- Many gloves these days come with oil already injected into the leather. When that's the case, you shouldn't apply extra oil to the glove.
- Professional shortstops and second basemen tend to use smaller gloves than I had thought (around 11.5 inches).
- Professional infielders (except perhaps first basemen) don't insert their hand fully into their glove. They leave the bottom of the hand visible (the inch or so that includes the base of the thumb). This is partly to prevent wrist injuries when diving for ground balls so the glove can fall off rather than breaking or spraining the wrist.
- Many advanced players put both the ring finger and the pinky finger into the last finger hole. The middle finger goes into the ring finger hole and the index finger goes in the middle finger hole. This helps to create a larger pocket.
- Some pros now have "flared" corners on their gloves (the corners at the ends of the thumb and pinky). This lets the open glove cover a larger area, when compared to a glove with corners that curl around the ball.
- A quick way to break in a glove: smear a small dabs of shaving cream on several areas of the glove (the inside of the pocket, the back of the fingers [and the palm of the glove?] and put it in a 300 degree oven for five minutes.
- Some pros now have "flared" corners on their gloves (the corners at the ends of the thumb and pinky). This lets the open glove cover a larger area when compared to a glove that has more curl around the ball at the corners. But some pros prefer the non-flared gloves.
- One way to build up your arm strength: cut a slit in a tennis ball, fill it with pennies, seal it up with duct tape, and play catch (gently) for 10 minutes or so on a regular basis. Some caveats: don't throw too hard or too far, don't do it for too long and don't do this with your best glove, because it causes extra wear and tear on the glove.
Things I hadn't known about baseball gloves
A friend and I had a very pleasant interaction a few weeks ago with a twenty-something sales manager at the Dick's Sporting Goods store in Hunt Valley. Some tidbits we picked up from him: