I’ll never forget the first glove that my parents bought specifically for me. At 9 years old, I had recently been given a quality hand-me-down Mizuno glove from my older brother. But in typical 9-year-old fashion I left that glove unattended at the grade school ball diamond after practice one day.
It was determined that I couldn’t play barehand (though playing barehand definitely would have cemented the lesson of keeping track of my gear). So my parents began the search for a replacement. After an exhaustive search for a replacement, we landed a beautiful Rawlings glove.
It was adorned with tan leather, a big red Rawlings patch on the back and the cool “Holdster” opening for my index finger. I certainly did not deserve it, but for my next game I had that beautiful Rawlings brandished on my glove hand.
There was only one small issue with the glove: it was huge. The 12.5” length made it look like an outfield glove for an adult. And when I look at that glove today, I cannot believe how I made plays with it (although it may be more accurate to say that there were more not-made-plays than made-plays).
When you’re wearing a baseball, fastpitch or slow pitch glove; you want it to be comfortable on your hand. And for most players wearing a youth glove, the most comfortable fit will be one that fits snuggly to their hand.
There were probably some youth gloves with a better fit that my parents passed on when they bought me that Rawlings 20 plus years ago, but I do know for certain there was no glove with an impeccable youth fitting like the ContoUR Fit gloves that Rawlings is making now!
What Is Rawlings ContoUR Fit?
The ContoUR Fit is a design that Rawlings has added to their Heart of the Hide gloves that allows young players to have a perfect fitting glove between the ages of 7-14 years old. It is the inference of JustGloves that they specifically added it to Heart of the Hides to allow for young ballplayers to use that iconic line of glove earlier in their careers and not have to wait to begin handling the Rawlings glove that most MLB players use. (Since it was first introduced, the ContoUR Fitting has since been added to the Rawlings Gamer & R9 lines too).
And be sure to note that Rawlings always couples their Heart of the Hide ContoUR Fit gloves with their R2G feature. Rawlings models with the R2G notation receive extra softening in the factory and only require 35 percent of the break in process to be done by the player (compared to regular Heart of the Hides which require 60 percent of the break in to be done by the player).
Watch below as Ryan Farrar from Rawlings goes in depth on the details of a ContoUR Fit glove…
How Is A Rawlings ContoUR Fit Glove Made?
The Rawlings ContoUR Fit Gloves are made differently than most Rawlings Heart of the Hide Baseball gloves. Essentially, all of the fit modifications are crafted so that when a small hand goes to close these ContoUR Fit gloves, the glove should close immediately. This is opposed to what happens when a youth hand uses a glove that is too big for them and the hand first must shift to get in the optimal position before the glove can start to close. There will be four main updates in the fitting of the ContoUR Fit gloves…
- Narrow Finger Stalls - The ContoUR Fit gloves will essentially have shrunken down finger stalls that touch the backs and sides of the fingers of a youth hand. This should make the glove feel very secure on the player’s fingers.
- Lowered Finger Stalls - This brings the opening of the finger stalls closer to the base of the fingers on a youth hand. In an adult glove, a young player will only be able to get the top portions of their fingers into the finger stalls. These lowered stalls make certain that the entire lengths of a player’s fingers will fit in the stalls and play a part in squeezing the glove.
- Smaller Wrist Opening - An adult glove can fall off of a youth player’s hand at any moment. This is especially a risk when a player has to dive for a baseball and the glove gets jostled. The wrist opening is the last line of prevention that keeps the glove from falling off of a player’s wrist and you want to make sure that a young ball player has a glove that is tightly secured on their wrist. A ContoUR Fit glove ensures the wrist will be tightly secured.
- Adjusted Back Opening - The adjusted back opening further ensures that the inside of the glove makes more contact with a player’s hand as it will bring the hand slot of the glove closer to the knuckles of a youth hand. This makes the glove feel more secure and it makes it easier for the player to wear their index finger on the backing of the glove if they wish to wear their glove in that manner.
What Is The Rawlings Gamer ContoUR Glove?
These Gamer ContoURs are going to be exclusive to JustGloves and their origin story is actually quite awesome.
Kaleb Gilliland, a member of our IT Development Team is also a volunteer coach for his son’s baseball team. And during the 2022 season, he noticed that a lot of players between six to ten years old didn’t have many options when it came to purchasing baseball gloves. He found his players usually having to make a choice between two unsatisfying options: (1) A glove that features the correct short length and fitting, but is made from low quality leather -OR- (2) A glove with good quality leather, but designed at too long of a length and with a fitting for an older player.
Further, Kaleb observed that players between six and ten years old can often still use a "shorter" 10 inch or 10.5 inch glove.
Well, Kaleb is always looking to fix a problem and he presented his thoughts to our JustGloves Product Manager, Ryan Weedin. Ryan knew just what to do. He took Kaleb’s insights over to Rawlings and they were willing to craft a couple of glove models that met Kaleb's criteria.
And what JustGloves received from Rawlings is near perfection! We received back two gloves dubbed the “Gamer ContoURs” that will:
- Feature a short length and ContoUR fitting for a player aged six to ten years (players as young as four years old could use a Gamer ContoUR too).
- AND -
- Display quality shell leather material that should hold up to high levels of baseball play and last for multiple seasons of use!
If you have been considering getting a ContoUR Fit Glove for your young player for a while, we hope that this article has helped you make your purchasing decision. However, if questions are still lingering, please consider reaching out to our Glove Experts. They can be reached on the phone at 1-866-321-4568, through email via firstname.lastname@example.org or by live chatting right here!