Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The first non-leather glove ever used in major league baseball

from Carpenter Trade (the people who made my own incredible custom and cruelty free 100% vegan glove - see above and bottom).
Brian Gordon is the first player ever to use a non-leather glove in major league baseball. Ever since Doug Allison first wore a glove in 1870 all major league baseball gloves have been made with leather. Until now.

Gordon used this groundbreaking glove on June 16, 2011 as the starting pitcher for the New York Yankees against the Texas Rangers. Gordon converted to pitching after spending his first ten years as an outfielder. Now, in his 15th year of professional baseball, he has been brought up by the Yankees, having led AAA baseball with the lowest ERA of 1.14. His long journey gave him several years’ experience with gloves, and Gordon chose Carpenter as the best. He says of his Carpenter glove, “For the first time in my career I felt comfort and control on the field. I love it.” Gordon was born in West Point, NY and he is the only NY player using a glove made in NY.

The idea of a non-leather baseball gloves defies expectations of the traditional smell and feel of glove leather. However, synthetic materials have already been a growing trend for several years. Star players such as Roy Halladay and Alex Rodriguez have already been using gloves that have some synthetic parts. Synthetics offer greater strength than leather while also being remarkably lighter. Carpenter synthetic gloves average 10 ounces lighter than comparable leather gloves, giving players a considerable performance advantage where speed is essential. Carpenter gloves are the lightest gloves used in professional baseball today.

(photo © Rob Tringali)

"This is probably the first real innovation since the Wilson A2000 in 1957. The baseball glove has never seen a re-engineering like this before. Not only are the materials better and more practical, but never before has a glove been built specifically for one hand,” says Jason Friedman, a writer and moderator of the popular Glove-Works baseball glove forum.

This glove was made for Gordon by Scott Carpenter of Carpenter Trade Company in Cooperstown, NY. Carpenter’s alternative approach to his business is as unique as his innovative baseball gloves. The market is dominated by large corporate brands who have a tight grip on players who are paid to wear their logos. It is telling of the quality and performance of Carpenter gloves that so many professional players are refusing money from larger established brands to wear Carpenter gloves. Scott Carpenter has never paid players and has never done any advertising or marketing beyond his website: CarpenterTrade.com. He makes all Carpenter gloves himself. The baseball glove is an American icon; Carpenter is proud to be the only glove brand used in major-league baseball that has never imported, never outsourced, and has always produced their own gloves in the USA.

Scott Carpenter began his glove business in Cooperstown in 2001. Cooperstown is known for its history and for preserving the rich traditions of baseball. However, this is an account of a Cooperstown local breaking with tradition and pioneering a trend that will shape how baseball is played in the future.

Here's a great AP story about the big day, with additional pic's.

By the way... You want to inquire about buying one of these? Well you can't! This year Scott has changed his policy, and just as I acquired my latest personal glove, you can too by TRADE only no cash exchange for 2011, you make your offer and they will see how it works for them, and remember these gloves take a lot of time and are a labor of love, so be ready to give for what you get.

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