First baseman gloves, or mitts as they’re sometimes called, are specifically designed to aid in the unique actions that accompany playing first base. For the unfamiliar, a first baseman is responsible for patrolling first base, fielding ground balls, and receiving throws from other players around the infield. As anyone who’s watched or played baseball can attest, these throws are not always perfectly accurate, and so a big part of a first baseman’s job is scooping balls thrown in the dirt.
To match this job description, a first baseman glove is optimized for catching. It’s a bit bigger than other infielders’ gloves, and contains a bit of a funnel shape to ensure baseballs find their way to the pocket. Often, they’re built with a bit of additional padding to lessen the brunt of a ball thrown particularly hard. Rather than having separated fingers on the outside of the glove, first baseman gloves are shaped more like mittens. There are a wide variety of first baseman gloves available on the market. We took a look at the best first baseman gloves and compared them.
Rawlings Heart of the Hide
- Rawlings uses their “Pro Grade” leather in their Heart of the Hide line. This material is sourced from the top 5% of steer hides available, making it a durable, reliable piece of equipment.
- Wrist opening is designed for comfort and breathability, which is an important factor for those playing the dog days of summer.
- Manufacturer notes that mitt comes about 40% broken in, meaning that it’s up to the player to do the other 60%. If broken in properly, this high quality leather mitt should conform specifically to a player’s hand.
- The Heart of the Hide is one of Rawlings’ most expensive glove models.
Rawlings Heart of the Hide is a top-of-the-line first baseman’s glove intended for serious ballplayers. Made with Rawlings’ “Pro Grade” leather, this is an investment of a glove that’s made to last.
Mizuno MVP Prime
- Mizuno’s MVP Prime is made with soft, oiled leather.
- The MVP Prime features a unique center pocket design that places the pocket under the index finger with the intention of providing more control.
- At 12.5 inches, this is one of the bigger first baseman gloves on the market.
- Available at a very competitive price point.
- Compared to other similarly priced gloves, this one may be a bit stiffer. While a seasoned player should be able to break it in, a youngster may struggle using it at first.
Mizuno’s MVP Prime first baseman glove is a sleekly designed, black leather glove that may be a great option for teenagers and adults alike. Made with soft, oiled leather, this is a quality piece of equipment available at a reasonable price.
Best for Fastpitch:
Wilson A2000 Fastpitch Series
- Wilson’s A2000 model uses pro-stock leather in the construction of this glove, making it a top notch piece of equipment.
- Outside of the glove features Wilson’s patented SuperSkin, a lightweight composite material that’s designed to be as strong, or stronger than leather, while weighing less.
- Includes a Velcro strap on the wrist closure, ensuring that the glove fits securely on a variety of hand sizes.
- Includes additional padding to help cut down on the sting of a ball thrown at a particularly high velocity.
- This glove is made with some of the highest quality leather on the market, and its price point reflects this.
For folks looking for a first baseman glove appropriate for fastpitch softball, consider Wilson’s A2000 model. Made with Wilson’s Pro-Stock leather, this is a durable piece of equipment.
Rawlings Sandlot Baseball Glove
- This 12.5 inch first baseman glove is made with full grain, oiled leather in a very classic dark brown and black design.
- Includes a padded finger back to cut down on discomfort that can come with catching a hard-thrown ball.
- Available at a very competitive price point.
- Since this glove is delivered already about 90% broken broken in, it might not conform to your hand as specifically as higher quality leather.
- As this is not the highest quality leather, this glove may not hold up after a few seasons of consistent use.
Available at a very competitive price point, Rawlings Sandlot Baseball Gloves may be a great option for teenagers or occasional players. This full grain, oiled leather glove comes pretty much ready to be used.
Best for Youth Players:
- The Wilson A900 features double palm construction to help lessen the brunt of a ball thrown particularly hard.
- This full leather glove is designed to be ready to be used right out of the package, making it potentially ideal for younger players who may struggle breaking in a glove.
- Available at a very reasonable price point.
- Comes in a classic looking tan color with black laces.
- Since this glove is designed to be game ready, it may not be great for very serious ballplayers, since it won’t conform perfectly to a hand.
Wilson’s A900 series offers full leather, game ready gloves at a reasonable price. For those looking for a first baseman’s glove for a youngster or very occasional player, this may be a serviceable option.
An integral part of playing first base is having a first baseman glove. These gloves are specifically designed to help pick balls out of the dirt and make catching errant throws as easy as possible. When looking at first baseman gloves, there are a few key features to consider.
One of the key differences between various first baseman gloves is the length. While many infield gloves measure between 11 and 11.5”, first baseman gloves are typically a bit longer, usually between 12 and 13”. That extra length helps first basemen haul in errant throws with ease.
While this may seem obvious, it needs to be stated: buy a glove that is opposite your throwing hand. Most manufacturers make this very clear, but double check before clicking purchase. Nothing worse than showing up at the ballpark with a glove that’s essentially useless!
Generally speaking, higher quality gloves use a higher quality of leather. Cheaper gloves are sometimes made using synthetic materials; while this may make them easier for kids to use right out of the box, their lifespan will most assuredly be shorter.
Gloves made of the highest quality leather may be harder to break in. However, if done so properly, the result is a glove that’s shaped particularly to one player’s hand, allowing them increased control.
This one comes down largely to personal preference. Some first baseman gloves are available in a variety of colors, while others are only made in a few. If matching a glove to a uniform is important to you, that might dictate your choice!
Some first baseman gloves add additional padding in the palm or by the heel of the glove to protect against errant hops. While a higher quality leather will naturally offer more protection, these added layers add additional insulation.
Why is the first baseman glove different?
First baseman gloves are different because they’re designed to help first basemen accomplish the specific tasks associated with the position. The shape and depth of the pocket enables first basemen to scoop balls effectively and secure errant throws.
What is a good size for a first baseman glove?
First baseman gloves are typically bigger than infielders’ gloves and a bit smaller than some outfield gloves. They typically range between 12 and 13” in length.
What size glove should a 12-year-old use?
The size of baseball glove will depend on two things: the position being played, and the size of the 12-year-old. For many kids, 12 is about the time kids switch from smaller, youth sized gloves to adult sized gloves. Positionally, the size of a glove will be different depending on the position, with bigger gloves used in the outfield, smaller ones used around the infield, and particular mitts used for catchers and first basemen.
What is a first base mitt?
A first base mitt is a specialized glove worn by first basemen. It’s set apart by its size and unique design. While other gloves include long fingers for each finger, a first baseman glove is shaped more like a mitten.
- It’s not all about the glove! The best equipment cannot turn a hack into an all star. Practice practice practice!
- Before committing to a first baseman’s glove, it’s important to know that you enjoy playing first base! Try to borrow one from a coach or a friend for practice to ensure it’s a position that jibes well.
Do not believe the myth that first basemen are solely big hitters who are lazy defenders! Having good defense at first base is hugely important!