Japanese baseball gloves?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by steamthief, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    A lot of people here have ordered basses from Japan via Ishibashi, etc., due to the wider variety of options available and perceived superior build quality.

    Strolling through eBay, I've noticed more than a few stores that sell baseball gloves by Japanese manufacturers, including Mizuno, SSK, Hatakeyama and Zett. They offer a wide selection of sizes, colors and web options.

    I realize it's a longshot on a bass forum, but has anybody bought a baseball glove from an overseas purveyor? If so, what were your impressions regarding leather quality, fit, etc.?
  2. jp58


    Dec 9, 2009
    Mizuno used to make some quality stuff, although my ball playing days are behind me a little bit.
  3. Funkturnal


    Nov 17, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    I've always used Mizuno gloves myself, although I haven't played in about 10 years (except occasional batting cage sessions. There was a place by my brother's house which had a 150kph machine, about 93mph. Damn fast. Found that I had to be swinging as the ball was released, or I couldn't catch up. The difference between 80mph and 90mph is astounding!)

    Sorry to digress...

    Anyway, one thing to keep in mind is that in Japan, they actually have gloves for differnt types of balls. They have gloves for "nankyu" balls, which are "amateur" balls made of rubber (hard balls, but not as hard as real baseballs, and these balls bounce a lot more than real baseballs). Then they have gloves for "kokyu" balls, or real baseballs. A lot of these gloves have extra padding over the palm area in case you don't catch the ball in the webbing of the glove. But IME, a nankyu glove will still work just fine, but they do make a distinction here for the different types of balls.

    Anyway, I know I'm not really answering the quetions in the OP, but thought I'd add some trivia... isn't that what the OT forum is about? ;)

    FWIW, even the "nankyu" Mizuno gloves I used were on par with the Rawlings or other gloves I have tried. I always used these "nankyu" gloves even when using real baseballs.

    The fit hasn't been a problem to me either. Don't have huge hands, but my hands aren't small either. (I'm playing a 35inch scale TRB 6string if that's a reference! ;) I'm 6ft 1in tall if that serves as any kind of indicator.) Again, the fit wasn't noticeably different from any American glove I've tried.

    I guess the issue with buying something like a baseball glove unseen is not being able to try it out... sort of like buying shoes online... Good luck! ;)
  4. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    Kind of like buying a bass online, too!

    I dug your digressions, too, very interesting stuff for this baseball fan. The glove I'm looking to buy is for my son who will be playing high school ball next season. I doubt I can hit in a 70 mph cage, let alone a curveball at any speed. :atoz:
  5. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I have a Mizuno baseball mitt. I really like it. I use it to spank sexy asian chicks when they're being naughty. ;)
  6. MadMan118


    Jan 10, 2008
    Vallejo, CA
  7. Funkturnal


    Nov 17, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    A Mizuno catcher's mitt ??? ;) I can see this thread turning into a baseball innuendo thread... :D

    But I dig talking regular baseball, but I'm not sure if there are a lot of baseball fans on TB. I've done some searches, but haven't seen too many baseball threads. I've seen way more basketball, football, and hockey threads.
  8. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    Funkturnal, maybe you can help me out with a question. Some of the gloves I've seen in the $100 range are made from oxhide, which apparently is very popular in Taiwan, but is non-existent here in the US. Do you have any experience with this type of leather?
  9. Funkturnal


    Nov 17, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    I'm not sure about the different types of leather, but you're right that it seems Mizuno gloves are oxhide. I found a Japanese web store that sells gloves, and it says Mizuno gloves are made of "natural leather : cow hide" in Japanese, which I presume translates to oxhide?

    For the other gloves such as Rawlings, it only says "natural leather" without any further detail.

    Here is a page for different gloves for the "rubber ball" (not real baseballs) gloves (Excuse the fact that the page is all in Japanese):
    (Notice in the URL itself, it says "rubber-ball")
    These gloves are all priced in the 10,000 yen range (more or less $100+.) Also, these are infielder gloves

    Here is a page for "real baseball" gloves:
    (Notice the URL contains the word "hardball".)
    These are also infielder gloves.
    The price of these gloves are a lot higher (about 30,000 -40,000 yen or about $300 - $400+).

    You will notice that the biggest difference in the "rubber ball" vs "hard ball" gloves is the padding. "Hard ball gloves" seem to be thicker as you can see in the pics.

    Mizuno rubber ball glove pic:
    (This one's about $90)

    Miznuno hard ball glove pic:
    (This one's about $450.)

    For reference, Rawlings hard ball glove pic:
    (This one's about $380)

    Keep in mind that things are generally more expensive in Japan, especially with the exchange rate now. And this is just a random site I found (didn't really do any price comparisons.) But anyway, the prices were just for an idea of what you might be able to expect.

    Anyway, I went a bit off track there, but trying to answer your question, from looking at this website, it seems that all Mizuno gloves (and SSK as well) are made from "cowhide" or "oxhide" regardless of the price range or type of ball it was designed for. Whereas, there is no detail when it comes to Rawlings or Adidas (or even Zett for that matter).

    What I can say from my experience is that I used to use a Mizuno glove that I bought when I was in high school (about 18 years ago or so). Since it seems all Mizuno gloves are now made of oxhide (at least the ones on this website), I'm assuming oxhide is the kind of leather they use for all gloves, and hence my glove. I've used my "rubber ball" glove with real baseballs, and there was no problem, and I've compared the glove with my friends' gloves or the gloves that had at my school, and I didn't notice any kind of "shabbiness" to my glove. Of course, I always preferred using my glove because it was broken in by my hands, and it felt right. But there was nothing to indicate that the glove was of inferior quality.

    Hope I helped in some way... (It was fun doing the research! ;))
  10. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    Thanks for your reply, fun to look at stuff not sold here. Who knew that Xanax made gloves? :)
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