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 Vintage Baseball Glove  Dating Guide
The first players to use baseball gloves were often taunted and teased as being "too soft" or "sissies" because they did not want to catch the ball with their bare hands.

The first baseball gloves were used in the 1870s. The basic idea was to create a glove that would pad and protect the players' hands and provide a cushion for catching the ball. Surprisingly, the first gloves were designed so the player could knock the ball to the ground and not necessarily catch it. History's first baseball gloves were made from pieces of leather sewn together to fit over a player's hand. Many early baseball gloves were simple leather gloves with the fingertips cut off, supposedly to allow for the same control of a bare hand, but with extra padding. The adoption of the baseball glove by baseball star Albert Spalding when he began playing first base influenced more infielders to begin using gloves. By the mid 1890s, it was the norm for players to wear gloves in the field.

Below is a guide to help date your vintage baseball glove. Gloves can be dated by the style of the web. Styles may have continued to be made after the dates stated but in general the web can be dated to that era.

PICTURE Years Produced - Description Picture

wpeF4.jpg (24884 bytes) Pre 1900s - Gloves had no web and are referred to as "workman" style gloves. Early fingerless gloves were used for better grip. Gloves were hand made or altered from existing gloves before they were manufactured for baseball. More details wpeF7.jpg (11894 bytes)
wpeEB.jpg (13913 bytes) 1900 - 1915  - Gloves had sewn in webs known as "full webs" These webs were sewn directly to the thumb and forefinger and extended to where the thumb and forefinger meet By 1910 1 inch webs start appearing. 
More details
wpeED.jpg (31962 bytes)
wpeD7.jpg (22473 bytes) 1910's - 1920's - Most gloves have a sewn in one inch web. Similar to the previous web except that the web was one to one and a half inches wide. Player endorsements now can be used to help date some gloves.
More details
wpeEB.jpg (15490 bytes)
wpeD9.jpg (19265 bytes) 1920's - 1930's - A vertical tunnel loop web was used. Either two or four elongated loops were sewn in directly to the thumb and forefinger through which passed a simple rawhide lace. The "Bill Doak Era" of baseball Gloves begins. More details wpeE9.jpg (19102 bytes)
wpeDF.jpg (21704 bytes) 1930's - 1940s - the more modern webs began to be used. First the single tunnel, then the double tunnel, then by the early 1940's triple tunnel and H webs began to be used. These were all separate webs that were laced to the glove. The single tunnel was about a one inch wide web, the double tunnel utilized two of these simple webs. wpeDB.jpg (18143 bytes)
wpeE1.jpg (19362 bytes) 1940's - 1950 - the full modern webs began to be used. Until the late 1940's fielders gloves had no lacing between the fingers. These gloves are referred to as "Spit finger" Gloves. The transition of the split finger to the laced glove are more evident. wpe5E.jpg (38406 bytes)
wpe7B.jpg (25356 bytes) 1950 - 1960 - Most gloves have lacing between the finger although you will find an occasional split finger. The full web triple tunnel style dominates this era. wpe95.jpg (17600 bytes)
wpe93.jpg (46578 bytes) 1960 - 1970 - The 1950s full web tunnel style still shows up, and with more lacing "weaved" in and out of the web showing on the outside.  wpe98.jpg (40373 bytes)

wpe9A.jpg (19830 bytes)

1970 - 1980 - Although a 12" size rule was made in the 1950s outfielder Gloves begin to be made as long as 13 - 14".  wpeBD.jpg (13597 bytes)

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