By Kyle O’Connor
A new glove line offered by Rawlings designed for players 9-15 years old, the R2G Series, promises a pro-grade glove, and the world famous Heart of the Hide leather, with much less break-in needed than standard Rawlings gloves. Ask a group of baseball players about the glove break-in process, and you’ll receive two completely different answers: some love the process, and some absolutely loathe it. There’s very little in-between.
Until recently, few options existed for those who want a higher quality glove but don’t like spending months breaking the glove in. There was the Rawlings Dual Core Series, but those always felt a bit heavy and, in my opinion, had an odd shape.
Game Ready Out of the Box
Enter the Rawlings R2G series, a new release from Rawlings that promises a high quality glove that needs little-to-no break-in. Game-ready out of the box with a Narrow Fit hand opening, this series is perfect for those who want a game-ready glove with a snugger feel on the hand. The Rawlings R2G series of gloves are a great option for serious young players (Rawlings recommends ages 9-15) who may not yet have the hand strength, hand size, or time to break a glove in.
25% More Factory Break-In
The R2G gloves are more broken in than Rawlings’ standard offerings for a couple of reasons. One, the heel pad is “re-engineered” to accelerate the break-in process. Two, at the factory, Rawlings glove craftsmen spend 25% more time breaking in the R2G line than standard Rawlings gloves. From Rawlings:
“We assign our gloves a factory/player break-in ratio to demonstrate how much work it will take to be fully broken in. For instance, standard HOH gloves have a 40% factory break in percentage, 60% player break in percentage. On the (R2G line), the factory portion is 65% (25% more than standard HOH gloves). The player is only responsible then for the 35% remaining amount.”
For those purists who insist that the glove break-in process is a matter of spirituality and shall not be done by any hand but thy own, this may not be the glove for you. On the other hand, glove expert Jay AKA @picklethebeast417 thinks the R2G concept is worthwhile. He says:
“I really like the concept because a lot of younger ballplayers (or their parents) may not know how to properly form a glove, and this alleviates the strain or stress of ‘ruining’ their new glove with an improper break-in.”
Made for all infielders, pitchers, outfielders, catchers, first basemen and utility players, here’s a breakdown of all seven “ready 2 go” Rawlings R2G models:
Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROR314-2BCR Infield Glove
With an 11.5” length and a shallow pocket, the PROR314-2BCR is the quintessential middle infield glove for those who want a game-ready glove.
Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROR205-4BC Pitcher/Utility Glove
The PROR205-4BC is an 11.75” mitt with a modified trapeze web, making it a great game-ready option for pitchers and utility players.
Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRORCM33-23BC Catcher’s Mitt
Built to withstand multiple seasons of heavy use without the lengthy break-in, the PRORCM33-23BCR is an overall great mitt for behind the dish.
Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROR207-6BC Outfield Glove
Measuring at 12.25” with an H-web, the PROR207-6BC is built for the outfielder who doesn’t want or need an extra-large glove. Again, the younger, yet serious outfielder will find this glove to be a perfect fit.
Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRORFM18-17BC First Base Mitt
The first base mitt of the R2G series is the PRORFM18-17BC, a 12.5” with a modified H-Web a la Freddie Freeman.
Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROR882-7BCR
The R2G PROR882-7BCR is a shorter infielder’s glove, great for a SS or 2B, measuring at 11.25” with a V-web. If you’re looking for a smaller glove with a shallower pocket, offering greater control and quicker transfers, this is the R2G glove for you.
Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROR210-3BCR
The PROR210-2BCR is a tiny glove, measuring at just 10.75” with a basket web. It’s an interesting model for those who want an unusually small glove, and will work well as a trainer, too, but more realistically it’s for a young player with a smaller hand. It’ll work in the infield and on the mound.