Rawlings Glove Restoration

I started playing baseball ‘for real’ when I was nine years old.  I played my first season of little league in the summer of 1990.  When remembering back through my baseball days, I can only ever remember owning four gloves.

My first glove was an all black glove, I can’t exactly recall, but I think it was a Cal Ripken Jr model Rawlings glove.  I loved that glove.  It got lost one summer day when I left it at a baseball field while visiting my grandparents in Connecticut.

In 1993 or so, my dad replaced the glove by buying me a Ryne Sandberg glove.  This is the glove that I still use to this day to do all of my ballhawking with.

I’m assuming the RSE36 you see stands for Ryne Sandberg Edition 36.

In around 1994, I was moved to first base and my dad bought me a Mark McGwire first baseman’s mitt.  The glove was gigantic, and I used it for ballhawking throughout the 2008 season.  I caught 128 balls that year with that glove, almost all exclusively on the fly at batting practices, as I wasn’t a hardcore ballhawk yet.  If it was hit right at me, I’d catch it.  I also caught Jose Bautista’s 10th home run with that glove.

Two years ago, my dad, upon seeing the condition of my Ryne Sandberg regular ballhawking glove, bought me a David Wright glove.  It’s not completely broken in yet, and I haven’t attempted to use it for ballhawking yet, because rigging the glovetrick with it isn’t as easy due to a difference in webbing.

Well, my Ryne Sandberg glove has finally died.  After being flung out onto the field hundreds of times,

resulting in 200+ balls that were glove tricked (including struggling to get ball #1000) – the glove finally begain to fail me.  Even playing catch on the bridge felt like I had a time bomb on my hand.  I never knew when the lacing was just going to pop.

Near the end of the 2011 baseball season, the laces of the glove were becoming unraveled, making executing the glovetrick very difficult.  The baseball would constantly slip out.  It became painstakingly obvious to me that I would need a new glove.

Check out the wear and tear on my beat up Ryne Sandberg glove.

The backside:

The pocket, which is crappy and flimsy from not keeping a ball in it for years in the 90s:

The inside, which, has no padding left.  I basically use the string that I ball up in my glove for padding:

The lacing from the heel is long gone:

And worst of all is this lacing that keeps the webbing in place.  Its loose, so the glove trick is always unreliable and the balls were consistently falling out of my glove when I reeled them in at the end of 2011.

I sent my glove away January 18th to MittFix to have them restore my glove.

I was told it would be 10 business days.  It’s almost mid-February, so I hope to have my glove back soon to show you the new and improving snagging glove for 2012.

There’s only 54 more days until Opening Day, 7 days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, and 1 day to win this Brandon Phillips jersey Tshirt.


  1. Mateo Fischer

    I think I *may* have owned the same McGwire glove. I found it on the softball field by my apartment building circa 2000. I remember I used it in my first little league season. Everyone told me, “that glove is too big for you.” Then I caught a line drive from the hardest hitting kid in the league. To this day, it has been the best “in your face” moment of my life. Also, I communicated with Zac Weiss about what the best thing to do about season tickets for Ballhawk Fest and he said, “Ask one of the PGH ballhawks.” So, here it is: What would YOU reccomend I do about getting season tickets? Is stubhub a reliable source for this, or is there some other, better way?

  2. mlblogscountingbaseballs

    I have a new one, it doesn’t work well for the glove trick though.

    Water is terrible for a glove, it makes the leather all dried out. I learned that the hard way too.

    Its tough to give up a glove or switch to a new one. There’s that comfort factor there with the old one.

    That’s a lot of gloves. How old are you?

    That glove was a monster. I sent you an email about season tickets and what you need to do.

  3. Pingback: My Glove Reborn! and Spring Training’s 1st game « Counting Baseballs