I just bought a new Wilson A2000 and it’s stiffer than a bunch of teenage boys in the Playboy mansion. How should I break it in?
play catch with it–a lot
get a feel for the break points that you want
rub some lanolin or glove oil on those areas–don’t go crazy and oil the whole thing
continue to play catch with it and shape it between throws
the more you catch with it, the better–also the harder someone is throwing to you the better
once it’s breaking the way you want you can lightly condition the entire pocket and interior
the glove holds up better if you don’t do much to the outer shell
don’t forget to condition the rawhide as well. you don’t want to snap a lace. the first to go are often the laces near the edges of the web as they enter the fingers of the glove. you want to get those nice and elastic.
It’s not uncommon to have to tighten up your laces after break in. be sure to condition newly exposed rawhide as well.
Me personally, I unlace the glove, condition the entire piece of rawhide and re-lace the whole thing.
never submerge leather in water…ever
it’s not going to help your glove’s padding either…perfect conditions for mold
I have a few 30 year old gloves that look like they are in their 2nd or 3rd seasons. These gloves haven’t taken any time off either. Be sure you put the glove away cleaned and lightly conditioned.
There is a piece on You Tube; Glove Guru Oso.
He works for Wilson and shows his process for breaking in a glove. My kid just takes a ball wrapped to a piece of wood…so he can swing it with some leverage, its about 10 inches long…and uses that to pound the glove.
The tag line on that you tube video includes this: "Wilson’s Glove Guru, Shigeaki Aso, breaks in gloves for MLB stars such as C.J. Wilson, Brandon Philips, David Wright, and Hanley Ramirez."
We all know MLBers can be entitled, but, that is maybe the most pathetic thing I have ever read.
I wrote this back in march on my facebook page…if you want a link to it, just message me.
get a decent glove! that’s number one. then lightly condition the inside pocket. play catch with it. shape it between throws. store it with a ball in the pocket. never let anyone else put their hand in it. store it in the top of your gear bag so it doesn’t get crushed. clean it regularly with a leather cleaner. clean and lightly condition it and place a ball in the pocket before putting it away for the season. When it starts to feel different, have it disassembled, cleaned (inside and out), get the padding re-adjusted and have it all re-laced. This may cost you $60 every 8-10 years but you still have your perfectly broken in glove that is customized to your hand and your style of play. That is priceless. It’s better than laying down $200-$400 every few years and taking your chances with a new piece of leather.
Never do any of the following:
soak it (compacts the leather and ages the lacing)
oil it with a heavy oil…motor oil and such makes the glove dark and heavy)
place it in an oven (dries it out and will lead to early cracking and lace breakage)
put a rubber band around it (never wrap the glove because without a hand in it you are screwing up the pocket)
put it under a chair or mattress (it will fold under the pressure taking the path of least resistance and not best shape)
run over it with a car (are you stupid? the only thing you should run over with a car is a Yankee fan.)
play catch with a different sized ball (it effects the break points of the new leather causing less than ideal break points)
place it in the bottom of your gear bag. (it will get crushed, damp, moldy, and the leather will break down and crack)
can I take a cup of hot water like Aso the Wilson guy does and pours over the glove? So for I’ve been playing catch and beating the spots I want broken in with a weight.
Redsucks fan i take it?
We used the Aso method to break in my son’s Nokona glove about three months ago- so far, so good. We bought it one day, and played with it the next. Admittedly, it was still a work in progress, but it was good enough for game play in the OF. I have a Mizuno I bought 5yrs ago. I soaked it glove oil, put a softball in it, tied it with a belt, and took it out a few days later. It has a great pocket and is still in great shape!
That method is definitely not simply dunking a glove in water. It’s hot water applied in a specific manner. I would be curious to see how the leather holds up over time.
I’ve used hot water before but it’s more of a shaping method than anything. Just play catch and form it like you want between throws (flare for example). A glove mallet is an option that helps but playing catch is the best way.