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Friday, March 29, 2013
Adam Wainwright's glove of choice

By Igor Guryashkin

Is there anything more superstitious than a baseball player and his equipment? Walt Weiss, a shortstop for the Braves had a glove so old, his teammates named it “The Creature.” It might have been worn out, but it was very much his own. But how do you keep a glove in top condition? How do you get ready for the first pitch of every one of the 162 games a season and still maintain what makes that glove yours? Mizuno think they have the answer.

PRODUCT: Mizuno Pro Limited Edition baseball glove -- $500 RRP www.mizunousa.com

WHAT IT’S SUPPOSED TO DO: Just like our favorite couch and its carefully crafted booty canyon courtesy of countless hours of television, baseball gloves need the same love and attention from their owners. Every new glove needs to be broken in, but at the same time be in great shape and ready to perform. Mizuno has tried to craft a top of the range glove but one that gets VIP treatment at season’s end -- offering to take it during offseason and get it much-needed care.

DOES IT WORK: One thing Mizuno have done is created one the best mitts around. The intricate leather work feels incredibly soft and weighted, while remaining rigid and secure enough to scoop up even the hardest of ground balls and catches. Floppy it ain’t. It’s often a difficult balance to strike, but one that St. Louis Cardinal’s starting pitcher and former All Star Adam Wainwright feels Mizuno have found.

“A lot of times with gloves, you get your glove and it’s your baby and you don’t want to mess that up,” Wainwright said. “Like Yadier Molina, our catcher has used the same glove for years and years. But with this glove the product is just so good. It’s nice to put your hand in and say ‘That’s my glove.’”

In years past, Wainwright has struggled with the webbing on his gloves. Pitchers could see through it and guess deliveries. Mizuno’s hatched weave makes sure now that the whole hand is obscured leaving batters clueless to every ensuing pitch. “It’s kind of a weapon,” said Wainwright. “My glove is a weapon because I can trust it and rely on it all the time.”

As for Mizuno’s offseason glove rehab, for meticulous and elite players such as Wainwright, it has been nothing but a boon. “The glove I’m using now, I used all of last season, and I think it still has some mileage in the tank there so I’m going to use it for the this season. too. You send in an old Mizuno glove that you used to really love and they get that thing back to you as pearly as it was in its prime.”

PRODUCT 2.0: If only the same service was available to pitchers and their creaky arms. “Too bad that we as pitchers can do that,” Wainwright quipped. “A few years down the road I’d love to send in my arm into Mizuno.”