|Glove Collecting Information
When it comes to grading our main goal is to be consistent. The grading of vintage gloves will vary from one dealer or collector to another.
Mint, Brand new condition, unused, perfect, flawless.
Nr/Mt, (Near Mint) Very, very light use. Fantastic condition.
Ex/Mt+, Outstanding condition. A "7 to 8" on our scale. Very well cared for.
Ex/Mt, (Excellent/Mint) A nice glove, used but no structual flaws.
Ex+, Shows normal wear with notable flaws from normal useage.
Ex, (Excellent) Considerable use with some notable flaws, however should still be a nice displayable glove.
Vg+, Lots of use with wear and tear and several notable flaws. Still useable and/or displayable.
Vg, (Very Good) Has seen heavy use and have signifigant flaws but still represents the period and style nicely.
G, (Good) Will have substantial flaws; torn seams, holes on the outer leather and so on. This grade will work fine if a rustic display piece is all that is desired.
F (Fair). Rustic at best, major flaws; missing wrist straps etc..
1. RHT & LHT. for right handed throwers or left handed throwers. All catchers mitts are RHT unless noted.
2. Split finger gloves. Until the late 1940's fielders gloves had no lacing between the fingers. This style is sometimes refered to as "loose finger" or "pre-war"
3. Mitts? Gloves? Catchers and First basemen models are refered to as mitts, while the fielders models are refered to as gloves.
4. Buckleback. a desirable wrist strap style consisting of a belt buckle type apparatus to tighten the wrist strap. The buckle is usually nickle plated.
5. Crescent Padding. An extremely desirable style used for baseball gloves from 1890 to 1910. From the 1920's to the 1940's, crescent or raised padding was used for softball gloves.
6. Personal Models. Usually considered to be the highest quality gloves. These are the models that the professional player would have used. Made by Wilson, Rawlings, MacGregor and Spalding after 1950.
7. Childs gloves? Mid-sized? Full sized? The first thing to mention on this subject is that vintage gloves were signifigantly smaller than the huge outfielders gloves of today. Secondly, if you have really big hands you might not be able to fit into many of these older gloves, even the full size models. A glove is designated a "Childs" or "Youth" glove if an average adult hand does not fit. If a glove was made for an adolescent but an average adult hand will fit inside it will be considered a mid-size model. Some pre 1960's adult infielders gloves (even top of the line pro models) may seem quite small but are still considered full-sized gloves.
8. Import. Made in Asia. Before 1970 all Asian imports were made in Japan. After 1970 gloves began to be made in Taiwan, Korea, The Philippines and later China. During the 1970's Japan began to make high end gloves and by the 1980's were making gloves that rivaled the best U.S. made gloves.
9. Horsehide? Cowhide? During the 1920's and 1930's many gloves were made from horsehide. One simple reason. During the 1910's most of the population still depended on horses for transportation and commerce. During the decade of the 1920's the automobile became affordable and subsequently by the end of the Great Depression our country made the transition completely from horses to the automobile. Thus the term "glue factory". Horsehide was an excellent glove material because it tended to be supple and pliable however cowhide was considered more durable.
10. Web Styles. Determining the age of a fielders gloves is generally done by looking at the web.
Pre 1900 gloves had no web and are refered to as "workman" style gloves.
Gloves from 1900 to 1915 had sewn in webs known as "full webs" These webs were sewn directly to the thumb and forefinger and extended to where the thumb and forefinger meet (full web gloves have about a quarter to a three quarter inch gap between the bottom of the web and the point where the thumb and forefinger come together).
From the 1910's to the mid 1920's a sewn in one inch web was used. Very similar to the previous web except that the web was one to one and a half inches wide.
From the late 20's to the late 30's a vertical tunnel loop web was used. Either two or four elongated loops were sewn in directly to the thumb and forefinger through which passed a simple rawhide lace.
Begining in the mid 1930's the more modern webs began to be used. First the single tunnel, then the double tunnel, then by the early 1940's triple tunnel and H webs began to be used. These were all seperate webs that were laced to the glove. The single tunnel was about a one inch wide web, the double tunnel utilized two of these simple webs.
By the mid to late 1940's the full modern webs began to be used.
Glove collectors have found exceptions and anomolies to all of these styles. Generally all of these styles continued to be made after the stated dates, usually in youth models.
Beginning in the 1920's several experimental web styles were used.