SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A fielder's glove can make a statement about its wearer, or it can serve as a fashion statement, or it can make no statement at all. Regardless of its function, it's taken seriously, for obvious reasons.That's why a handful of Giants looked forward to Friday, when area
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A fielder's glove can make a statement about its wearer, or it can serve as a fashion statement, or it can make no statement at all. Regardless of its function, it's taken seriously, for obvious reasons.
That's why a handful of Giants looked forward to Friday, when area representatives for Wilson Sporting Goods Co. visited the team's Spring Training headquarters at Scottsdale Stadium with dozens of gloves to distribute and sample.
"I think it's always a fun day when you see everybody's new one," said left-hander Ty Blach, citing the "different colors and vibrant flags" sported by many position players.
Pitchers are prohibited from wearing light- or multi-colored gloves, since those might distract a hitter. However, nothing stops any player from having the name of a loved one, his own name or a Biblical verse stitched into the glove. Customizing gloves in this fashion has become almost universal.
Blach chose to inscribe his Wilson A2K glove with a verse from Scripture, Psalm 27:14 ("Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord"). This has relevance in many situations and for many people, including a pitcher facing a jam in a tight ballgame.
"It kind of reminds me to stay in the moment and not try to let it get out of hand, to stay focused on what the task is and execute one pitch at a time," Blach said.
Of course, durability and comfort are paramount. First baseman Brandon Belt always picks up two gloves, though he might not need to be overly concerned about replenishing his supply from year to year.
"Honestly, that usually lasts me for a while," Belt said. "Once you break a glove in, you don't really want to move on to the next one unless you absolutely have to."
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.