Few gloves are more well known then the Yadier Molina Catcher’s Glove. Molina, a perennial all-star catcher, is a walking billboard for Rawlings. His glove and gear have few spots left to write anything but the brand name. His glove, a 34-inch glove design, is as traditional as you could hope for in a catcher’s mitt. The Heart of the Hide version comes in a few different iterations. Expect a tough break in for a glove that is built to take an absolute pounding. For big time players that see big time heat, expect nothing but quality and a years of top end performance. Below we detail more insights into our Rawlings Yardier Molina Catcher’s Mitt Review.
Yadier Molina Catchers’ Glove Review Article Contents
Yadier Molina Catchers’ Glove Review Sources
There are a couple of places we referenced in putting together this Molina cather’s mitt glove review. Chief among them was Rawling’s website direclty. There, on the Molina product page, you can learn some interesting facts about the gloves construction and see options for customizing your glove. We spent some time on that page as well as took a few pictures for this article.
Also, we thought closseoutbats.com product section was mildly useful. Although no video, they did detail glove differences and pricing. Those things are always worth consideration.
In this article, we reference the Wilson A2000 Superskin 1790 34-inch catcher’s glove. As a similar glove to Yadier’s we think this a helpful comparison. Anyone in the market for the lighter material on the backhand of a catcher’s glove should look at that one too.
Yadier Molina Catchers’ Glove Review Recommendations
In every sense of the term, Yadier’s Rawlings catcher’s glove is as traditional as an MLB catcher’s mitt should be. It uses the traditional two piece web for full protection and a 34-inch circumference. The premium cowhide, if taken care of, can last several seasons. We do note, however, that at 90+ mph a pitch then just one single season might asking a lot.
That said, we would recommend the 34-inch Yadier Molina to anyone serious about catching serious heat. The glove is meant for a life time of work. Elite catchers who like a 34 inch glove will be perfectly happy with this glove. The only real question is if you want the Pro-Mesh back version of the glove as it comes in both.
Pro Mesh Back
In response to Wilson’s Superskin backing—which gave the leather glove a synthetic back that was lighter and more durable—Rawlings introduced a Pro-Mesh design. Like the Superskin, the Pro-Mesh lightens the glove weight and increases the durability. It also leaves the glove less dense after it gets wet.
Some love the idea of Pro-Mesh on a catcher’s glove while others think it make the glove feel cheap. We are closer to the later group and think big boy catcher’s gloves should be full on leather. But, we submit it a preference more than any objective measurement. In the end, players will get to decide for themselves. Throughout the years we have seen Yadier use both types—some with full leather backing and others with Pro-Mesh. Each glove prices out the same.
Heart of the Hide
As we detail in our Heart of the Hide glove reviews, the HOH series is Rawlings most popular series. It uses top shelf cowhide with Tennessee tannery laces. Over the years, the HOH model series have become synonymous with the top shelf of durability, fit and performance. Although some prefer other top end brands in the market, no one actually thinks the HOH are poor gloves. Indeed, they are top flight stuff from a top flight company.
30% Factory Break In
Another feature worth considering is the 30% break-in that happens for the Molina HOH gloves out of the factory. In other words, Rawlings works in these Molina gloves 30% of the way before shipping them to retail. Most new and top end catcher’s mitts are remarkably stiff. This makes a work in process over several months probable. Rawlings helping the process along 30% of the way is usually much appreciated.
Yadier Molina Catchers’ Glove Review Similar Gloves
Wilson A2000 1790 Superskin
If you are in the market for a pro-mesh Rawlings Molina HOH glove in the 34 inch then might you also consider the 34 inch A2000 with Superskin backing? The gloves are similar in many ways. Both use a dual full web. Each is a 34 inch traditionally designed glove. Both also use a synthetic backing for a lighter and more durable glove. You can see our full 1790 Wilson Glove review here.
We like the A2000 version with Superskin better. But, to each his own. Price check the 1790 Wilson.
Shoeless Joe 34 Inch Catcher’s Glove
If you are not looking for a Pro-Mesh back Molina glove, and want to consider a different brand, then the 34-inch Shoeless Joe Catcher’s glove might do the trick. It will also save a number of Benjamins. These gloves are also very well made and use much of the similar features in the Yadier Rawlings glove. Expect a dual webbing for full protection, great padding in the hands and a lifetime of work to get this glove just how you, and your grandkids, will like it.