Not recommended on any PRE-OILED GLOVES

After 30+ years of playing & coaching baseball I have tried many different methods of breaking in a glove. In my opinion, the steps listed below will speed up this seemingly forever process.

Please keep in mind this process should be used on high quality gloves made of 100% leather, as this process may shorten the life of synthetic materials.

  1. Fill up your sink or a bucket & completely submerge glove in room temperature water for approximately 3-5 minutes. 
  2. Put a baseball deep in the pocket & try to stretch glove around a baseball forming a pocket. 
  3. Tie up glove tightly, forming the pocket around the ball using a belt or string fingers facing up, to help the water drain. 
  4. Keep tied up & let glove dry naturally out in the sun or in the attic a couple days or in any warm part of the house. Do not place on any HOT surface. 
  5. Untie & throw in the clothes dryer (even if still wet) on hot for 15-20 minutes. This will help “beat up the leather.” 
  6. Remove from dryer & start working it in. The more time you spend bending down on the fingers & forming the pocket the better the end result. Once completely broken in I prefer an occasional application of inexpensive shaving cream (just the white foam kind with lanolin and no fragrance) when glove gets a little dry.UPDATE: I have found it increasingly difficult to find shaving cream with lanolin, so note that a good alternative is to purchase a small bottle of Rawlings Glovolium, which seems to be readily available in many sporting goods stores. (Just remember to add in small amounts…you don’t want your glove to be soaked and/or heavy!)

This method should leave your glove as close to game-ready as is possible in the absolute least amount of time… It works!

Remember, the cow that your glove came from certainly spent most of its life outdoors, so a little water shouldn’t affect your leather.

However, I would not use this method with any of those chemically pre-oiled gloves that you sometimes see. They are chemically broken in and, in my opinion, will not last as long and tend to turn into rag dolls way before their time.

Tonto Genovese is a former coach of the Fayette (Georgia) Yellow Jackets.