One of the most common glove brands you’ll see on the benches of high school and slowpitch softball dugouts comes from Rawlings. The company, founded in 1887 and headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is one of the largest in the market and is a licensed manufacturer of gloves for Major League Baseball and the NCAA. The company is also a licensed producer of products for the National Football League.
Rawlings was the producer of the first major glove innovation in 1912. This innovation was the "sure catch" glove which was a one-piece unit with sewn-in finger positions. As years went by, more changes were made to the glove, including one at the suggestion of former St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Bill Doak. Doak's idea was to turn the fielding glove into something that wasn't just for protection, rather make it something that could be used as an asset for fielding batted balls.In 1920, he suggested to Rawlings that a web should be laced between the first finger and thumb, creating a natural pocket. The Bill Doak glove soon replaced all other baseball gloves and is the standard to this day.
Another thing that Rawlings is known for is the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. As an officially licensed produce of gloves for MLB, this award is meant to distinguish those players that have shown the best ability to use their gloves in the field. The award has been awarded annually since 1958 to the best defensive players at each position from the American and National Leagues.
Rawlings doesn't only produce some of the best gloves in the market, but they also produce some of the best wood bats for use in baseball and softball leagues. The Rawlings Big Stick is one of the best options for those seeking out a top bat at an affordable price. These bats are made with composite handles and are a good example as to how the company has evolved over time.
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