Baseball glove repair would really not be a concern around this time of year if players and/or parents would just perform a little bit of “routine maintenance” on their baseball gloves right after the playing season is over and then maybe a little bit more right before the beginning of the next season. But this doesn’t seem to happen that much from what I can tell.
So here we are…another High School Baseball and College Baseball season. I’ve already gotten a couple of baseball gloves in the last month or so that have broken. And it’s the same thing…very, very dry leather and laces. The laces on one of these baseball gloves were so dry, hard and brittle that they didn’t even feel like leather. The laces were so stiff that it was actually a little tough pulling these laces out of some parts of the glove.
The condition of your baseball glove during and after a season will somewhat depend on where you live in the country. In the southeast and southwest you probably aren’t going to see a lot of snow, ice and mud. Your glove may face very strong sun and heat, though.
The baseball gloves that I have just repaired were used in the northeast part of the country which can be terrible for leather. The leather can see snow and freezing temperatures. The baseball gloves will definitely get wet and muddy. This mud and water gets ground in sometimes day after day. This water eventually strips the leather of its original oils, softness and color. Then, summer comes. The sun beats down on the glove and dries it up even more. The laces become stiff, weak and brittle. They eventually break. Sometimes parts of the glove, like the eyelets and leather holes, rip. This even happens on the good, expensive gloves that are not cared for.
All of these things can mostly be avoided. Simply try to implement some of the following tips:
- Clean off your baseball glove during the season when it needs it. Just a warm, damp cloth will do. Don’t soak the glove. You’re just trying to get some of the dirt off.
- During the season, if the glove has seen a lot of water and then a lot of sun, you should rub in a little bit of conditioner (not any kind of oil!) and let it soak in. This will restore some of the leather’s oils, softness and color.
- Most importantly, give your glove a good cleaning and conditioning after your season is over. Wipe off all of the dirt and then after the glove dries rub a good coat of conditioner into the glove. Sometimes you may have to do this two or three times if the glove soaks up all of the conditioner right away. Wipe off any excess conditioner. Your restored glove will look and feel new during the off-season.
- Tighten up loose laces and definitely repair broken laces or laces that you have a good feeling will break the next season. Do it now while you have the time.
- And then, right before the beginning of your next season, inspect your glove again, tighten things up if necessary, put a light coat of conditioner on. There you are! Almost a new glove again.
Believe me, these simple baseball glove repair and restore tips work. I have taken care of a catcher’s mitt for three years now…and yes, it’s up in the northeast where a catcher’s mitt takes water and mud in great amounts in some games. But this glove, after three years, feels great and looks great. The laces and leather show no signs of weakness. This is all because I religiously follow the tips above.
The kid who’s glove I fixed the other day…the real dry one, says his glove looks and feels new again. He actually likes the all-black laces better than the original gray ones too. I hope he takes care of it now. But I bet I see it again someday.
And I bet I’ll repair a good number of gloves starting around now. These are all of the gloves from last season that were just thrown in garages or basements with no after-season conditioning or tightening or repairing of laces.
So that’s where I’ll come in…again. Baseball glove repair and restore. I do it all of the time and never once have I advertised this. It all started with one glove, as a favor, and word got out. That was about six years ago and I’m still repairing gloves today.
So try to keep in mind some of these baseball glove repair and restore tips. Your glove will always be in great shape and you’ll prevent those unexpected breaks during a game…and there will be no “down time” of your favorite glove.