Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sliding Glove

So while I was in Japan I regularly went to this one store where I suddenly became friends with the owner. The owner is a huge Chunichi Dragons fan and their store had the best (and neatest) arrangement of singles for NPB and J-League (Japanese soccer/football) cards. At least in my opinion.

Most of the key Dragons singles I got on my vacation came from this shop. I gave the store owner a souvenir cup from the Staten Island Yankees and a game used New York-Penn League ball as a token of my appreciation (my pseudo-Japanese, entirely nuts-so way of it at that).

In turn the owner gave me a piece of actual game used memorabilia from a Dragons game. Something he called a "Sliding Glove."


Upon quick Google searches in Japanese and English, it's basically just a glove used by base runners (kind of like the oven mitts Brett Gardner always sports) and I'm not sure anyone calls it a sliding glove. But unlike Gardner and his mitts, I'm not sure how many players actually wore this.

Apparently the Dragons players in the 90's used these gloves by clenching them in their hands and making a fist. That fist would then be the part of the hand that goes in to reach a base when the base runner had to slide to the next base. This was supposedly done to make sure players didn't hurt their wrists or fingers sliding into bases. These gloves were different from batting gloves in that coaches on the first base side kept these in their pockets to give to players who made it safely onto the bases.

Now all of this is what the store owner told me. I was going to do some research to see if this is really what Chunichi players did in the 90's but I'm still dizzy from jet lag so I'm just going to accept it as fact and go lie down.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

11 comments:

  1. Are you going to cut it up and make relic Zippy cards.....????

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  2. Well, that sure is a a unique piece of memorabilia. Very cool.

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  3. That's neat!

    Going all Uncle Rico for a second, but when I played, I actually had a bating glove just for sliding. I always slid with my left leg tucked and my right leg outstretched. As a right-footed soccer player, this was always the most natural and quickest way for me to slide...like making a slide tackle. In turn, I would always drag my left hand, and the dirt always tore up my batting glove pretty good on the palm of the hand I was dragging. So as to not bust a hole in my good batting gloves, I'd buy a crappier one for my left hand and just use it on the basepaths.

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    1. That's a great story TLC, I was the moron who ran barehanded but looking back I probably should've just used a crappy batting glove like you did.

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  4. I used to rip up my batting gloves sliding into bases too, especially because I went in head first a lot since I was a basestealer...I used to be thinner and faster, I promise.

    Anyway, there must be some truth to that, because I've seen a lot of base runners on TV and in person carrying gloves in their hands.

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    1. I've definitely seen players gripping these gloves in their hands too so I think the story checks out.

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  5. Some of those baserunners have taken it to a new level and wear "oven mitts" when on the base paths. A few of the Cubs does this. Again, it's all about protecting the hands/fingers from injury.
    Nice gesture on your part, and pretty cool that the owner reciprocated.
    Welcome back to the States!

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    1. Yeah, I think it's nice that we now have technology that allows players to better protect themselves. And thanks PTT :).

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