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Baseball Glove Repair - Every Little Bit Helps

By Chico Reese

From the beginning of spring through the summer playing season someone is always dropping a baseball glove off at "The Doctor's" house to get a little baseball glove repair done on their glove. Most of these repairs are usually the same...broken laces in one or more places on the glove. Every time I repair one of these gloves I'm always thinking the same thing, "If this guy would have taken just a little bit of care of this glove..." You don't have to go nuts with caring for the glove, but every little bit helps.

You see, by the time I get these baseball gloves they are, by definition, neglected! Here's what I usually see:

They are usually dirty. Dirt is not so bad, though, because dirt is part of what the glove is going to see anyway. Dirt can always be cleaned off. It's the caked on, dried up mud that is in the seams and lace holes that should have been wiped off and cleaned out at some point by the owner. This usually never happens from what I see.

The leather and laces on these baseball gloves are usually very dry. This is usually the most common problem with gloves because leather and laces in dry, stiff condition will lead to broken laces and ripped leather. Many gloves, especially those in the northern areas of the country, will experience rain, snow, mud and sun all in the same High School baseball season. Conditions like these are especially bad for the leather and laces on gloves.

The laces of any glove become stretched and broken in over time. What owners should do is keep an eye on their baseball glove laces and tighten them up as they become loose. Loose, stretched laces are easy to see when the fingers of the glove start getting bigger and bigger gaps in between them as the laces stretch and become broken in. The thing is, though, these gaps shouldn't be there...this is not the normal intended shape of the glove when it was designed. Very loose laces result in the glove taking on a different shape as time goes by and again, this is not the initially designed shape when the glove was bought. Very large gaps can actually be dangerous as hard line drives can sometimes get through one of these gaps and can injure the player.

Nearly all of the baseball gloves that I repair and restore have all, or nearly all of the conditions mentioned above. I seem to do the same things over and over...Clean, Repair and Condition...Clean, Repair and Condition.

When I'm done doing a little baseball glove repair and restore to a glove that has just broken, it always turns out looking and feeling better than even I expected. The owners are always amazed at how the glove looks and of course, they are very happy with their "new" glove.

As I said earlier, the gloves that I repair are neglected as far as routine, general maintenance. They are dirty, dry, stiff and cracked. These gloves are just waiting for broken laces and ripped leather. Remember, all that you have to do is just do a little cleaning, conditioning and lace tightening every once in a while as you use your glove throughout the season and your glove will keep its original intended shape and you won't have those unfortunate lace breaks just when you can't afford to have them.

The best thing is to learn how to do a little baseball glove repair yourself so that when breaks do occur, you can fix them in as little as 10 or 15 minutes for a few bucks instead of sending your baseball glove away for a number of days and $50 later. But that's a whole new subject. For now, just take care of your glove as you are using it during the season. Believe me, every little bit helps!

Do your own Baseball Glove Repairs. Learn how to repair, relace and restore your own baseball glove with "Fix That Glove". Save yourself time and money.

Chico Reese has been closely involved in youth baseball, softball and High School Baseball over the last twelve years. He also is known as "The Doctor" for his quick baseball glove repairs and restorations for many kids and adults throughout the summer.