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Baseball Glove Dating Guide
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.
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.
Produced - Description
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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 1960 - Most gloves have lacing
between the finger although you will find an occasional
split finger. The full web triple tunnel style dominates
- 1970 - The 1950s full web tunnel
style still shows up, and with more lacing
"weaved" in and out of the web showing on the
- 1980 - Although a 12" size
rule was made in the 1950s outfielder Gloves begin to be
made as long as 13 - 14".