FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It was 7:30 on Tuesday morning, and Dustin Pedroia was hollering with the enthusiasm he usually saves for after a Red Sox win.This time, his excitement was for Wilson Glove Day, the day when several Boston players got their new gloves from the noted glove manufacturer.•
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It was 7:30 on Tuesday morning, and Dustin Pedroia was hollering with the enthusiasm he usually saves for after a Red Sox win.
This time, his excitement was for Wilson Glove Day, the day when several Boston players got their new gloves from the noted glove manufacturer.
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"Yeah!" Pedroia bellowed as he greeted the Wilson representatives. "This is awesome."
And for Pedroia, it was more awesome than most. He is one of the players in the Majors who has a glove named after him that is available to anyone.
When 7-year-old Dylan Pedroia makes his Little League debut in Arizona this spring, he will do so with a glove named after his father, who is one of the best defensive second basemen in the world and has been for the past decade.
"That's real cool," Pedroia said. "My son is starting up Little League and he has my glove, and that's pretty crazy to think about and to actually see."
The one thing Dylan Pedroia will come to know about his father is that he is maniacal about his glove.
"My biggest thing is I like to use one glove for games, practices, or whatever. It doesn't matter," Pedroia said. "A lot of guys will use their backup glove, and they'll switch to their game glove. I think it's important to use the same one. I'm always fixing my laces because if a ball is hit hard, if you don't have that lacing part … "
Pedroia didn't even need to finish the sentence. His job is to be a stopper up the middle, and he needs well-maintained equipment to do so.
"This is my glove for the season and hopefully longer," Pedroia said. "I like to use one glove for a long period of time, so once you get it broken in, it's kind of a part of you."
Pedroia's glove is probably the only thing less shiny than his typically dirt-stained uniform.
"I like it flimsy and beat up," Pedroia said. "For me, I put two fingers over here in the pinkie side, kind of like an outfielder, to make sure it squeezes like that, so when I transfer, it doesn't have a deep pocket. I don't' want the ball to get stuck ever. This pocket allows you to do that."
Nobody used their Wilson Glove better than Mookie Betts last season. He was named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year in November. Betts joins Pedroia as the only Red Sox players who currently have a line of Wilson gloves named after them.
"It's a blessing, and I know it comes from the work I've put in," Betts said. "You don't go into battle with something you're not comfortable with. You have to be fully comfortable with what you have, and I am, so I'll take it into battle."
After winning the American League's Cy Young Award last season, Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello will stick with the A2000 model that served him so well.
"This particular glove worked out for me pretty well last year, so I'm going to go with it again," Porcello said. "I like this webbing because it holds up really well and you can play catch with it for a while, and it can take kind of a beating."
Each player seems to have a different routine with his glove.
"I don't throw it in my bag," Red Sox rookie left fielder Andrew Benintendi said. "Some people just toss it in their bag. I carry mine alongside so it doesn't lose its form."
Best day of Spring Training?
"Getting my gloves," Porcello said. "This is definitely an exciting day. It's like Christmas."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and **Facebook**.