Baseball and softball gloves have an intoxicating leather smell when they are new. The problem is, when they are new they are stiff and hard to control. On the playing field, a glove should feel like an extension of your hand and a brand new glove does not fit the bill. Fortunately, there are a number of items that can help you break your mitt in quickly.

Wipe the glove with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris. Use a softening agent such as commercial glove oil, baby oil, vegetable oil, petroleum jelly or shaving cream. Apply it liberally to the pocket of the glove as well as to the webbing, thumb and finger areas on the inside of the glove. Wipe away any excess oil, jelly or cream with a clean cloth.

Place a ball inside the pocket as far down as possible. Use a baseball if you typically play baseball or a softball if you use the glove for softball.

Arrange the glove so that the thumb of the glove is positioned tightly over the ball. Fold the fingers of the glove over the outside of the thumb. Wrap the glove tightly with an elastic bandage, large rubber band or ribbon. Leave it in this position for at least 24 hours (longer, if possible). Repeat the above steps when the glove is not in use until it becomes flexible.

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