Whether you should put your baseball glove in your bag is a question many players face. On one hand, keeping your glove in your bag protects it from the elements and damage. On the other hand, storing it in your bag can lead to deformation, moisture buildup, and premature breakdown of the leather. There are pros and cons to both options, so it depends on your specific circumstances.
– If you play often, consider leaving your glove out of the bag to maintain its shape.
– If you only play occasionally, storing it in the bag helps protect it between uses.
– Keeping it in the bag helps prevent forgotten or lost gloves.
– Take steps to mitigate moisture buildup and deformation when storing in a bag.
– Higher end gloves hold their shape better when stored in bags than cheap gloves.
– Storing in a bag limits potential damage from the elements, dirt, pets, etc.
– Gloves not in use should be stored in climate controlled spaces, not garages or attics.
Factors to Consider
When deciding whether to store your baseball glove in your bag, there are several key factors to take into account:
Frequency of Use
How often you use your glove will impact the decision significantly. If you play baseball every day or multiple times a week, keeping your glove in your bag between games can lead to deformities in the shape of the pocket. Constant compression from the bag prevents the glove from maintaining its proper break-in form.
For frequent players, it is best to keep your glove out of the bag as much as possible when not in use. Store it in a safe place at home where it won’t get damaged and can better retain its shape. Many players keep their glove in a specially designed glove hammock or stand when not in use.
However, if you only play occasionally or for a short season, storing the glove in your bag between games likely won’t impact the shape too much. The glove has enough time resting in its natural state between uses.
Bag Material and Padding
The type of bag you use can also be a factor. Softer, padded bags generally provide better protection for a stored glove. Stiff leather or metal bags are more likely to deform the shape of the pocket over time.
Ideally, look for bags with extra padding or reinforced glove compartments. Some backpacks have molded plastic slots specifically designed to protect a glove’s shape. If your bag lacks padding, you can wrap the glove in extra towels or clothing layers to create more cushioning.
Avoid tightly cramming the glove into a bag compartment. The glove should fit comfortably with a little extra space. Increased compression increases deformity risks.
Higher quality gloves, especially top-end models made of premium leathers, tend to hold their shape better when stored in bags compared to cheap gloves made from synthetic materials.
The rigid leather and expert construction of pro-level gloves helps them resist compression forces within a bag. Cheaper vinyl and oil-tanned gloves typically rely more on continual use to maintain proper shape.
If you have a top-quality glove, keeping it in your bag periodically likely won’t be an issue. But repeated storage could still gradually impact performance over time.
Moisture and Temperature
Two of the main risks of keeping a glove long-term in a bag are moisture accumulation and extreme temperatures.
Storing a damp glove in an enclosed bag allows no airflow for drying. Bacteria and mold can breed in the trapped moisture, breaking down leather and materials faster. Ensure your glove is fully dry before placing in a bag, even for short periods.
Ideally, store the bag with your glove in a climate controlled setting like your house. Avoid keeping it long-term in places subject to temperature swings like attics, sheds, or garages. The heat and cold can damage glove leather over time, even when in a bag.
If you must keep your bag in variable conditions, consider adding desiccant packs to manage moisture. Some bags come with built-in vents to improve air circulation.
Preventing Forgotten or Lost Gloves
One advantage of keeping your glove in your bag is you’re far less likely to forget or lose it. If the glove always lives in your bag when not in use, you won’t have to worry about misplacing it or leaving it behind accidentally.
For players prone to losing equipment, this peace of mind may be worth the tradeoffs of potential glove deformity from bag storage. Just take extra care to mitigate moisture risks and improperly stuffed compartments.
Here are some best practice recommendations for glove bag storage based on your frequency of play:
Frequent Players (Daily or Multiple Times Weekly)
For those who play very regularly, keeping your glove in your bag between games likely causes more harm than good. The constant compression inhibits proper break-in. Instead:
– Leave your glove out of the bag as much as possible when not playing.
– Store at home in a glove hammock, stand, or other holder allowing shape retention.
– If you must transport in a bag, unpack immediately after reaching your destination.
– Carry bags with padding and ventilated glove compartments.
– Check for moisture and dry thoroughly before bag storage, even for short periods.
– Consider adding desiccant packs in bag to control humidity.
Occasional Players (Once per Week or Less)
If you only play every so often, keeping your glove in your bag between games likely has minimal impact on performance. However, take steps to optimize storage:
– Use bags with padding and reinforced glove compartments.
– Ensure the fit isn’t too tight, allow some extra room.
– Unpack glove immediately upon reaching destination if possible.
– Check for moisture and dry thoroughly before returning to bag.
– Store bag in climate controlled spaces, avoid temperature extremes.
– Limit consecutive days stored in bag as much as possible.
– When not playing for extended periods, leave glove out of bag in secure holder.
For young players still growing, glove deformation from bag storage is increased. Replace bags frequently to match proper glove sizes. Do not jam oversized gloves into undersized bags. Leaving gloves out of bags helps ensure proper development of shape and pocket.
Mitigating Glove Deformation in Bags
If you must keep your glove in a bag regularly, certain precautions can help minimize potential glove deformation:
– Place ID card or business card in palm to help retain shape.
– Stuff glove fingers with socks or paper to resist creasing.
– Wrap glove in towel and seal in plastic bag before bag storage.
– Use shaper bars or inserts to reinforce pocket shape.
– Store glove on outside of bag rather than crammed inside.
– Fill extra room in bag compartment with socks or foam to prevent movement.
– Store glove upside down, resting on back of the pocket instead of palm.
– Wrap palm in soft fabric and secure with loose rubber band.
– Freeze glove overnight before bag storage to retain shape.
– Apply conditioners to increase leather flexibility and resistance.
With care, your glove can survive limited storage in a bag without permanent damage. But frequent fliers should limit time spent bagged up. Give that glove a chance to breathe and live free.
Signs of Glove Damage from Bag Storage
Here are some common signs that bag storage may be negatively impacting your glove:
– The pocket shape looks distorted or collapsed.
– The glove feels stiffer and less flexible in use.
– The palm leather is dried out and stiff.
– Visible cracks form in the leather, especially around stiffened fingers.
– Mold or mildew develops inside glove lining or leather.
– The laces loosen more frequently.
– The glove just feels “dead” and loses its responsiveness.
Gloves are designed for use on hands, not stuffed in bags. If you notice these issues, leaving the glove out of the bag as much as possible can help it rebound. But deformation from long-term compression can permanently damage cheaper gloves.
Other Baseball Bag Storage Tips
In addition to your glove, there are other items to think about when using a baseball bag:
– Wrap barrel with towels, socks, or foam to prevent dents and damage.
– Use divider or slot compartments designed for bat storage.
– If loose in main compartment, pad ends and avoid contact with hard objects.
– Remove all dirt and debris first to avoid scratching other items.
– Place in separate compartment away from glove to prevent rips and tears in leather.
– Stuff shoes with socks or paper to help retain shape.
– Avoid extreme temperatures which can damage leather and elasticity.
– Humidity can lead to mold – store in breathable compartment.
– Store phones, tablets, etc. in protective padded pockets.
– Avoid tossing bag as impact can damage devices.
– Bring backup charger and headphones.
– Use compartment or bags for dirty uniforms separate from clean apparel.
– Hang jackets and jerseys to minimize wrinkles.
Food and Drink
– Pack drinks and snacks in insulated cooler bag within main compartment.
– Avoid leaks from drinks spilling over other equipment.
– Check food temperatures if bag sits in hot conditions.
At the end of the day, whether you should keep your baseball glove in your bag comes down to personal preference combined with proper precautions. Frequent players will likely see better performance leaving gloves outside bags as much as possible. Occasional hobbyists can safely store in a bag between games with care.
No matter what you choose, be sure your storage approach allows the glove to achieve optimal break-in while protecting it between uses. With the right bag and proper care, your glove can spend some time bundled up without sacrificing the leather or shape. But nothing beats letting that glove live and breathe free!