baseball glove laces

Baseball Glove Laces: A Guide To Baseball Glove Repair

baseball glove laces

Baseball glove laces are the unsung heroes of the diamond, often overlooked yet vital in every single play. These laces have more tales to tell than a bar full of old-timers reliving their glory days. So, tighten up those knots and prepare to dive into the world of baseball glove laces, the threads that quite literally hold our great game together.

Anatomy of a baseball glove

A baseball glove is probably the most important piece of equipment in the game. As we dive into the anatomy of the glove, we’ll discover the importance of each part and see how they all seamlessly come together.

Baseball Glove Parts:

  • Pocket: The pocket is the primary catching area of the glove. It’s designed to be flexible and deep, enabling the player to snag the ball and hold it securely.
  • Webbing: Attached between the thumb slot and the rest of the fingers, the webbing helps in catching and securing the ball. It comes in different styles, like basket web, trapeze web, and I-web, each providing unique benefits for different positions on the field.
  • Fingers: The finger slots on a glove provide the flexibility needed for grip strength and control. Each slot is padded and designed to close around the ball when it hits the pocket.
  • Heel: The heel is the lower part of the glove where the palm and wrist meet. It can either be padded for comfort or not, depending on the player’s preference.
  • Palm: The palm area is designed to absorb the shock of a catch. It is typically padded to protect the hand.
  • Back: The back of the glove is either open or closed. An open back offers more flexibility and is usually favored by infielders, while a closed back provides more support and is often preferred by outfielders.

Glove Lace

The unsung hero connecting all these parts is the baseball glove lace. Glove laces play a crucial role in the overall performance and lifespan of a baseball glove. The lace, typically made of leather, is the piece that literally holds the baseball glove together. Without the laces, a baseball glove would just be a collection of disjointed leather pieces.

These strands thread their way through each part of the glove, binding the fingers to the thumb, attaching the webbing to the rest of the glove, and fastening the heel and palm together. The weave of the lace also plays a role in forming and maintaining the glove pocket.

Different gloves will require different lengths and thicknesses of laces, which can affect the overall feel and performance of the glove. The lacing pattern can also affect how a glove plays, with tighter lacing offering more support but less flexibility.


Types of Baseball Glove Laces

There is a wide variety of baseball glove laces available in the market, differing in colors, lengths, and materials.

Leather Baseball Laces

Leather baseball laces are the traditional choice for baseball and softball glove lacing. Made from American leather, these laces are known for their strength, durability, and flexibility. Leather laces are usually 3/16″ thick and 72″ in length, though a few other variations may be found. Some popular brands offering leather glove laces are Red Hawk Tannery, Mizuno, and Covey.

Here are a few features of leather baseball laces:

  • Available in numerous colors to match the style of the glove or team colors
  • Easily adjustable and can be tightened or loosened according to the player’s preference
  • Sturdy and long-lasting if maintained properly

Synthetic Laces

Synthetic glove laces are an alternative to traditional leather laces. Made from materials like nylon and polyester, synthetic laces are designed to be lightweight, water-resistant, and stretch-resistant. These laces are good for those who want a low-maintenance option since they don’t require regular upkeep like leather laces.

Here are some reasons to choose synthetic laces:

  • Lower price point compared to leather laces
  • Resistant to water and humidity, which keeps the integrity of the glove intact in wet conditions
  • Available in various colors and patterns, giving players options for customizing their gloves

Lace Colors and Attributes

When it comes to baseball glove laces, there are a variety of colors to choose from. Some of the most popular colors include:

  • Tan: A classic choice for glove laces, tan complements the traditional brown leather of baseball gloves.
  • Red: A bold option, red laces can add a touch of flair to any glove and make it stand out.
  • Black: Black laces are a popular choice among players who prefer a more subtle look.
  • Blue: A stylish option for players who like to make a statement, blue laces can be found on both youth and adult gloves.
  • White: Another classic color option, white laces can provide a clean and crisp look for any baseball glove.

It’s not uncommon to find gloves with a single color of lace or a combination of two or more colors, which allows players to express their personal style.


How to Lace a Baseball Glove

Lacing a baseball glove may seem daunting at first glance. But with a bit of patience, the right tools, and an understanding of the process, you can give your glove a new lease on life. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this process.

Detailed Step-by-Step Guide to Lacing a Baseball Glove

  • Removal of the Old Laces: Begin by carefully removing the old laces, noting the path they follow. It might help to take some photos as a reference for later. Remember to be gentle to avoid damaging the leather.
  • Preparation: Once the old laces are out, condition the glove to ensure the holes are ready for the new laces. Make sure the new laces are the correct length and thickness for your glove.
  • Threading the Needle: Insert one end of the lace into a lacing needle. The lacing needle will act as your guide to thread the laces through the glove.
  • Lacing: Start from the heel of the glove, following the path the old lace took. Move up to the fingers, then the webbing. Be sure to pull the laces tightly to ensure a snug fit but be careful not to overtighten and distort the glove.
  • Knotting: When you’ve threaded the entire lace through, finish by tying a firm knot. It’s important to ensure the knot won’t easily come undone but can be untied if you need to adjust the laces in the future.

Different Lacing Methods And Glove Performance

Different lacing methods can influence the glove’s pocket depth, flexibility, and stability. Tighter lacing provides a more rigid glove, which works well for infielders who need to make quick ball transfers. On the other hand, a looser lacing offers a deeper pocket, which is preferred by outfielders who need to catch fly balls.

Remember, the goal of lacing isn’t just to tie the glove together; it’s to customize the glove to your playing style and position.

Lacing A Catcher’s Mitt

The catcher’s mitt has a unique lacing pattern for added protection. It requires a tighter lacing process for increased stability. Start by threading the lace through the top hole of the mitt, then pull it through the first hole of the glove from the inside out. Next, loop the lace through the second hole on the glove and then through the corresponding hole on the mitt. Repeat the process, tightening the laces as you go, until you’ve reached the bottom of the mitt.


Lace Maintenance and Replacement

When to Replace Laces

Relacing a baseball glove can be a time-consuming process, but it’s an important glove maintenance task that every player should learn. It not only improves the glove’s functionality but also allows players to customize the glove’s appearance.

Replacing the laces on a baseball glove is necessary whenever the current laces become worn, frayed, or broken. Over a long time, the laces may lose strength or elasticity. As a general rule, laces should be replaced if they are no longer holding the glove together securely or if they show significant signs of wear and tear. Regularly checking the lacing can help prevent sudden glove issues during a game.

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Preserving Lace Durability

In order to preserve the durability of laces and prolong their life, following these simple maintenance tips can help:

  1. Keep the glove clean: Dirt, sweat, and debris can weaken laces over time. Regularly wipe the glove down with a damp cloth and use a brush to remove dirt from the laces.
  2. Moisture management: Store the glove in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or high humidity. This will help prevent the laces from becoming brittle or moldy.
  3. Proper storage: When not in use, store the glove in a protective bag or container to prevent damage from other equipment or environmental factors.
  4. Lace conditioning: Apply a leather conditioner specifically designed for baseball gloves to help maintain the laces’ flexibility and longevity. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when treating laces and the rest of the glove.

By taking care of your baseball glove’s laces, you’ll be able to maintain its performance on the field. Regular maintenance, combined with knowing when to replace the laces, can contribute to a longer-lasting and more reliable leather baseball glove.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you replace baseball glove laces?

To replace baseball glove laces, first remove the old laces by cutting or untying them carefully. Then, use a leather needle or a lacing needle to thread the new lace through the holes in the glove, following the pattern of the original lacing. Be sure to keep the laces tight and secure while maintaining the glove’s shape.

What are the best laces for a baseball glove?

The best laces for a baseball glove are typically made from high-quality leather. Leather laces provide durability, flexibility, and strength, ensuring the glove’s longevity and performance. Some players also use synthetic laces due to their increased resistance to water and other elements. However, leather laces are generally considered the better choice.

Where can I find baseball glove laces for sale?

Baseball glove laces can be purchased at sporting goods stores, online retailers like Amazon or eBay, and specialty baseball glove websites. They are typically sold in various lengths and colors to match your glove’s look and specific requirements.

What sizes are available for baseball glove laces?

Baseball glove laces come in different widths and lengths to accommodate various glove sizes and styles. Common widths include 1/4-inch and 3/16-inch, while lengths can range from 48 to 96 inches. It’s crucial to determine the appropriate lace length for your specific glove to ensure a secure fit and proper function.

How many laces does it take to relace a baseball glove?

The number of laces needed to relace a baseball glove depends on the glove’s size and style. For example, infield gloves typically require fewer laces than catcher’s mitts or first baseman’s mitts. On average, a standard baseball glove may need about six to eight laces for a full relacing, while catcher’s mitts and larger gloves may need up to 12 or more.

How do you tighten the laces on a baseball glove?

To tighten the laces on a baseball glove, start at one end of the lacing pattern and slowly work your way toward the other end, pulling the laces tight as you go. Be cautious not to over-tighten, as this can cause the glove to lose its shape. Maintain tension throughout the lacing process to ensure a snug fit and maintain the glove’s desired shape.


Final Thoughts

In this article, we’ve explored the importance of baseball glove laces. From the anatomy of a glove, we’ve seen how these laces hold everything together. We’ve discussed the different types of laces and how each variation can influence the glove’s performance. The step-by-step guide highlighted the skill behind lacing a glove and emphasized the impact of different lacing methods on the game. Finally, we talked about regular maintenance, underlining its role in extending the lifespan of laces and ensuring optimal glove performance. Just remember that baseball glove laces are an often overlooked aspect of the game but they deserve our attention and care.

Chris F.

Chris F.

Chris Forbes is the founder and editor of BaseballMode.com, a leading blog in the youth baseball space. As a lifelong baseball player, coach and fan, he decided to team up with his young son to offer advice and share their experiences with the sport they both love. Chris lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children.
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