Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ambidextrous baseball gloves

Is there a baseball glove for a switch pitcher?

Yes, there is a six-finger glove made for ambidextrous pitchers, but you don't need a special glove to start switch pitching.Tips for throwing with both arms Try throwing a tennis ball against a wall or play catch with a friend. Use your bare hands to catch the ball or try using a batting glove for catching. Switch throwing hands while you practice. It might feel weird at first, but it doesn't take long to learn to throw with both arms. Throw from a short distance. Practice in slow motion. Break down the steps of throwing. Keep practicing. It takes a lot of practice to get good at ambidextrous throwing. Once you feel comfortable making throws with the opposite hand, you can buy an inexpensive glove for practice. It helps to have a different color or style glove to avoid picking up the wrong one. Young players don't need a custom glove. Some leagues allow you to put an extra glove behind the mound (like a rosin bag). Other leagues will not allow extra equipment on the field of play, so store the extra glove where you can gab it from the duggout when needed. 
Six-finger Ambidextrous Glove

Ambidextrous Baseball Glove by Akadema

Akadema 12" Trap design. Each year Akadema makes a limited 100 gloves for Ambidextrous players.Until recently, ambidextrous baseball gloves were custom made and very expensive ($400 - $600), so players used two separate gloves. Now you can order a high quality leather ambidextrous glove for $130 from Akadema. Buying an Akadema glove can be cheaper than owning two separate pitching gloves - plus it's really cool.
Henry Knight pitching using an Akadema ambidextrous glove
Henry Knight, a high school switch pitcher, has been using an Akadema ambidextrous glove for two years and likes being able to switch between throwing arms without changing gloves. College switch pitcher Ryan Perez, who throws 90 mph with both arms, also uses an Akadema glove. The six-finger glove is very stiff out of the box, and requires breaking in like other quality gloves. I tried it out and it's fun to use.
The glove doesn't have webbing like a standard fielders glove - which is a bit awkward at first. When you get it down on the ground to snatch ground balls - the glove fans out like a large scoop which is really nice. The 12" glove is huge for young players. I wish that Akadema made a smaller size for young pitchers. 
Akadema Ambidextrous Baseball Glove in Action

Custom Made Baseball Gloves
--- Carpenter Trade Company ---

Custom Crafted Ambidextrous Glove by Carpenter Trade Co.
All gloves have an "open back" design made with black material that has a suede-like surface (Clarino™ microfiber synthetic leather). Scott Carpenter, a master glove designer, has experience making ambidextrous gloves for switch pitchers ($600). Baseball and softball fielder gloves are available for $500+.

--- Mizuno ---
Pat Venditte, switch pitcher in the minors leagues, wears a custom six-finger glove from Mizuno. The Mizuno GMP1A Ambidextrous Glove is available for $450 by contacting an authorized retailer. Learn how to order a custom Mizuno ambidextrous glove

--- Louisville Slugger TPX ---
On the web, I have seen the Louisville Slugger TPX ambidextrous glove, but I did not know if these were still made - so I contacted customer service via email. The next day, I received this response:

You can custom order the Louisville Slugger Ambidextrous Glove for $399.99 by calling 1-800-282-2287 and a representative will be happy to assist you. (updated June 2012)

Training gloves 

Valle Switch Ambidextrous flat training mitt can be used on either hand.
Valle Baseball makes a nice ambidextrous pancake glove. This flat training glove does not have a pocket, so it forces you to use two hands. My son loves his pancake glove and his teammates find it challenging to use. Cost is around $49 for the Valle Flat Ambidextrous Pancake Glove

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