In the U.S., 66% of boys and 52% of girls play organized sports. In total, 36 million kids play sports every year. In youth sports, having the right gear is vital for safety and for learning. Parents often have questions when it comes to all the equipment kids need to play baseball, such as how to find the right catchers mitt, and how often to buy new catchers gear. Equipment can be expensive, so oftentimes, fixing your gear is a better option than buying new.
The pocket of your catcher’s mitt is attached to the rest of the glove by laces. When the laces dry and wear out, they can break, rendering the glove useless. Rather than catching the ball in the pocket of the glove, the ball will fly through the gaps created by the loose or broken laces. Fortunately, you can learn how to re-web a catcher’s mitt and restore to almost-new condition.
How to Re-Web a Catchers Mitt:
- Note the thickness of the old lacing. You can either replace it with leather laces of the same size or use a slightly thinner size to make the process easier.
- Next, you will need to recondition the glove. Saddle soap comes in a tin, similar to shoe polish. Like polishing a shoe, dip a rag in the saddle soap and rub it into the leather of the glove. This step is necessary if the glove is old; they need reconditioning every once in a while as they age. Chances are, if the laces were worn out, the glove might need some TLC all around.
- Untie the knot in the laces. The knot may be too tight to loosen; use a screwdriver and wiggle it in between the layers of the knot to pull it loose. Do not take out the old lacing at this point. You will need it to guide your new lacing.
- Slip the old lacing out of the first hole, then insert the new lace in the now empty hole. Pull the old lace out of the next hole and follow it with the new lace. Do each hole one by one to avoid losing sight of the webbing pattern. Do this for the entire glove, not just the pocket.
There are different materials and different types of catchers mitts. Catcher gear maintenance is essential to honing your skills and improving your game.