Glove Day brings out the kid in Orioles players

February 16th, 2017

SARASOTA, Fla. -- For about a dozen Orioles, Thursday morning was one of the best mornings of the spring: Glove Day.
Guys like Zach Britton, Chris Tillman and were greeted by Wilson Sporting Goods reps as they picked out -- or picked up -- their desired new glove for 2017.
"They're all like little kids on Christmas," said Ryan Smith, Wilson's product line manager who was on hand to help guys out.
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"This is Christmas Day to them because they come out, they get to get their glove," Smith said. "Every baseball player loves to come out and get their glove. Guys tweet about this leading up to it, going, 'Oh man Glove Day is coming. Can't wait.' That's part of the fun, too. Guys come out, and they're looking through the bags like little kids, [saying], 'Oh, what's new this year?'"
Some chose gloves right out of the bags with just a few on-site tweaks. Others, like Orioles reliever , had special, custom models made for the World Baseball Classic.
"It's really important, especially designing it," Givens said. "Dealing with Wilson the past few years has been good and having them make my glove for the [World Baseball Classic] has been a real honor."
Givens' glove is red, white and blue with the American flag on it as he'll play for Team USA next month. Givens' glove from last season will eventually go into a case, carrying with it the memories of his debut with the Orioles and going to the postseason.
Givens wasn't alone in asking Smith questions about the new gloves and making tweaks to what he wanted. Players are very particular about their gloves, and rightfully so.
For Britton, who had the name of his two children etched into this year's model, his new gloves are typically donated or put on display. The Orioles' closer has been using the same black Wilson mitt since 2009 -- when he was playing at the Class A Advanced level -- and doesn't plan on changing anytime soon.
"[It's] just comfort probably," Britton said. "I get a lot of ground balls so I want something that's broken in that I can field the ground balls with. I had other companies before, but Wilson was it seems like the most durable. They last a long time."
"There's memories involved," Smith added. "We have guys that use our gloves because they used A-2000s when they were growing up or in high school, and that's the only glove they want to use. So, they just keep using Wilsons. It's a really neat thing."