Should I wrap my baseball glove?

Baseball gloves, also known as mitts, are essential pieces of equipment for baseball and softball players. A high-quality glove can last for many seasons if properly taken care of. One question players frequently ask is whether they should wrap their glove when not in use. There are pros and cons to wrapping a baseball glove that players should consider.

What are the benefits of wrapping a baseball glove?

There are a few potential benefits to wrapping a baseball glove:

  • Helps the glove retain its shape – Leather can stretch and lose its shape over time. Wrapping the glove tightly in the off-season helps it maintain the proper pocket shape.
  • Protects the leather – Wrapping the glove helps protect the leather from scratches, dirt, and other damage when not in use.
  • Slows down drying – Baseball glove leather can dry out and become brittle. Wrapping slows down the drying process.

Wrapping between games or practices can also be beneficial for retaining moisture and shape in the leather.

What are the downsides of wrapping a baseball glove?

While there are some benefits, there are also a few potential downsides to wrapping a baseball glove:

  • Can damage the glove – If wrapped too tightly or with the wrong materials, wrapping can actually damage the leather leading to cracks.
  • Traps moisture – Excessive wrapping can trap moisture inside leading to mold or mildew buildup.
  • Makes the glove stiff – Overwrapping restricts movement which can make the glove too stiff and require breaking-in again.

It’s important not to overwrap a glove and use proper materials to avoid these pitfalls.

What materials should be used for wrapping?

The best materials to use for wrapping a baseball glove include:

  • High-quality glove oil – Rubbing glove oil on the leather before wrapping helps condition it and retain moisture.
  • Silicone packs – Putting moisture-absorbing silicone packs inside the glove helps regulate humidity.
  • T-shirt or soft cloth – Wrapping a t-shirt or other soft material around the shape helps retain the pocket.
  • Leather sleeves or wraps – Specially designed leather wraps help gloves hold their shape without overcompressing.

Materials like plastic bags or hard balls should be avoided as they can damage the leather. The key is using soft, breathable materials.

How should you wrap a baseball glove?

The proper technique for wrapping a baseball glove involves a few key steps:

  1. Apply a light coat of glove oil and work it into the leather
  2. Insert a silicone gel pack to help regulate interior humidity
  3. Place a softball inside the pocket to help maintain the shape
  4. Wrap a t-shirt or cloth around the pocket exterior to hold the shape
  5. Use a leather wrap or sleeves on the exterior to protect the glove
  6. Wrap tightly but not so tight as to overcompress the glove
  7. Secure the wrapping with tape or ties
  8. Store the wrapped glove in a climate-controlled area

Following these steps helps maximize the benefits while minimizing any potential downsides of wrapping a glove.

When Should You Wrap Your Glove?

Deciding when to wrap your baseball glove depends on how often you use it:

  • Frequent use – If using your glove 3-7 days per week, only wrap between games or practices. Unwrap and allow to air out afterwards.
  • Occasional use – If using 1-2 days per week, can wrap between game days and unwrap afterwards.
  • Off-season storage – Should wrap the glove if storing for 1+ months when not in regular use.

Don’t store a frequently used glove wrapped for prolonged periods, as this can lead to issues with moisture, stiffness, and odor buildup. The exceptions are high-end gloves which require wrapping almost any time they are not being actively used to maintain their shape and construction.

Signs You Should Wrap Your Glove

Some signs indicate it’s time to wrap your baseball or softball glove:

  • The leather feels dry and brittle
  • The pocket shape is losing definition
  • You notice cracks or folds in the leather
  • The laces are starting to loosen
  • Storing the glove for more than 1 week during offseason

If you notice any combination of these, it’s probably a good idea to give your glove a clean, conditioned wrapping. This protects the leather and helps extend the glove’s life.

Signs You Should Unwrap Your Glove

On the other hand, some signs indicate it’s time to remove wrapping and let your glove breathe:

  • A strong odor is noticeable when unwrapping
  • The leather feels soggy or damp
  • Mold or mildew spots are visible
  • The glove feels too stiff to close
  • Frequent use requires flexibility

Unwrapping helps air out any built up moisture and restore flexibility to the glove’s leather. If the leather is dry, apply conditioner before letting the glove air out fully to restore suppleness.

Tips for Wrapping Your Baseball Glove

Use the Right Materials

– Glove oil or conditioning cream – Condition and moisturize leather
– Silicone packs – Control interior humidity
– Soft fabric – Preserve pocket shape
– Leather wraps – Protect exterior surface
– Avoid plastic bags – Can promote moisture buildup

Watch Your Glove’s Condition

– Well-conditioned leather – Needs less frequent wrapping
– Dried out leather – Requires wrapping to recondition
– Frequently used glove – Only wrap between uses
– Lightly used glove – Can wrap for longer storage

Find the Ideal Tightness

– Too loose – Won’t maintain form or protection
– Too tight – Can damage shape and flexibility
– Snug but allows leather to breathe
– Palm and fingers slightly bent to hold pocket

Store Properly

– Climate controlled space – Prevents extremes causing damage
– Away from direct sunlight – Avoid UV ray damage
– Clean surface – Avoid dirt transfer to leather
– Breathable container – Let any moisture dissipate

Common Baseball Glove Wrapping Mistakes

It’s important to avoid these common mistakes players make when wrapping their baseball gloves:

Wrapping Too Tightly

Over-compressing the glove by wrapping too tightly can misshape the pocket, stretch the laces, and lead to cracks in the leather.

Using Plastic Bags

Plastic traps moisture against the leather causing sogginess and mildew. Use cloth or specialty leather wraps instead.

Applying Too Much Oil

Too much conditioner softens leather and attracts dirt. Use a thin layer then wipe away excess.

Not Loosening Enough

Forgetting to loosen and unwrap frequently used gloves makes them overly stiff.

Storing in Heat or Cold

Temperature extremes damage gloves. Keep wrapped gloves at room temperature.

Wrapping Dirty Gloves

Wrapping traps dirt against the leather. Clean gloves first before lengthy storage wraps.

Using Hard Materials

Baseballs or other hard objects inside stretch pockets. Use softer fillers like t-shirts instead.

Wrapping Too Early

Brand new gloves should be broken-in before lengthy wrapping. Otherwise, stiffness persists.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I wrap my baseball glove overnight?

There is no need to wrap your glove overnight between back-to-back games or practices. Simply storing it properly will suffice. Prolonged wrapping can cause gloves that are used frequently to become too stiff.

Does wrapping help break in a new glove faster?

No, wrapping a new glove will not significantly speed up the break-in process. New gloves need flexing and use while playing catch to properly form to your hand. Wrapping might hasten break-in minimally but is not a substitute for actively using the glove.

How long can I safely keep my glove wrapped?

For gloves used frequently, wrap for no longer than 1-2 days before unwrapping and reconditioning. Gloves used occasionally can stay wrapped for up to 1-2 weeks. Off-season storage wraps should last 2-3 months before rewrapping. Excessive wrapping intervals risk moisture, stiffness, and odor buildup issues.

Should I wrap my glove after every game or practice?

Unless you notice your glove is drying out quickly, frequent post-game wrapping is unnecessary for regularly used gloves. At most, wrap between back-to-back games but allow the glove to breathe fully afterwards. Heavy wrapping after each use can make the glove too stiff.

What’s the best way to humidify my glove when wrapping?

Using silicone gel packs inside the wrap is the safest way to add moisture. Spraying water or liquid directly on the glove risks over-saturating the leather. Let silicone packs touch interior glove skin to transmit humidity.


Wrapping a baseball glove has benefits for retaining shape, protecting leather, and storing during off-season. But it also carries risks like stiffness, mold, stretched laces, and odor if done incorrectly or too frequently. Use high-quality materials, proper technique, and moderation based on glove usage frequency. When signs of dryness, cracking, or changing shape emerge, wrap and recondition your glove. If stiffness, smell, or dampness develop, unwrap and let the glove air out fully. With the right balance, wrapping helps maximize your glove’s performance and lifespan.

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