The game of baseball is impossible to play without a glove. All players must have this equipment to capture or throw a ball.
Many elite players still utilize flaring baseball mitts, which have been popular since the turn of the century.
Why do you flare a baseball? This post will break the meaning of this term and give you the reasons for this practice.
Let’s scroll down to learn more!
Why Do You Flare A Baseball Glove?
A baseball glove’s pocket becomes shallow and flat when flared. It expands the catching surface.
Most professional athletes dislike having flat pockets. However, the infielders must move the ball more quickly.
They require a glove pocket that is flatter as a result. The mitt pocket has to be flared if you intend to make it flat and shallow.
When you make your mitts flared, you can receive many advantages as an outfielder or infielder.
It provides you with a small, flat pocket for the mitt. The glove surface area will grow as a result. Thus, it allows more space for catching the ball.
The middle infielders benefit the most from baseball gloves that are flared.
Faster throws are necessary for infielders in the field area. They require a shorter travel time from mitt to hand, thus.
A flat mitt pocket ensures faster transportation. The double play benefits the baseman as well.
However, everything has two sides. Thus, there are benefits and drawbacks to flaring the glove.
You should know that flaring is not compulsory. It depends on the playing position, and preferences will determine whether you should flatten your mitt.
For this reason, before flattening the mitt, it’s better to consider your field position and interest.
Breaking in the glove when out of the box is essential to make your gear softer and more flexible, but flaring is optional.
Should You Get A Pre-Flared Baseball Glove?
The short answer is no. Everyone’s preferences are different. People never play in the same place. Some positions do not require a flared mitt.
You may have seen some brands manufacturing pre-flared mitts, such as Wilson, Rawlings, or Louisville Slugger.
Because flattening a glove is entirely a matter of personal choice, those lines have mostly been discontinued.
Although pre-flaring saves you money, sometimes it’s unnecessary because your playing position doesn’t need mitts with shallow, flat pockets.
Several brands provide baseball gloves with pre-broken-in, which may be the equipment you can invest in.
Game-ready mitts are often created and put through a strict breaking-in procedure on the manufacturing line.
Baseball players that buy mitts will most often keep their flared gloves in their possession.
The player should personalize the gripping that suits their way of playing and the distances from their thumb to their other fingers.
Selling mitts that have already been flared is hard since even the complicated procedure can’t provide precise specs for a single player, not to mention a big group or team.
How To Flare A Baseball Glove?
If your position requires a mitt with a flat and shallow pocket, it’s time you can get this gear.
It would be best if you never got flared mitt because you like it since baseball equipment is relatively expensive. The gear for professional players may range from 300 – 400 bucks.
As a result, you must ensure that you are comfortable with this project and it is beneficial for your performance.
If you are a newbie and haven’t bought a baseball mitt, it’s best to select pre pre-flared type instead of doing it yourself.
Another crucial thing to remember is that the makers may have specific guidelines you must adhere to when flattening the mitt.
If you haven’t performed this task before, here are the detailed instructions:
Preheat The Oven
It’s best to preheat the oven before using it to maintain the consistency of the temperature. Set the oven to 200℉ to begin preheating.
After you’ve finished preheating, start working on the following phase. It is an essential step when flattening your baseball equipment.
Oil Up Your Glove
After preheating the oven to flare the baseball mitt, you should lubricate it. This stage may require time, so be patient!
Therefore, ensure to put the mitt inside the oven as soon as the preheating process is complete.
Any oil will work to grease this equipment. However, check to see if the brand has any suggested oils. Using the incorrect oil might result in harm to your equipment.
Apply sparing oil on your glove’s fingertips, laces, and backside. It’s essential to perform this step as it helps you break in the new mitts.
Never soak your mitt in water to make it softer. You also need to avoid common oils like petroleum jelly, hair oil, or olive oil. These products aren’t suitable for leather.
Place The Glove In The Oven
Placing the mitt inside the oven is the next stage of flaring your baseball equipment.
It’s time to place the gear on the rack of your oven and adjust the temperature to a minimum.
Applying high heat continuously is not advisable. A five-minute maximum heating period is enough for each glove.
Check Your Glove’s Flexibility
After heating the mitt for around five minutes, it’s time to take it out of your oven and determine whether it’s flexible.
If it doesn’t achieve the flexibility you want when shaping it, it’s best to put it back inside the oven and flare it one more time.
After that, set the lowest heat for a few minutes. Check the flexibility and softness.
Applying heat for another minute will help if you don’t think it’s flexible enough. The glove will become adjustable if you keep doing this.
Stretch Out Your Glove
Improve your pinky and thumb stalling so you can open a baseball mitt. It will get elastic when stretched out once you’ve applied the proper quantity of heat.
Stretch your finger booths until they fit snugly into your hand’s grasp using flexibility.
Do this repeatedly until your particular preference is satisfied. While spreading it out, use just the correct amount of force. A stronger flare will occur from increased pressure.
Build The Pocket
It would help if you made the pocket when you are happy with your grip and the mitt flares in the desired manner.
You may grab a ball and place it in your glove’s pocket. Next, secure this pocket with a shoelace while keeping this ball inside.
After that, leave this equipment overnight to shape the form of the pinky finger and the thumb stalls.
This method will result in more visible pockets. It’s crucial to have a baseball mitt pocket while breaking in or flattening.
Repeat The Process If Needed
Repeating the entire procedure for flaring your gear mentioned above may be necessary several times.
If unsatisfied with the flare, you can reapply the heating method again in the oven.
After that, stretch out your mitt again and attempt to create the desired flare. This process may require a few days to complete. Thus, be patient!
What Type Of Oil Is Good For Flaring Baseball Gloves?
You may use a certain kind of lubricant to maintain and protect your baseball equipment adequately.
Any mild oil will work as long as it doesn’t harm the leather. Smear the equipment with a thin lubricant coating and massage it with both hands.
To protect your gear in good shape, applying high-quality oil, like the one designed especially for baseball mitts, is crucial.
Baseball glove lubricant may help shield your equipment from weather conditions like snow and rain, besides conditioning the leather to prevent cracking or drying out.
How To Care For Flared Baseball Gloves?
Here are some recommendations to maintain and care for these gears to prolong their longevity:
- Use conditioner regularly to protect the leather from crackling.
- Avoid direct sunlight to prevent drying out.
- Apply mild lubricant weekly to make the equipment softer and more flexible.
- Dry the wet mitts entirely before storing them.
Do I Have To Heat My Glove When Flaring It?
It’s not compulsory. However, applying the heat at the minimum to your mitt will make it more flexible.
What Is The Fastest Way To Soften A Baseball Glove?
Warm water (150 to 170℉) combined with manual manipulation is the fastest method to break in this equipment.
How Long Does It Take To Fully Break In A Glove?
This process may require 1 or 2 weeks to complete.
What Can I Use Instead Of Glove Oil?
Vaseline can be an excellent substitute for oil to lubricate baseball gloves. If you want more tips for oiling baseball mitts, you can watch this video:
Is Steaming A Glove Good?
Although this way is fast, it may damage the leather fibers.
Should You Flare A First Base Glove?
It depends on the playing position during the game. Some roles require mitts with flat and shallow pockets to capture the ball quickly.
How Do You Flare A Baseball Glove?
In general, this process may include these steps:
- Oil the gear
- Heat it in the oven
- Stretch out to check its flexibility
- Shape the pocket
Why Do You Stick Your Index Finger Out Of A Baseball Glove?
This action adds a layer of defense between the baseball and the player’s finger, positioned within the mitt, where the baseball will most frequently make contact.
Does Steaming A Glove Help Break It In?
Yes! This method can make your equipment softer. However, it may make the durability of the mitt worse.
This article has eventually reached the bottom of the commonly asked question: Why do you flare a baseball glove?
Many players perform this project to make the mitts have a flatter and more shallow pocket to grab the ball efficiently.
Hopefully, you will be successful with our step-by-step guides. Thanks for taking the time to read this post!