leave feedback in the comments section below. Play hard! – Doug
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- Best Infield Gloves
- Guide to buying Catcher’s Gear, includes Catcher’s Mitts
- Guide to Metal Bats
- Training Aids and Protective Gear
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