Updated: December 2017
Rawlings Baseball Glove Reviews:Baseball has been called the "national pastime" since 1856; the game captivated millions of fans, and the legend surrounding the greatest names in the game made them into something much more than just baseball players. Called America's pastime, baseball is actually quite popular in many countries around the world, notably Japan and throughout Europe. The pace can seem slower than that of soccer, football, or basketball, but the excitement of having the bases loaded with a big hitter coming up to bat makes it seem anything but slow. Besides the pros, though, baseball is even more popular with children. Fifty million children in the U.S. alone play Little League. No matter what level the game is played at, excellent baseball equipment is necessary. For safety, for fun, and for optimal performance, there is no better name than Rawlings. This is your guide to choosing the very best Rawlings baseball gloves and bats.
A Bit about Rawlings - Rawlings is most well known for their high quality baseball gloves. Baseball used to be played sans gloves. Ouch. They didn't have steroid power hitters back then, but still. Gradually, gloves were introduced, and the first versions were simply leather gloves with the fingers cut off. As the game progressed, so did gloves. They became wider, heavier, and of course, worn on one hand only. Since its founding in 1887, Rawlings has been leading the way in innovations for the baseball glove, including the first glove with webbing in 1922. Today, they are the official supplier of baseballs to the major leagues and make a full line of baseball equipment for professionals, amateurs, and kids. Many of today's biggest players, including A-Rod, Kevin Youklis, Johan Santana, and Derek Jeter use the gloves. Rawlings has been batting 1000 for well over a century; there is no one better to take with you onto the field. Rawlings Baseball Gloves - If you're not really familiar with baseball, you may be astonished at the variety of gloves and the importance of choosing the right one. This isn't much of an issue at the Little League and youth baseball stage, but as players grow, they may want baseball gloves designed specifically for their positions. There are gloves for middle infielders, first basemen, outfielders, and of course, pitchers and catchers mitts. Oh my. When shopping for gloves, keep your position in mind, though there are all-purpose gloves as well. Look at size. The baseball glove needs to fit your hand well so you can play well. Youth gloves are 8 to 12 inches long, adult gloves are 10.5 to 13 inches (though many infield gloves are shorter), and pro gloves are 12 inches or shorter. Next, look at the webbing. There are different web patterns, and the one you pick depends largely on your position and your preference. Rawlings has several web designs, the most common of which is the Basket Web. It is very stretchable and features, as the name tells us, a basket type weave that has no opening. This is the glove of choice for pitchers and some infielders. Another example is the Trap-Eze Web, which has lacing on two sides. This creates a center that closes around the ball. Outfielders, who need greater reach rather than speedier release, prefer this glove. Some webs are open, which means there is space between the webbing pieces. Others are closed, like the Basket Web, and have no space. Finally, set a budget. You could spend $400 on the Rawlings Primo, the most expensive glove on the market. Or you could spend $20. That is a big factor in your decision. You can browse the best selling Rawlings baseball gloves online here.
The Right Rawlings Glove for You:Your first stop when looking for a quality Rawlings baseball glove should be their website. In the baseball gloves section, they explain the difference between the different types of gloves. For instance, the catcher's mitt doesn't have individual fingers and it is very heavily padded and reinforced to protect the catcher. The first baseman's glove, in contrast, has a bit less padding and is longer with a shallow pocket so the first baseman can quickly scoop up balls and make plays. Next, refine your search to narrow down on gloves for your position. You can also refine it by size, web style, hand, or series. You will then have a list of possibilities to look through. Then, after you've selected a few possibilities, comparison shop. There are wildly different prices even within the same type of glove. For instance, if you are looking on Amazon for a Rawlings infielder's glove, you have your choice of the Gold Glove for $90, the Primo for at least $450, and a bunch of things in between. How do you choose? Price will probably be the biggest deciding factor here. Even at the lower end, the gloves are still of the best quality. Let's look at one glove: an 11.5-inch infielding glove to see the differences in features and price. Primos are the highest prices, and they are of professional quality. The Primo 11.5-inch is one of their best, with the highest quality Italian leather, an innovative dual shell palm, and specifically cut break-points designed for each glove model so you get top quality for every position. The Primos start at about $400, and extend well past $500 (see all the Primos baseball gloves here). 3Luxe, which reviews thousands of products and selects the top 3 in any number of categories, chose the Primo as the Best Baseball Glove.
You can find a less expensive, though still pricy, alternative in the Heart of the Hide series. These gloves are of exceptional quality, and they are the preferred glove of many professional players. The Heart of the Hide 11.5-inch is also pro quality and made of high quality leather. It is oiled for smooth texture and lined with deer skin. It has a two-piece solid web like those used by Jake Peavy and Dan Haren, and it is the glove that Bobby Crosby uses. It can be used for various positions. This model costs $200. A bit cheaper than the Primo, but still quite expensive. Reviewers on RateItAll have called it the best glove on the market and much better than Rawlings' Pro Preferred series (which is more expensive). There are more budget-friendly gloves available. One of the best values is the 11.5-Inch Gold Glove. This glove is made with pro-grade full grain soft leather, moldable padding, and pro lace. It features the Rawlings Pro Pattern, which is also used by the Primo and Heart of the Hide series. Consumers consistently give the Gold Series good grades for comfort, durability, and quality. One reviewer on RateItAll wrote that the glove becomes like part of your hand. This Gold Glove is $90. Another good inexpensive series to look at is the Player Preferred. It has a slanted Basket Web and is made of quality full grain leather. It has a Zero Shock palm pad, and a Fastback with Velcro closure strap. This is a high quality glove, but you will find the price far more accessible. It is about $33. Rawlings makes quality gloves for all positions, preferences, and even budgets. From the high-end Primo to the wallet-friendly Player Preferred series, there are gloves that will meet your needs. Remember to keep the size, position, webbing, and price in mind as you shop. And then, start breaking it in! View the most popular Rawlings baseball gloves here.