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Antique Baseball Gloves—How the Game Used to Be

by acenh (08/05/08).

Baseball fans are like historians in many ways. They pride themselves on being able to quote arcane stats, facts and stories. One aspect of sports collectibles that is important to many historians of the game is baseball-glove collecting. Collectors are fascinated by antique gloves that tell stories of the development of this incredible sport

Split-finger gloves are some of the most popular collectibles in this market. As their name indicates, split-finger gloves have, well, split fingers. Unlike today’s glove that is one solid piece, these antique baseball gloves are like a thicker version of a glove you would use for cleaning. While a good amount of them have some form of webbing in them, there are others that have none.

Slipping on a split-finger glove sends goose bumps across my body. It takes you back to a much simpler time when steroids were unheard of and multimillion-dollar contracts didn’t exist. In short, these gloves represent the purity that makes baseball such an amazing game.

Antique catcher’s mitts are another interesting collectible. The early form of the catcher’s mitt makes one wonder how anyone could have used it effectively. They are inflexible and difficult to use. They are the Model T of baseball gloves. By comparison, today’s catcher’s mitt performs like a BMW.

I think every baseball fan should visit an antique or sports collectible store that has vintage baseball gloves. It provides you with insight into the history of the game. These historical artifacts represent everything that’s right with baseball. It reminds me of playing early-morning weekend Little League games as a child.

What are your favorite collectibles that remind you of the basics of baseball? Do you have any antique bats, gloves, helmets or balls? Let’s hear about them in the replies!

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