Are you having trouble getting over losing your personal ol’ reliable? It has happened to the best of us. You will simply be playing in a game just like any other game, and all of a sudden the ball just decides to rip directly through your glove. As the lace rips apart just like your heart did the moment you felt it happen, you think to yourself, “Well, now what am I supposed to do?”
There are times to relace a glove that aren’t just the breaking point. You can decide to relace your glove at any time. A good time to do such a thing would be when you first start to seriously realize that those laces are breaking down. If they are starting to feel softer and thinner than they once did, or if the leather surrounding the laces looks like it’s deteriorating, you most likely will want to relace soon. Another time that would be ideal to relace your glove is when you first get it if you know the lacing is not very well constructed.
If you are going to take the task upon yourself, make sure to first take a look at the damage that has occurred. See how bad the puncture is, and make a determination on how to go about the relacing. Draw it out if you have to! Sometimes simplifying jobs out will really save you time and effort. For this job, you are going to need a lacing needle as well as your new lace.
First, remove the original lacing from your glove if you feel it is necessary. Untie and pull the lacing through the glove and get a good look at how the leather is holding up. Obviously, if your laces are ripped, you are going to need to replace the laces with your new ones. Insert your needle into the hole closest to the damage and then thread the needle with your lace. Next, pull the needle through the other side of the hole so the lace goes through cleanly. Make sure to manually fix any twists in the lacing, and pull the needle with your hand to tighten it as much as you want. Continue to lace that baby up, intermingling every single hole with each other with the lacing. The process should seem to flow. Try to follow the original lacing pattern of the glove. This will make for the best possible feel on the glove when it is done. Your hand will not feel restricted in any way if you stick to the original pattern. Go very slow and carefully the first time you do it if you do not feel comfortable. If you do this, you will most likely not damage the glove any further if you were to make a mistake.
Catchers will usually have to relace their mitts more than any other position due to the amount of high-speed catches their gloves have to endure, over and over again. Outfield gloves usually last the longest because that is where the least action will usually be going on during games. Outfielders do not have to deal with high speed softballs coming directly at them like a catcher does. The outfielder’s glove just has to be able to endure a season or two of catching fly balls. Infielders are definitely the middle of the pack when it comes to relacing, with first baseman’s mitts definitely leading the way. While first baseman do have to catch throws from infielders at decent speeds, it still does not compare to the toll that catcher’s mitts take. Other infielders (second base, third base, and shortstops) use gloves that usually can take a pretty solid beating. They will break down, but it will take longer than a catcher’s mitt or first baseman’s.
It really is a traumatic experience when your favorite glove finally just gives. Sometimes it is just time to let your baby retire, but at other times your glove just needs a relacing. Do not go out and spend a boatload of money on a new glove when all you needed was some new lacing!