Enthusiasts and players continue playing their favorite game regardless of the weather. And a baseball game is no different. A thunderstorm or heavy downpour may get the game delayed or postponed; however, the game continues during light rains. Playing baseball in the rain may take a toll on your favorite glove and the hard work you did to break in the mitt may get wasted. A wet baseball glove is something every player experiences once in his lifetime.
What if you forgot your golden mitt in the stormy weather? It is even worse. Are you worried about drying and recovering your precious glove? Do not worry, I got you covered.
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Why Rain Can Damage A Baseball Glove
Before we know how to dry a wet baseball glove, let’s be aware of the damage water and rain can cause to your baseball glove.
Water is harmful to any form of leather. If left in the rain, the rain water will wash away protective oils from the mitt leaving it hard, brittle, and smelly. Water can weaken the laces of the glove and can cause the leather to dry out and crack. It is never a good idea to leave your wet baseball glove wet for a long period.
Drying A Wet Baseball Glove
While water may cause damage to your baseball glove, if you use proper methods to dry the mitt, you can get it game-ready quickly. Here’s how to dry a baseball glove properly:
Dab the glove with a soft and clean towel inside out to absorb all the moisture. Use the towel gently and don’t rub it as it may damage the leather. Do not wring the mitt for removing water to protect it from further harm.
Additionally, you can use newspaper to absorb the moisture. The method is simple. Take a piece of paper and cut it into small square shapes. Roll these squares and put it inside all the fingers of the glove. Similarly, roll several of these squares and stuff them inside the palm area of the mitt. These newspaper rolls will absorb the moisture from the inside of the glove and will help it dry fast.
Check the paper rolls every half an hour and replace them if they are soaked in water. Repeat the process until the rolls are not soggy when you remove them from the inside of the glove.
Now that you have absorbed the water from the mitt using a soft towel and paper rolls let the glove dry at room temperature away from the direct sunlight. Avoid putting the glove in the microwave, or a cloth dryer. You may use a shoe dryer but be sure to keep it moving over the glove. However, I’ll recommend letting the mitt dry in a natural setting. The process might take a few days depending on the humidity level and how badly wet the glove was at the beginning. However, it will protect your glove from being damaged.
Important: Never, like really never, leave your glove in direct sunlight to dry. Sure it will be faster, but the UV rays are not good for the leather. Leather is skin and the same rules as for your own skin apply here. Too much UV light equals bad consequences. In regards to your glove, that means damaged leather, which in turn makes the glove not usable anymore.
Now that the glove is appropriately dried, apply a small amount of glove oil or conditioner with the help of a sponge to soften and condition the leather. Use only recommended oils and conditioners. These softening agents help to maintain the strength and flexibility of the leather. They also prevent the mitt from stiffening up from being sodden.
Avoid applying the oil directly on the mitt as it may leave the point of application heavier than other parts.
After drying and softening the glove, the next important step is to shape the glove for holding the ball. The method is to put a baseball in the pocket of the mitt and then wrap it with two or three rubber bands. The bands should not be tight and form an “X” like shape as they overlap one another. Leave the rubber-wrapped glove in a natural setting for a few hours till the pocket takes its shape, and the glove is ready to use. You can also get a glove wrap, that will accomplish the same.
Another way to reform the glove is to start using it. In the beginning it will will unnatural, but after a while the glove will take its previous shape again. It will feel like the glove you always loved.
What Not To Do When Drying A Baseball Glove
As we have discussed above, drying a baseball glove requires patience and caution, but it is a pretty straightforward process. However, sometimes in life, we want to get the stuff done quickly especially when we have an emotional connection with the things included in the process. And what might be dearer to a baseball player than his glove? Therefore, it is natural for you as a baseball player to try to dry the glove as quickly as possible if it gets sodded in water somehow.
Lao Tzu made a valid point when he said, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” It is, therefore, crucial to be aware of the damage that you may cause to your glove if you are impatient when drying up your baseball mitt.
Avoid Microwaving Your Glove
You might come across people suggesting using a microwave oven to dry out your glove. They will tell you to put the mitt into the machine, turn it on and witness the magic. This might seem fancy but never pay attention to advice like this as you end up damaging your glove. Microwaving your glove leads to it being cooked. This destroys the structure of the leather and your glove will be super hard and not flexible anymore at all. The leather will be chewy like an old steak and the glove will not be usable anymore.
Do Not Leave Your Glove Wet For A Long Period
As the headline suggests, never leave your favorite mitt drenched in water for an extended period of time. The water may damage the leather beyond repair.
Moreover, as we have discussed above, avoid putting the glove directly in the sunlight. Sunlight will cause damage to the leather and make it stiff. It also takes away the shine from the glove.
I hope that the above tips will help you properly dry your baseball glove. Let us know if you have more useful tips or something new related to baseball for helping others.
Get home safe,