Leather Baseball Glove Care
If you were to ask me what I liked best about America when I was a kid, I would have given you three answers: Abraham Lincoln, the Slave Abolisher. Those tasty crackerjack candies (where did those go?). But most importantly, my own swashbuckling arsenal of ball, glove and bat. These three sacred monuments symbolized all that was sovereign in this great land of the free and home of the brave. The holy trinity of apple pie America.
This naturally meant that when my grandparents took me to a baseball game, I always remembered to wear my favorite President Lincoln hat and stuff as many crackerjacks down my gullet as biologically possible. I never felt more American in my life.
Nostalgia aside, it wasn’t long before I learned that I, like every upstanding American citizen, have not only the right, but the responsibility to defend these great American monuments. Every June 19th of the Emancipation, here’s what I do with my freedom.
A Day in the Life
11:00 A.M. (*sharp) Wake up, recite pledge of allegiance. Morning prayers.
11:15 Homemade crackerjacks in the kettle. Stuff as many caramel-coated popcorn bits and peanuts down my gullet as biologically possible.
12:20 P.M. Put on my leather baseball glove and play fetch with Liberty, my female dog.
12:45 Eat more crackerjacks with Liberty.
1:00 Decide it’s time to show an online audience how to preserve a leather baseball glove.
1:05 First, I bask in the radiance of rich full grain leather, which is the best kind of leather for baseball gloves. Out of my three custom-made steerhide, cow and pigskin leather baseball gloves, I like cow the best. Pigskin is flexible but can’t play hardball as long as its bovine alternatives. Steerhide is a lot like cowhide, except it’s made from male cow eunuchs. Although it lives longer, it tends to break in more slowly, is less flexible, and is strangely stiffer than cowhide. Cowhide has just the right balance between durability, flexibility, weight and style.
1:10 I wonder how geeky it is that I know the difference between cowhide and steerhide.
1:10 First things first. I take out my signature bottle of Straight Cleaner No. 2, an alcohol-based deep cleaner, down a swig, and apply what’s left to my leather baseball glove. This will pull up all that sweat and grime my glove absorbs while I’m kicking up smoke on the playing field.
1:11 Don’t drink Straight Cleaner. (Also remember to test it first in a discreet area and check results after drying. You should do this with all leather treatments.)
1:12 I let my glove dry for a bit in a cool, shady place away from sunlight. Translation: My glove cools off with me under a beach umbrella and an icy piña colada.
2:12 My glove has dried completely by now, probably. In fact, it’s excessively dry – like wrinkled hands after a long dip in the pool – except leather cannot make new oils on its own. It’s kind of like replacing Congressmen in election season – sometimes you take out the good people along with the bad.
2:13 No you don’t.
2:14 I pull a bottle of Leather Care Liniment No. 1 off the shelf and work its crazy magic. It’s a leather conditioner, and leaves a nice matte finish on my leather baseball glove, just the way I like it. Also, I tested it first, because I’m a fiscally responsible American citizen.
2:15 I spread my conditioner in thin, even layers across the surface of my leather baseball glove. Because I’m conscious of the fast food epidemic, I only give my glove as much conditioner as it can absorb, and buff off the rest.
2:20 Back to dry under the umbrella. Just some water this time.
3:20 Watch Abraham Lincoln documentaries on the couch with Liberty.
I woke the next day to find my leather glove in perfect order. It was soft and supple, and didn’t squeak whenever I flexed it. Thanks Leather Milk! Bad news, it was raining outside. I should have used Water Protectant No. 3 instead, a heavier consistency conditioner made for temperamental weather. It’s all good. With all the sweaty, manly work I do, my leather gets dirty enough I have to condition it at least 2-3 times a year. I decided to practice my Uncle Charlie indoors, so’s not to get my glove wet. It was a great day to live in America.
Hand over breast,