Baseball gloves

It was the 1885, George R. Rawlings (owner of a St. Louis sporting goods’ store).
“wanted to create a device that used felt and padding to protect the fingers and palms”.

he first ever patent of a baseball glove.

baseball glove 1.png

At that time baseball was a relatively new sport and there were few players (the sport become moire popular during the Civil War), but “the inventor” has special attention to their comfort.

The glove was not initially a part of the game though there were no rules against gloves. Actually in the beginning there wasn’t a real need for hand protection, but as the game evolved and balls were thrown harder and faster… The earliest gloves were simple leather work gloves, and there was also some reluctance to use such “modern and ridiculous tools”.

And the gloves advances went even further. Early in 19th century:

Major Robert H. Young, of the United States Air Service, has invented a baseball glove that swallows this compressed air, creating a partial vacuum in the glove and eliminating the tendency to rebound. There are air holes in the padded palm to which flexible tubes are attached. These tubes have their outlets in the sides of the glove. There are valves at the end of the tubes that prevent air from entering.

Afterwards an extra padding was added between the the thumb and first finger and in 1895 the National League and American Association of Baseball Clubs posed the first restrictions on glove size.

The catcher and the first baseman are permitted to wear a glove or mitt of any size, shape or weight. All other players are restricted to the use of a glove or mitt weighing not over ten ounces, and measuring in circumference around the palm of the hand not over fourteen inches.

The next big innovation dates 1920 when St. Louis Cardinals pitcher B. Doak proposed a design to replace the leather webbing used in some gloves with a system of straps between the first finger and thumb. The patent that designed modern gloves.

baseball glove 2.png

A long history, not just gloves indeed (and I myself never wore one…)


PS. Here a serious and very well done history (not like the present one) of the baseball gloves evolution.



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