As a group that spends a considerable time reviewing baseball and softball gloves, we find categorization by model and serial number helpful. Rawlings’ glove serial number system originally baffled us. Until recently, before we were shown the key to glove logic on the Rawlings’ numbering system it all looked like gibberish. Although there may not be many seeking to understand why or how a certain Rawlings glove model number exists, we still thought it worth our while to put these thoughts down on paper.
Rawlings’ Glove Model Numbers
At least as far as we could tell, there is no place on the internet where this information can be found. Much of it is only found on internal documents at Rawling’s that are not for public distribution. That said, you can might find some value in simply perusing the Rawlings website.
Wilson gloves delivers a relatively see through glove model numbering system. Insomuch that lots of players and parents search for specific Wilson gloves by typing in the actual model number. For example, one of the most search terms with the Wilson Glove phrase is 1786. 1786 is the 11.5 inch pattern of Wilson gloves. It runs across several different category types within that brand. The A2000 1786 has the serial number WTA20RB171786. This means, simply, the Wilson (W) glove in an A2000 (A20) that is right handed (R) and made in 2017 (17) is model number 1786 (1786). That seems simply enough.
On the other hand, Rawlings’ 11.5-inch glove design has a serial number of PRO314DC-2BCS. Although not as intuitive as the Wilson glove, the numbering system does allow for more flexibility. In an attempt to walk you through the numbers try the following.
PRO: Heart of the Hide
31: This indicates a pattern with unique features compared to other 11.5 inch gloves in the Rawlings line (200, NP, etc.). The numbers that follow the PRO are the most akin to the 1786 type numbers found on the Rawlings. The 31 pattern for Rawlings has a wider reach then NP series and flatter than the 200 series of gloves. The 31 can also can come in a narrow fit pattern. (See a full review on a 31 pattern glove).
4: The number following the pattern indicator tells us how big the glove is. A 4, as is found here, means an 11.5 inch glove. Each number represents a different size. The 2, for example, means a 11.25-inch glove.
-2: The number after the dash represents to the web pattern. #2 is the traditional Pro I-Web.
BC: the last letters represent the colors of the glove.This particular models is Black and Camel. We are not quite sure what the S in this a particular model stands for.
Rawlings’ Glvoe Model Numbers Break Down
Glove Series: PRO vs PROS vs G vs RG
Rawlings offers a huge variety of gloves. Generally, you can categorize those into a series. They have many series of gloves, but it might be easier to just focus on their four major groups: Gamer, Heart of the Hide, Pro Preferred and Gold Glove. To decipher, each glove category is denoted by the first letters in the serial number. Specifically:
Gamer: G. For example, GYPT6-6B.
Heart of the Hide: PRO. For Example, PRO314DC-2BCS.
Pro Preferred: PROS. For example, PROS6010-MO.
Gold Glove: RG. For example, RGGNP5-2B.
Glove Model: 200s vs 300s vs NPs vs More
There are a number of different pattern models. Patterns, at least in terms of the Rawlings’ glove line, are independent of the web pattern. They are represented in the numbers that follow the glove category indicator. That is, directly after the PRO or G or PROS.
Within the brand there are dozens of different model numbers so we will not detail them all here. The more common ones are 200s and 31 patterns. But there are many others.
At the end of the pattern number is the size indicator. Each number equates to a certain size and they are not intuitive. As far as we have been able to decipher, this is the list.
Web pattern: -X
After the dash comes the indicator for the web pattern. Rawlings runs more web patterns than any other glove manufacturer in the world. As far as we have been able to decipher, here is what we have found to be true across all model numbers:
1: Single Post 2: Pro-I 3: Basket Web 4: Modified Trap-Eze 5: Single Post Double Bar 6: Pro-H 7: Pro-V 8: 1-Piece Solid 9: 2- Piece Solid 11: Basket Connector Web 12: Vertical Hinge 13: Modified Single Post 14: Vertical hinge Basket 15: Modified Trap Eze w/ Loops 16: V Post 18: Double Laced Basket 20: Single Post w/ X Lace
Reviewing Rawlings’ 13-inch outfield gloves are simple enough for no other reasons then there are only two options. One, a Heart of the Hide Pro-H Web and, two, a Pro Preferred Trap-Eze Web. The Heart of the Hide models offer a few color design options so there might be some hesitation there too. One of those HOH models is the Bryce Harper glove which we review elsewhere. The Trap-Eze Pro Preferred version is less common and only comes in one color design. However, the Trap 13-inch is made with better material, has a longer reach and comes with an easier work on.
We considered a number of sources while putting together this Rawlings 13-inch outfield glove review article. On this site, we found Bryce Harper’s glove review article to be helpful and, frankly, quite similar to this one. His glove, after all is, is a Rawlings HOH Pro-H webbed 13-inch outfield glove. We also found our general Rawlings Glove Reviews as a good primer too.
If you have narrowed down your outfield glove options to the 13-inch Rawlings realm then, functionally, the options are two. Those include the more traditional Pro-H web pattern you can find on the hand of Bryce Harper and Alex Gordon. These Pro-H webbed gloves are all Heart of the Hide models. The idea behind the Pro-H web on a 13-inch glove is a very wide reach. (Serial numbers on these are often a 300 model glove with a 6 right after the “-“. For example: PRO303-6JBT. This is a 300 model glove with a Pro-H pattern).
The other option is the Trap-Eze Pro Preferred model. (Serial number P-PROS6010-MO) In theory, the Trap-Eze glove will give you a longer reach instead of the wider one found on the PRO-H. The Trap glove’s guiding principles are to wield a very strong pocket that is both light weight and has maximum reach.
Price check the 13-inch Heart of the Hide at Closeoubats.com
Heart of the Hide vs Pro Preferred
Within our Pro Preferred Reviews article we dedicate an entire section to the gloves features compared to the Heart of the Hide models. If you are hung up on the concepts, that will be a good place to start. In short, for here, the major differences between the HOH and Pro Preferred are the use of a softer leather in Pro Preferred models. Both the outside shell on the Preferred and the inner linings are made with more luxury leather. But, also note, the Preferred gloves are usually $100 more than the Heart of the Hides.
Deciding on which one to choose in this case, we would suggest, is more a decision between the Trap-Eze and the Pro-H web. if you want a wider pocket like Harper then the HOH Pro-H is the answer. If you want a more unique glove with a Trap pocket for a longer reach then the Preferred it is. If you are indifferent between the two then simply save yourself $100 and get the Heart of the Hide.
Rawlings 13 Inch Outfield Glove Similar Gloves
As far as we could tell, only Nokona, SSK and Rawlings make a 13-inch glove for the outfield. Nokona’s version is a modified trap design more similar to the Pro Preferred Rawlings 13-inch Trap-Eze.
SSK also makes a 13-inch outfield glove. It looks a lot like the Nokona glove with a modified Trap for a long reach and support on the snow cone catches. This Prestige Pro model from SSK is the best glove series they make.
Rawlings makes no less than seven 12.75 inch outfield gloves. They range from economy type gloves made for smaller hands to pro version gloves made for the best in the business. Prices also stretch from under $100 to well over $400. After considerable use, and discussions with major vendors and Rawlings themselves, we have enough information to put together this Rawlings 12.75 outfield glove review. Our intent is to give you some direction on the line of 12.75 Rawlings gloves.
On this site, we found the general Rawlings Glove Reviews helpful. That gave us a good feel for the differences in the model series like Gold Glove, Gamer, Heart of the Hide and so on. Although we won’t link them all here, we found our series glove reviews within the Rawlings line a useful tool too. For example, our Rawlings Gold Glove review worked well as a reminder.
Off this site, the 12.75 inch Rawlings glove line ranges throughout so many glove models it is hard to find one place with all the information. We found a general 12.75 search on closeoutbats.com site was helpful. As well, we used some information directly on Rawling’s glove site.
Rawlings 12.75 Outfield Glove Recommendations
As a general rule, the Rawlings 12.75 inch glove is made for an outfielder that can wield one of the largest gloves available. Although some outfield gloves come in a 13-inch design, those are often reserved for the slow pitch softball player who uses a baseball glove for a softball game or a Professional baseball player built like an ox.
Also as a general rule, the more expensive Rawlings gloves become then the better quality of material you are purchasing. Gold Gloves, the top shelf glove, uses real European deer hide to construct the insides of the glove. They also use a special lace made by Rawlings. The Gamer Series, more towards the economy side, use good old fashioned cowhide that is not particular special. GG Elite Rawlings gloves are made of even less quality.
It is difficult to recommend a particular model series without knowing a person’s budget and needs. The longer the glove is intended to last then then a higher price tag can be justified. Otherwise, players that are still growing, or gloves that only need to last a couple years for whatever reason, can save a few bucks and still feel confident in the right choice.
In the 12.75 pattern, deciding on the type of webbing pattern you like is a helpful step.
Pro H Web
The idea behind the Pro-H web, or the dual post web as some refer to it, is it allows for a wide pocket and a lighter glove. The lighter glove comes simply from less material. Most MLB players tend to prefer the dual post design although there are still several, like Jose Bautista, that prefer the Trap-eze. Width is the focus with a Pro-H web.
The idea behind the Trap-eze web design is for a long glove and a solid top cross bar to make catching snow-cones easier. It tends to make the glove at least a little bit heavier when compared with the Pro-H web design, but most think that is a marginal concern for outfielders. Length is the focus with a Trap-eze webbed glove.
Rawlings 12.75 Outfield Glove Models
Rawlings’ Gold Gloves are the elite mitts in the entire brand. They use a European deer hide on the lining and kip leather on the outer shell for an ultra smooth feel and an expensive look. Each glove is handcrafted by one craftsman. And these Gold Gloves don’t just look expensive, they are expensive. Expect this glove to last a life time. See our full Rawlings Gold Glove Reviews for more details on the expense Rawlings takes to build the best glove they can.
Pro Preferred Rawlings 12.75 gloves are the most practical but still expensive glove. They use kip leather on the outside and sheepskin on the inside. Pro Preferreds use a thumb-sleeve for added protection. Look closely, as the stitching on this 12.75-inch beauty is neon green. There are some one-off Rawlings PRO Preferreds in a 12.75 that come in a Trap-eze, but they are few and far between.
As an economy based glove, the GG Elite are a popular search item. Their presence at major big box stores, like Dick’s Sporting goods, make them accessible and pervasive. These are decent gloves built with okay leather. You generally get what you pay for and these gloves could last the little leaguer a solid season or two. The color designs are usually poppy as to attract the kid who wants more flash than quality. But, at that age, its often all you need. You can find these gloves in both the dual post and Trap-eze design.
What might be the most popular 12.75 glove Rawlings makes, the Heart of the Hide is a top grade cowhide leather shell with a deer tanned cowhide lining. That means it tans the cowhide to feel as soft as deer hide. The laces are straight from Rawlings’ own Tennessee Tannery and the 2017 versions come at least a little bit worked in for a faster fit. Expect these gloves, if taken care of, to last a lifetime. They are the most popular glove among MLB outfielders.
The 12.75 Rawlings Hear to the Hide outfield glove also comes in a Trap-eze web pattern. You can even find some in a Dual Core Trap HOH gloves which deliver a different palm structure to help break in the glove along other palm seems.
The Gamer series of gloves is Rawling’s economy glove meant for younger players. The glove uses a tapered wrist slot as to fit smaller hands better. The leather is good stuff but a far cry from the Pro Preferred Kip and Gold Glove feel. Gamer gloves are as step above the GG Elite gloves Rawlings sells in big box stores. But, all in all, for a short term (3 or less) year glove we would expect a number of kids to publicly wet themselves for this Rawlings 12.75 Gamer glove.
Rawlings PRO205 model of glove is an 11.75 inch utility infield glove with a number of web options and handful of features. Some gloves, like the Finger Shift or Wing Tip PRO205, have their own unique flare. While most are Heart of the Hide gloves, at least one other is a Pro Preferred and another is in the Heritage line. On the whole, these PRO205 Gloves possess enough similar features they are worth lumping together, while noting the differences, in the following Rawlings PRO2015 Glove Review.
Rawlings PRO205 Review Article Contents
Rawlings PRO205 Review Sources
We could not find any articles on the entire internet that focused on the PRO205 line specifically from Rawlings. We did find the insight on Closeoutbat’s product pages and videos rather helpful for individual models. Otherwise, we were left to our own devices. You should also see the Rawlings Glove site directly for the most up to date information.
On this site, we found a quick review of our Rawlings Heart of the Hide review insightful. There we were reminded of the unique benefits the HOH gloves have that others in the brand, and outside of the brand, lack. Additionally, our Rawlings Wing Tip review was somewhat useful as the Wing Tips only come in PRO205 model versions. Aside from that, we found our General Rawlings Glove review worth a quick glance too.
Rawlings PRO205 Model Features
11.75 Inch Infield/Utility Glove
As a general rule, every PRO205 Model glove is an 11.75-inch utility infield glove. The web patterns are not uniform across the PRO205 model number, but most come in a traditional I-web or Trap-eze pattern. The glove is often used by third baseman and young pitchers as well as the occasional middle infielder who likes a bigger glove. We could see a smaller outfielder with the glove too.
Heart of the Hide
The vast majority of Rawlings PRO205 gloves came in the Heart of the Hide series. (We cover the exceptions below). That HOH series, you will recall from our extensive HOH review, consists of a few unique features including a top grain steer-hide leather, a padded thumb sleeve and Tennessee Tannery laces. Heart of the Hide gloves, on the whole, also benefit from an outstanding reputation. It is the standard of top shelf glove models many companies try and emulate. Most, we would argue, fail.
The Color Sync concept from Rawlings provides a chance for players to acquire a custom looking glove at a stock glove price. Printed in limited quantities, some Color Sync gloves are traditional HOH PRO205 patterns. These gloves come with a flash of coordinated color throughout the glove.
Wing Tip gloves from Rawlings are only made in a PRO205 pattern. The unique feature of this glove is purely aesthetic. You will find end of a wing via the welting found on the backhand of the glove. See, above, where the welting makes the design of a wing? Hence, the Wing Tip. The PRO205 makes both a Pro Preferred and a Heart of the Hide model in a PRO205 Wing Tip. These gloves are denoted WT at the end of the model number: PRO205-6GBWT & PROS205-2BCWT.
One of our favorite PRO205 Patterns is the model that allows for the finger shift. The glove’s finger pad is found over the middle finger slot. As well, the pinky slot is made large enough to accommodate both the pinky and ring finger. Hence, as you put your pinky and ring finger in the same finger stall the finger pad is found right above your index finger. This gives a real wide feeling to your glove. We like how it feels—especially on a new glove that is more difficult to close.
Rawlings PRO205 Models
Pro Preferred Wing Tip PRO205 Pattern Review
This Wing Tip is the only Pro Preferred Rawlings offers in a PRO205 pattern. It uses Kip leather as the shell and an extra durable and soft sheep leather for the inner lining. As a Wing Tip glove you should expect a wing pattern on the backhand. Otherwise it is a PRO205 pattern glove with a I-web design.
Rawlings also makes a PRO205 11.75 infield glove with a PRO H web design. This uses a dual post structure for an extra wide pocket. Perfect, we think, for the pitcher who likes to reach deep in the glove or that third baseman that wants as much east to west geography covered as possible in an 11.75 glove. Although an off-label use, we suspect this glove might work well enough for softball due to its remarkably large pocket.
In the PRO205 Pattern of glove, Rawlings makes at least two different colors of the modified-trap web design. The above is the pure black, another is found to have a tan look with red lacing. This glove, we think, could serve well as a Pitcher and Outfielder glove. The full protection in the web hides the ball entirely and the modified trap gives the glove maximum strength at the snow-cone of the 11.75 reach.
Also in a Trapeze 205 pattern, Rawlings makes a Heritage Pro version. Expect roughly the same pattern and lace design as the other Trap designed 205 gloves but the implementation of a traditional cowhide tanned leather look. The idea behind the trap is for maximum reach and structure at the snow-cone of the glove.
As a two-piece web, this PRO205 makes the most sense in a pitcher’s hand as it allows for the most ball hiding. This design also offers the unique feature of a finger shift. The outer most finger stall is designed to accommodate both the pinky and the ring finger. The index finger, moved over one stall, now rests on the finger pad made for the finger shift. This design improves the width of the pocket and gives better strength on the close. Although different, we are fans.
The Rawlings Wingtip gloves are famous for their wingtip design on the backhand of the glove. Although nothing keeps Rawlings from producing a wingtip pattern in another length glove, the Wingtips, to date, only come in an 11.75 inch utility infield or third-baseman’s glove. They have produced the glove with different web patterns in the past, at the time of this writing, Rawlings’ produces it in a Heart of the Hide and Pro Preferred in a 205 series that uses the traditional I-Web pattern.
Wingtip gloves from Rawlings, to put it simply, are a basic 205 patterned glove with an I-web and, literally, a wing tip design on the back hand of the glove. Gloves with that shape and without the wingtip design are simply referred to as 205 pattern gloves.
For practical purposes, the Wingtip gloves are an 11.75 inch third baseman’s glove. We could also see a number of middle infield/short stops using the glove successfully. Especially if they preferred longer gloves than the traditional 314 Pattern Rawlings makes for the 11.5-inch player. Outfielders, at least at higher levels of the sport, usually prefer a 12-inch glove or larger.
Rawlings Wingtip Review Models
There are currently two activley marketed Rawlings Wingtip gloves on the market. They include a Heart of the Hide black on grey leather version as well as a Pro-Preferred tan and red leather option.
Heart of the Hide Rawlings Wingtip Review
On the whole, Heart of the Hide gloves consist of a top grain leather, a sweat wicking thermafoam on the back of the wrist and additional padding within the thumb of the glove. Heart of the Hide gloves also have the distinct pleasure of a remarkable history and serious customer commitment. It is, at least in 2016, the most common glove worn by MLB players and it is developed in dozens and dozens of options and sizes.
One of its more popular sizes is the Wingtip design in the Heart of the Hide. This glove is an 11.75 inch utility infield glove. It is shaped just like other 205 patterns in the Rawlings line with the obvious aesthetic difference of a wing tip design found on the back of the hand.
The glove is denoted by the serial number PRO205-6GBWT where the WT stands for Wing tip. the GB is meant to signify the Grey and Black leather options and the PRO205 is the model pattern of the glove.
Pro Preferred Rawlings Wingtip Review
As a 205 patterned glove, you can expect the same fit as other PRO205’s in Rawlings lineup. The obvious difference, in feel at least, is the use of 100% wool the Pro Preferred gloves put on the backhand of the wrist. Heart of the Hide gloves, on the other hand, use a thermafoam wrist wicking.
Pro Preferred gloves also use a Kip leather on the shell of the glove. Kip leather is harvested from younger and smaller cows. This gives the leather a more durable and smoother feel with the tighter grain structure. Additionally, Pro Preferred gloves use sheepskin Pittard’s leather on the inner palm. This is the same type of leather you can find on top end batting gloves.
We are HUGE fans of the Wingtip Pro Preferred. It is a smooth feeling glove with an ultra soft feel both inside and outside of the glove. The Wingtip design on the back is memorable and unique. As an 11.75 inch glove we would quickly recommend it to the thirdbaseman looking for one of the very best gloves money can buy. The glove’s serial number is PROS205-2BCWT.
What is likely Rawlings most popular glove pattern is the Heart of the Hide PRO314. This glove, a pro model 11.5 inch, comes with a few different web designs in both baseball and softball. Yet, on the whole, it uses the same top 5% grain leather, has extra padding around the thumb sleeve, uses a tapered wrist slot and employs the lacing from Rawlings’ own Tennessee Tannery.
Generally used for middle infielders and the occasional third baseman, we would recommend this glove to very serious players looking for a long term solution for a top shelf glove.
Rawlings PRO314 Review
While there are a number of outside sources that take a closer look at Rawlings’ Gloves individually, no single review we could find delves into the 314 Pattern all by itself. We did find our specific review on the Dual Core version of this glove somewhat helpful. As well, a quick review of our general Rawlings Heart of the Hide glove review might also be worth a few seconds of your time. There we discuss the details that come on most Heart of the Hide gloves and how they compare to Gold Gloves and the Pro-Preferred.
As of this writing, Rawlings only makes their 314 pattern in one Pro Preferred model, one Heritage model and several Heart of the Hide models. Those Heart of the Hide models also have some subcategories including a softball glove, color syncs, and Dual Cores.
Each of these PRO314 pattern gloves, as a group, have three general things in common: A thermaform wrist wicking system that makes for a cooler and non-sweaty wrist; a thumb sleeve for added support and comfort in the thumb area; a leather selection process that eliminates 95% of all available steer-hides for only the best stuff.
Each glove in the line, but one, comes with a traditional I-web design. The lone wolf is a double post web design Rawlings’ refers to as a PRO H web.
314 Model Rawlings Heritage Review
The Heritage line of gloves is a classic looking leather design take on the PRO314. Although called the H314, it is, for all intents and purposes, a PRO314 with that classic leather look. In terms of aesthetics it is our favorite PRO314.
Rawlings PRO314 Review Models
Baseball Heart of the Hide
The PRO314 pattern in baseball is now commonplace. Some PRO314 patterns have unique features to them, but every PRO314 is an 11.5 inch glove with a tapered wrist slot. This allows for a small handed player, or a player who prefers a tight fit, to get a top shelf glove.
Some PRO314 gloves use Rawlings’ Dual Core design. This refers to an inner glove structure with predefined breaks in the palm. It allows for a faster break in period and, most would argue, a little more structure after the break-in. Dual core gloves also use a leather with a tighter grain structure that give it a smoother, more suede leather feel. For what it is worth, we prefer Dual Core gloves to the traditional models for it’s easier break in and smoother feel. But to each his own.
Rawlings also produces the PRO314 in patterns they refer to as Color Sync. This feature is nothing but aesthetic and simply matches wrist logo and backhand in a more flashy way. The idea is a custom glove look at a stock glove price. They usually run the same price as traditional HOH PRO314’s so, if you find one you like, jump on it. They are only produced in limited quantities.
Rawlng’s also produces a PRO314 made for lady hands. Not only does it employ the tighter wrist slot found in all PRO314 gloves, but it also has smaller finger stalls. This is a good fit for the fastpitch player looking for a durable glove in an 11.5 inch pattern. The intent is mostly for middle infield and the occasional third base-woman and pitcher.
Rawlings also makes the PRO314 in a Pro Preferred Model. Pro Preferred models, you can learn from our review, use a Kip leather that is softer and, arguably, more durable than the HOH gloves. They also use a Pittard’s sheep leather lining on the inner palm, just like in batting gloves. It is the best PRO314 you can purchase in terms of quality materials. It also runs about $100 more.
In terms of attention to detail and premium material, few gloves on the market really compare to Rawlings’ Gold Glove line. Produced in select quantities and numbered individually, a single craftsman takes these gloves from beginning to end. They are hand sewn and made from soft European kip leather as well as deer hide for a custom fit and ultra soft feel. It is a luxury leather interior for a noticeably comfortable fit. All in all, we would recommend the Gold Glove to anyone willing to afford its nearly unreasonable price tag. Also, you must be in the market for one of the sizes within a limited five glove selection.
Off this site we referenced a number of places. Chief among them was Rawlings’ Gold Glove section directly. Images and write ups on the Gold Gloves there were very helpful. We also spent some time with Rawlings’ glove directors discussing the unique nature of the Rawlings Gold Glove. Then we spent some time on Amazon’s product section perusing Gold Glove reviews to get a feel for where others thought the gloves were best used.
Rawlings Gold Glove Overview and Features
Rawlings’ Gold Glove is the feature glove of the entire Rawlings line up. It is also the most expensive. That price is driven by limited quantity, meticulous custom production and use of the finest materials found in the world.
European Kip and Deerhide Lining
Heart of the Hide gloves, another Rawlings glove line, is made of steerhide leather that is tanned to replicate that of deerhide. Deerhide, you may know, is remarkably soft and durable. Next time you pet a deer, pay attention. Gloves try and replicate this feature by deertanning steerhide. It is a more economical way to achieve faux deerhide.
Another way to get a deerhide feel on the inside of a glove is to actually use deerhide. This is what the Gold Glove from Rawlings uses for their glove lining. It is one unique and compelling feature of the glove that both drives the difference in price and premium quality.
The outside of the Gold Glove uses European kip leather. Kip leather is cow hide from young cows. Younger hides have tighter grain structures, tend to be more durable and feel softer. It is a considerable factor in the price tag of the Gold Gloves.
With the Gold Glove line from Rawlings, there are multiple layers of precurved padding between the palm and pocket. These layers can be shaped to fit the needs of the player. Most other gloves use breaks in the padding to encourage work-in along certain creases. Such an approach may be more economical, but it removes the custom feel and break-in a Gold Glove offers. Like the European deerhide, this Opti-Core feature is a price driver.
Although not unique to the Gold Glove line, the finger pad is still worth mentioning. Rawlings embeds, without laces, a pad for the index finger on the back of the gloves. These are sewn into the glove with a very thin profile, and many who notice the low profile pad end up loving it. It is a basic enough feature to wonder why every glove does not do such a thing. The reason, of course: Rawlings owns the patent on the idea.
Unique Serial Number
A single craftsman designs every Gold Glove from start to finish. When finished, each glove is specially marked with a unique serial number and time stamp. Ultimately, these Gold Gloves sold to the public are as good as any Pro version glove that Rawlings would make for the elite athletes it sponsors.
Rawlings Gold Glove Options
Rawlings only produces the Gold Glove model of gloves in select, albeit popular, sizes. Currently they offer the gloves in five specific models.
12.75 in Outfield Glove
The 12.75 inch outfield glove is the largest Gold Glove produced. It uses a traditional dual post web design and a reinforced top bar. Expect maximum reach for the elite outfielder who is not concerned about the weight of their glove.
11.75 in Infield Glove
As a more traditional 3rd baseman’s glove, the 11.75 inch Gold Glove uses a middle infielder’s pocket designed I-web. Expect a shallow pocket but an otherwise large infield glove made for the utility infielder.
12 in Infield/Pitcher Glove
A 12-inch glove with a full on pocket is what most pitchers want to use. This singe post, pro-laced web can serve the pitcher or 3rd baseman looking for as much size on an infield glove as Rawlings offers in the Gold Glove line.
Gold Glove 11.75 in Infield/Pitcher Glove
A dual web closed design on an 11.75 inch glove is just what most elite pitchers want. It is probable a few third basemen could get away with this glove, but it tends to the deeper pocket feel for hiding your change up.
Gold Glove 11.5 in Infield Glove
The quintessential middle infield glove runs 11.5 inches with a shallow I-web design. Rawlings’ Gold Glove offers this length, and while not privy to the numbers, we suspect it is their best selling Gold Glove.
Rawlings Gold Glove vs Pro-Preferred
Aside from the price difference, there are a few considerable differences between the Rawlings Pro-Preferred and Gold Glove. To name the most important ones, at least as we see it:
The Gold Glove uses a deerhide on the palm inner lining while the Pro-Preferred uses Pittard’s sheepskin
The Pro-Preferred are produced in quantity while the Gold Glove is produced, and serial numbered, by a single craftsman.
Pro-Preferred gloves come in a number of sizing options while the Gold Glove is offered in only a select few.
Gold Gloves use an Opti-Core shaping system with multiple shape-able padding layers built into the palm. The Preferred uses much more traditional shaping mechanisms that don’t allow for as much customization in the work-in.
Rawlings Gold Glove vs Heart of the Hide
There are several considerable differences, aside from the price, between the Heart of the Hide and the Gold Glove series from Rawlings. Most noticeable are the different types of leather. The Gold Glove uses a premium European kip leather while the HOH uses traditional steer-hide. Side by side these two leathers are noticeably different.
As well as the superior outer leather, the inside lining of the Gold Glove uses a deerhide leather rather than the less premium steerhide used in HOH. When you put the gloves on, the difference in softness and comfort is also immediately noticeable.
Gold Gloves take pride in being individually crafted and given a unique serial number and date stamp. Heart of the Hide gloves, while still top shelf productions, are meant for mass production at as much costs savings as is possible in a big time glove.
Rawlings Pro Preferred gloves are the second tier of Rawlings’ top end glove line. Behind the lavish Gold Glove, the Pro Preferred are a step ahead of the Heart of the Hide gloves in a smoother leather design and a Pittard’s leather inner lining. More recently, more pro players prefer the Pro-Preferred over the Heart of the Hide, and as Rawlings is the most popular glove in the MLB, the Pro-Preferred is the most popular glove for professional players. In terms of a recommendation from us, we can think of no greater endorsement than to point out that most of the best use this glove.
Pro Preferred Reviews Article Contents
Pro Preferred Review Glove Sources
On this site, our general Rawlings glove reviews as well as our Heart of the Hide glove review pages provided a reminder or two. Although those may not focus on the Pro-Preferred exclusively, they offered some insight on closely related Rawlings gloves.
Overall, there is very little negative to say about Rawlings Pro-Preferred gloves. They are, after all, the most popular MLB glove line from the most popular MLB glove brand. The only serious criticism comes in our wish for a lower price point. And yet, none of our Rawlings baseball or softball gear purchases have done anything but exceed expectations. For the record, compared to other top shelf gloves in the premium leather glove space, the Pro-Preferred is similarly priced.
As a general rule, Pro Preferred Rawlings gloves come with some consistent features across the broad line. Those unique features, the kip leather, wool padding, Pittard’s leather inner lining and thumb sleeve.
Kip leather is a nice way to say leather from baby cows. Like human skin, younger cows produce tighter, thinner skin with fewer imperfections. As the grain structure is tighter, you can expect a more firm glove that feels smoother and has a longer break-in. Kip leather is also meant to be more durable and more expensive.
Every Pro Preferred glove from Rawlings is kip leather.
Whereas Heart of the Hide leather gloves use a thermaform material to wick away sweat on the backhand, Pro Preferred gloves use 100% wool on the wrist strap and padding. Although some might prefer the wool feel, detractors complain that after much use and sweat, the inner wool becomes less impressive. As a general preference, it is something to note in every Pro-Preferred Rawlings glove.
Pittard’s Leather Lining
To posh up the Pro-Preferred leather gloves even more, each glove uses premium Pittard’s sheep leather on the inside of the glove hand. This is the exact same material used in top end batting gloves.
Although not unique to the Pro-Preferred line entity (it is also found on the Heart of the Hide Models), the Pro-Preferred gloves have additional thumb support in terms of a thumb sleeve. These sleeves are inside the thumb slot and give much needed support and comfort. It is a matter of preference for sure, but it is something we prefer on our gloves.
Rawlings Pro Preferred Glove Reviews Model Versions
On our last look, there were nearly twenty versions of the Pro-Preferred gloves offered directly on Rawlings’ website. Major vendors, like Closeoutbats, have at least fifteen different versions to sell. Within the glove line there are not a ton of categorical differentiating features, aside from the fact each glove is made for a position, obviously.
To give you a good feel for what is out there, at the time of this writing, Rawlings has 51 Pro-Preferred gloves for sale on their site. 30 are for infield, 5 for outfield, 8 for pitcher, 5 for catcher and 3 for first base.
Infield Pro Preferred Gloves
Infield gloves in the Rawlings line, like most robust infield glove lines, range from 11.25 up to 12-inches. They come in entirely closed web and the more popular I-web designs. Expect a full range of sizes and options in this most popular glove category.
On Rawlings’ site you can often find gloves made as one-offs. It is unclear if these gloves are mistakes from the custom process, or rather blems from some bulk team order. Regardless, you can often find these gloves on serious discounts from the normal pricing. Many of these gloves are Pro-Preferred. As long as you are comfortable with someone else’s name or someone else’s team logo, you might pick yourself up a pretty sweet deal.
Pro Preferred vs Heart of the Hide
Why is the Pro-Preferred glove $100 more than the Heart of the Hide? The Preferred glove uses more premium materials than the HOH. In particular, the use of kip leather on the outside and Pittard’s leather on the inside drive up costs. Whether this is what drives the entire $100 difference or not, the Pro Preferred is a more premium glove than the Heart of the Hide for more reasons than the price.
The other significant difference between the two is the sheer breadth of options in the Heart of the Hide lines. The Pro-Preferred has plenty of options, don’t get us wrong, but the Heart of the Hide line is more robust than any other manufacturer’s glove lines combined. No doubt the HOH will have the glove pattern you want in the size you need and the color design you’re excited about.
Whether it is worth a $100 difference is simply a personal decision. Many players opt for the very popular HOH gloves with their great namesake, durability and well know steer-hide feel. Others go for a bit more durability and a softer leather in the Pro-Preferred. The latter are also out $100.
Pro Preferred vs Gold Glove
Although next to each other on the scale of Rawlings premium fielding gloves, the Gold Glove from Rawlings and its soft deer hide leather and hand-stitched production still feels like a different class of glove from the Rawlings Pro-Preferred. It may also explain why the Gold Glove is almost twice the price. We prefer the Pro-Preferred in terms of practicality and sizing options, but if we were decorating a penthouse on the Upper East Side, the Gold Glove would be our pick.
Heart of the Hide Gloves from Rawlings encompass the largest category of gloves in the industry. To give it some perspective, Rawlings makes more Heart of the Hide models than any other glove company makes of their total models. For Rawlings, Heart of the Hide is not only their largest category, but makes up more than 50% of the gloves they produce.
They are the namesake of Rawlings, and in many respects, define the entire glove space. After understanding the scope, it becomes apparent that reviewing each Heart of the Hide Rawlings glove in a single article might be too much for our browsers’ caching systems to handle. Yet, we attempt in the following to help the reader get a grasp of a Heart of the Hide Glove Review.
Heart of the Hide Review
There are a number of legitimate sources to find information on Rawlings gloves. Rawlings’ glove department page is mostly helpful. We used it to get a good count on the number of Heart of the Hide gloves in existence, as well as information on some pricing.
On the whole, we think the Heart of the Hide gloves are some of the very best in the industry. They are produced for both baseball and softball and come in more options than we have yet to be able to count. The Rawlings site shows at least 180 options.
In terms of preference, it really is hard to go wrong with a top shelf Rawlings glove, and the HOH series fits right in that category. You could reasonably compare these to any brand model on the market.
Thermaform Wrist Wick
A unique feature to the Heart of the Hide Rawlings gloves is the use of a thermaform wrist wick found on the back of the wrist. This allows both a more durable entry way and a technology that keeps the hand and wrist cool during play. Other gloves in the line use a wool material which, although soft for some time, often turns into a sweaty mess.
Rawlings Heart of the Hide gloves are selected from the top 5% of all steer hide leather available. The Heart of the Hide leather is akin to prime beef, if you will, where the prime denotes the best quality on the market. Although such a claim could seem flippant and made by just about anyone, the stellar reputation of the Rawlings Heart of the Hide series of gloves is proof to the glove’s quality leather.
The leather is deer-tanned. Meaning, it is conditioned before use for very soft feel.
The laces are a Tennessee Tanning rawhide built for life long durability. Rawlings owns a tannery in Tennessee where the laces are specially made. Compared to other major brands, the laces feel thicker and more durable. No real study has been conducted revealing which lasts longer, but it is reasonable to assume they are at least as durable as any on the market. Rawlings does not cut corners on their laces.
Game Day Gloves
If you needed more evidence that the Heart of the Hide gloves stand as some of the very best in the industry, look no further than the MLB. More than 50% of MLB players use a Rawlings glove. A number of those exact patterns can be purchased in stock version by the general public. These are referred to as Game Day Gloves in the Heart of the Hide lineup.
One noticeable difference between the Heart of the Hide and other manufacturers’ glove is the more snug fit on the thumb. Rawlings adds a padded thumb sleeve to every Heart of the Hide glove they make. In terms of preference and a reason to prefer one model over another the thumb sleeve is a good place to start.
Heart of the Hide Reviews Model Versions
Depending on where you look, there are no less than eighty actively sold Rawlings Heart of the Hide gloves. Rawlings’ site, at the time of this writing, has 199 Heart of the Hide gloves. That encompasses both softball and baseball, and every thing in between.
Baseball is where the Heart of the Hide gloves make a living. They come in every length and positional size available. There is rarely a web pattern you cannot find in anything from an 11.25 inch 2nd baseman’s glove to a 13-inch outfield or 1st baseman’s glove. They also have no less than 6 catcher’s mitts.
Softball Heart of the Hide
Softball Rawlings Heart of the Hide gloves are also a serious player in the space. They come in every size and shape imaginable, and by our last count, Rawlings made no less than twenty fastpitch softball gloves.
With such a large grouping of gloves, it is often difficult to find the exact type you are looking for. Rawlings does add some features to certain Heart of the Hide gloves that are not found on others. Understanding these sub categories should help you narrow down your options in the HOH space to a more manageable decisions.
One way to better categorize the baseball glove line is by the use of a technology Rawlings calls Dual Core. Some gloves, denoted by the name Dual Core, use a different leather with a tighter fiber structure than other Heart of the Hide gloves. This leather is softer and easier to work in.
Also, Dual Core gloves use a different palm padding placement to create a position specific break-in on each glove. That is, a dual core glove uses padding on the inside where breaks in the gloves should form. This design feature allows for a faster and more durable break-in.
Although they come with a more premium work-in period and a softer leather, the gloves are not more expensive than traditional Heart of the Hide gloves without Dual Core. Unless there is a strong preference toward another glove, we generally recommend going the Dual Core route when possible.
Pro-Mesh is another category of Heart of the Hide gloves. Rawlings uses this synthetic on the back of some gloves to increase durability and to make the glove lighter and easier to work-in.
Most consider the Pro Mesh versions of the glove less impressive than the full leather Heart of the Hide glove. But for some it may be the right choice, especially those who prefer a lighter glove and an easier break-in, but still want the top shelf palm and webbing of a true Heart of the Hide glove.
Unique to some of the Heart of the Hide softball gloves is a pull strap system on the wrist. This allows custom slot opening sizes for the female softball player. In addition to the pull strap, Rawlings makes their fastpitch gloves with finger stall width more in tune with the female hand. Not all softball gloves in the Heart of the Hide come with the pull strap. If you are looking to narrow down the number of options in the fastpitch space then the existence of a pull strap is a good place to start.
Although strictly aesthetic, the Heart of the Hide uses a color sync category that gives gloves a custom look offered in stock prices. Notice, for example, the red and gold lettering of the wrist patch in the above catcher’s glove as well as the gold and red accents on the glove. This, previously only available in custom gloves with its accompanying pricing, is available in some patterns with stock pricing. It is another way to help narrow down the gigantic selection of Heart of the Hide gloves.
Heart of the Hide vs Pro Preferred
In terms of quality ingredients, the Pro Preferred gloves from Rawlings are a step above the Heart of the Hide. They use a softer kip leather on the face, as well as Pittard’s sheeps leather—the same top end batting gloves use—on the inside. In addition to those two changes in leather, they also use a 100% wool padding to aid in a long lasting pocket work-in.
Although opinions differ, most agree the Pro Preferred takes a bit longer to work-in, but may very well last longer. It is also what may justify the price difference of around $100 more for the Pro-Preferred Rawlings.
Heart of the Hide vs Gold Glove
The Rawlings Gold Glove line is a premium glove line built with first rate materials from around the world. Made from ultra soft deerskin, it is a hand sewn glove built for beauty, and really is the best glove Rawlings can possibly make. It uses an opti-core system which is a derivation of the Dual Core and each glove comes with a unique individual serial number signifying its creation date. In comparison to the Heart of the Hide gloves, they are quite a bit different. We picture the Heart of the Hide glove more of a glove for a steel worker’s son. The Gold Glove is made more for the steel company’s CEO’s son. It is more than twice as expensive than the Heart of the Hide.
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