For those brave enough for the “Hot Corner,” the perfect third base glove has different requirements than a glove for playing up the middle. At third base, since the ball is usually on you so much quicker, its not so much about quick hands to turn a double play, but more about simply catching the ball in a glove with a well-defined pocket.
The best third basemen have a longer glove with a deeper pocket. Sizes typically range from 11.75″ up to 12.25″ but there are outliers on either side. We’ve taken a look at the top patterns for second base, shortstop, and outfield, and this post will feature the best glove patterns for third base, and who wears them.
Developed by one of the decade’s best third basemen, the Wilson EL3 glove is a perfect option for the hot corner. Evan Longoria created the EL3 during his time in Tampa and has used it every year since.
The single post web creates a defined pocket to pick everything hit your way. The natural D-shape that the glove takes when viewed from the top lends itself to a thumb to ring finger close. This natural break leads to a deeper pocket which is ideal for third base.
The EL3 can be worn naturally both straight up and two in the pinky to deepen the pocket even more. Check out our post on Top Second Base Patterns to hear more about why so many pros wear their glove “two in the pink.”
The EL3 is one of my favorite patterns. Longoria is a well-dressed ballplayer and his glove reflects that. All orange tan with classic black and Wilson yellow logos, Longo’s game glove used to be readily available but now, besides scouring eBay, custom is the only way to get your hands on one. We created his game model on the Wilson Customizer for $380.
(Press play to see Nolan Arenado on his Rawlings glove and how he uses it. First video highlight courtesy of Rawlings Sports/MLB)
The PRO200 glove pattern is ideal for the left side of the infield. With its tendency to create a deeper pocket, you can pick any hot shot hit your way. This deeper pocket comes from the bowled shape that the PRO200 comes with from the factory. The PRO200 is very popular for its versatility. For those who want an extra deep pocket, putting two fingers in the pinky stall will allow the pointer finger stall to serve as part of the web.
For guys at third base, a little extra length is typically desired. Nolan Arenado‘s gamer, technically a PRO12-6TI, is known to everyone else as the Heart of the Hide PRO206-6. The Platinum Glover uses a 12″ glove at third with an H-Web. This will allow for a defined pocket over time as the glove’s leather stretches in the pocket area.
Arenado’s glove is a work of art. Timberglaze tan leather and black embroidery are a timeless combination. We have seen Arenado’s gamer paired with classic red labels, the gold pictured above, and the even flashier platinum labels. The red labeled variety is available through the Rawlings customizer for $380.
If you’d like a little bit smaller option that can work for both positions on the left side, this Heart of the Hide PRO205-6BCSS is a great option. It measures in at 11.75″, a little smaller than Nolan’s gamer seen above, but retains the same H-Web. This glove also features Rawlings’ new SpeedShell which reduces the overall weight of the glove. Dick’s Sporting Goods offers this model for $280.
This Rawlings Heart Of The Hide PRO205W2BG 11.75″ is another beautiful PRO200 that will get the job done at third, available for $280 at BaseballExpress.com.
Easton Professional Reserve C43
Easton’s Pro Reserve series is their top of the line offering, with a handful of pro game model gloves made from Easton’s premium reserve leather. The C43 is lesser known but will be a great option at third base for someone looking for something different.
2020 AL MVP finalist Jose Ramirez joined Easton a few seasons ago, and has put together some unique gamers, using a 12″ H-Web Easton Pro Reserve in an Indians-themed color combo.
This picture of Ramirez’ flashy C43 illustrates clearly how he wears his glove. Ramirez wears his glove with “two in the pink” like many others at third base. While this exact glove isn’t available, Dick’s Sporting Goods offers a similar Ramirez game model for $280.
Justin Turner uses the same model but in a much more classic color combo. These two elite third basemen choose this model because the 12″ length paired with the deep web make it easy to field every missile hit your way.
And that extra length assisted Turner in his full extension tag that helped the Dodgers win the 2020 NLCS. This black and tan beauty is also available from Dick’s for $260. Baseball Express offers a $200 C43 in black and tan, too.
Marucci has revamped their glove line, with the Capitol Series leading the way. Japanese-tanned USA kip leather is bound together into a variety of different patterns with various play styles in mind. Slugging third baseman Josh Donaldson wears a baby blue Capitol Series 54A2 I-Web glove, another premium option for third basemen.
Donaldson is another guy that shifts his fingers to deepen up the pocket on his glove. He opts for an 11.75″ neutral 54A2 pattern with an I-web glove for the hot corner.
Donaldson’s glove is classified as having a “neutral” pocket. It will break in to have a naturally shallower pocket than most of the other gloves on this list. A stock model (the BOR20, above) is arriving soon, but for now, we created his gamer for $400 on Marucci’s customizer.
If you prefer a deeper pocket at third base, Marucci offers the 64A2 glove pattern. This particular glove (above), a dark red and black 11.75″ I-Web model, features a deeper pocket than Donaldson’s neutral 54A2. Dick’s Sporting Goods is blowing out this model and has a few left for $175 – 50% off retail of $350.
The 1781 is for big boys. A huge 12.25″ I-Web offering from Wilson, this is really only suited for someone who doesn’t stray far from third base. This glove epitomizes the idea of “field… then throw.” It will provide you with a huge pocket that will swallow the ball like an outfield glove.
Second generation phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr. picked the Wilson A2000 1781 for his time at third base.
Guerrero lightens the weight of this large glove with Wilson’s phenomenal synthetic material, SuperSkin.
The 21 year old slugger put together an eye-catching red, white, and blue color combo that fits in perfectly at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Guerrero’s glove has been a top seller on WPW and is part of the 2021 glove line, available through Wilson’s website for $280.
At third base, the recipe for a perfect glove is often different than it is up the middle. Third basemen typically lean towards deeper pockets to catch the ball first, then throw. So if you’re a third baseman in the market for a glove, consider putting less emphasis on that quick double play transfer and more on fielding rocket line drives and ground balls. Your pitcher will thank you.