Originally written March 18, 2013 on Bush League Chronicle:
There are a countless number of ways to break in a baseball glove. Some of the more notable things involved in this process can include any combination of the following: baby oil, an oven, a microwave, a rubber band, shaving cream, and a mattress, just to name a few.But for reigning National League Rookie of the Year winner Bryce Harper, breaking in a new mitt involves a bucket of water and the use of a sledgehammer. Yes, a sledgehammer.The Washington Post details how Harper turned to his father, an iron worker, to help him mold his outfielder's glove upon learning that he had been drafted by the Washington Nationals in 2010.Ron Harper stuffed three balls into the glove, tied it shut and dropped it in a bucket of water for a day. The former ironworker then pulled the glove out of the water and smashed it with a sledgehammer. He repeated the soaking treatment, letting it dry for a day before his son used it to play catch. Ron's method of breaking in the glove shortens the amount of time Bryce said he needs to play catch with it to loosen the leather. "It gets it exactly how I like it and what I use," said Bryce, who also uses saddle oil on his glove.The process took approximately three days to complete.Harper, 20, seems content with the way his glove turned out, but there is some evidence that suggests he may want to reconsider. Harper tied for the league-lead (with three others) with the most errors committed by an outfielder last season (7).Perhaps a regimen consisting of Vasoline and a clothes dryer would fare better?On second thought, let's stick with the sledgehammer routine just for the shear awesomeness of it.Via The Washington Post
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