USA Trip Day 3 – July 20

For today we decided to rent bikes and ride around Chicago. We mainly followed the Lakefront Trail but sometimes got off of that. We made a few stops to drink something or take a few photo’s. I took a few glove pics for my Instagram account (@eu_baseballgear).



My mom and I also played some light catch because I wanted to try out my new Wilson A2000 1617 first base mitt. The new A2K D33 is still too stiff and the A2000 1786 ASG edition is a collectors item. I am impressed by the 1617 and once it fully breaks in I think it will become my gamer at first base!

We had lunch at Billy Goat’s on the Navy Pier. We all three ate a cheeseburger with fries. After lunch we biked around for a little longer and decided to return our bicycles in Millenium Park. We went to the same ROSS as earlier but no great new deals this time. After getting some drinks at Target we got back in our hotel room. At around 7 o’clock we went to Giordano Pizza, they had very good stuffed pizza. We enjoyed the pizza and went back to our hotel.

USA Trip Day 2 – July 19

img_20160719_223211.jpgAfter having breakfast in our hotel we walked to Willis Tower (skydeck) which was pretty close to our hotel. We got up 103 levels in the building to have a 360 view over the city of Chicago. This was very nice and you could also stand in a glass room which was out of the building so when you looked down you saw the groundlevel, kinda scary but cool at the same time.

After this we walked next to the river for let’s say 30 minutes. While we were at the Skydeck Ryan Smith from Wilson DM’ed me on Instagram. We had had contact before and actually did an interview for Fastball Magazine as well! He asked if I wanted to come by and get a tour at the Wilson Headquarter in Chicago. Of course I said yes and after the 30 minute walk we freshened ourselfs up and took the CTA Rail System trains to the Wilson HQ! We met up with Ryan and got a very cool tour. The tour also included some looks at multiple glove samples that are not gonna be released to public for quite a long time. Unfortunately I am not allowed to tell anyone anything about this. I guess you all have to wait and see when they come out! We were told about the history of Wilson, the Demarini and Louisville Slugger bats and lots more! After all, Ryan also spoiled me with three(!!!!) gloves, a t-shirt and a backpack! The gloves are: Wilson A2K D33 (2017 glove line, which will come out in August, Wilson A2000 1617 first base mitt (also from the new glove line) and a commerative glove for the 2016 MLB All-Star Game which was held in San Diego recently!

Once again, Thank you very very very much Ryan! Around Ryan’s office I also met Ali Brewer and Scott Paulson who I recognized from the Wilson Glove Day video’s they make for YouTube every year!

I talked a bit with both about ball gloves and the Netherlands/Dutch players like Jurickson Profar who use Wilson. By the time the very exclusive (something they usually don’t offer to public) tour was over we took the train to Wrigley Field, the ballpark the Chicago Cubs play their homegames at.The Cubbies took on last year’s National League Champions, the New York Mets. We arrived at the stadium about 15 minutes before the gates opened so we did not have to stand in line for an extremely long time. Before the game started I managed to get one autograph! Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud signed my baseball card. Manager Terry Collins also signed in my spot but I didn’t have a card of him with me. James Loney was the last person to sign but he didn’t get near me really. We ate a hot dog and bought some drinks and went to our seat. We sat in section 523 on row 8. With Noah Syndergaard and Jake Arrieta starting I expected this game to be a low-scoring pitchers duel. That was true, the Mets defeated the Cubs with 2-1. It was a very nice game to watch with a few exciting extra-base hits! We also saw Dutch reliever for the Cubs, Pedro Strop pitch one inning!

After the game ended, we were shocked by the crowd waiting for the train.
We got through pretty quick though and arrived in our hotel safely.

Mizuno Pro Limited Relaced

img_20160610_111644.jpgAs you could have read in a previous blog, I recently bought a new first base mitt on eBay. Because this glove was kind of used and pancaked I decided to get it send to glove relacer Terry Pezzola (https://www.instagram.com/tpmitts_vsticks/).

I had been following him for a while now and thought he did great jobs on relaces. And this time he also did a GREAT JOB!

This glove looks like new again!

img_20160611_154848.jpg

I absolutely love this angle!

 

Allen Lin over at https://www.instagram.com/gloveral28/ knows a lot about Mizuno gloves and I don’t so I asked him for some more information about the glove.

He told me the following:
It’s a pro issued 1st base mitt with Deguchi leather. MWV was a World Win model, but this is obviously a newer GMP model/pattern. It’s common that Mizuno uses an older model name (MWV, MZP… etc.) on their pro issue gloves to differentiate from their Retail GMP lines.

When I asked if he could tell me from what year it was, he told me this:
Unfortunately Mizuno changed their coding system on the GMP lines so it’s harder to tell. The Pro Limited lines changed from MZP to GZPthen GMP from around 1998 to present. With that style of runbird logo and Deguchi stamping I would guess anywhere from 2004/05 to early 2010’s. We’re thinking it has a Deguchi liner as well, which would mean it was made around 2005/06…

A few more looks of this beautiful mitt:

NEW: Mizuno Pro Limited

Last night at 12:15 AM this beautiful Mizuno Pro Limited MWV-300 13″first base mitt ended on eBay. I saw this actually pretty early when it was still at only $15. When I saw that price about six days before the auction ended I decided to follow the glove. When I saw it was still very cheap on the day it ended I decided to bid on it. And after all I ended up winning the auction.

 

So the glove we’re talking about is a little older Mizuno Pro Limited MWV-300 model. The model is 13″, has an H-web and a D-ring fastback. It says: “This product is made at Mizuno’s baseball glove factory under precise specifications and quarenteed by our craftmanship and strict quality control.” Of course any company could put this on their gloves but I got a feeling this is glove will be very nice as Pro Limited’s Retail for like $499 these days!

To make this glove even cooler, it was previously owned by professional baseball player Adam Moore. Below you see his Rookie Card I have in my card collection.

Moore (32) is mainly a catcher but he has had some appearences at first base in the Minors. Right now he plays for the Columbus Clippers, which is the AAA Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Moore has played 12 games at first base (until 2015) in which he had 73 putouts, 4 assists and 1 error.

This glove will be shipped to glove relacer Terry Pezzola (@tpmitts_vsticks) because I want it to look and feel like new when I get it. Terry will ship it to me in the Netherlands after he’s done cleaning and relacing this nice piece of leather.

   

 

Glove Review: Wilson Custom A2000

After doing a review of my Elysian Custom Glove I decided to do a review on my other custom glove! Today I’ll be going over all the specs of my Wilson Custom A2000 A2800 PS. I ordered the glove in late 2013 and it arrived at my house in January of 2014. So I have this glove for over two years in which it got a very good amount of use.

img_20160516_103039.jpgThe glove has the following colors:
– Back finger: Navy blue
– Thumb strip: Gunmetal grey
– Web: Navy blue
– Palm: Navy blue
– Binding: Red
– Welting: Red
– Lacing: Originally Navy blue, but it has been relaced to Grey by Jonquil Sporting Goods.
– A2000: Red
– Wilson logo patch: Navy blue
– Wilson logo: Red
– Binding stitching: Red
– Web stitching: Red
– My name is embroidered in Red

img_20160516_103753.jpgTalking about the colors, I am kind of dissapointed by the fact that the colors started fading really fast. The Navy blue has turned into a greenish kind of color. Some guys on my team actually thought it was green when they saw it for the first time. Of course a baseball glove is meant to be used and to get dirty. But when you pay more than $100 extra to customize the glove to your liking, you hope the colors will stay like how you ordered them.

Leather
Wilson uses their famous Pro Stock leather on all of their A2000 gloves. What I have noticed is that the leather on my custom A2000 is better and stiffer (I did order this Pro Stiff though) than what you would find on your Retail Wilson A2000. I guess you could almost compare this with Pro Issue quality! The Pro Stock leather is a steerhide leather. After more than two years of use you can definately see some wear, especially around the bottom of the web area (where I catch the ball). Other than that the leather is holding up very good, of course it’s getting a little bit loose but the thick padding inserts keep this glove stiff enough so that balls won’t pop out. I would give this leather an 8/10.

img_20160516_103124.jpgLacing
Wilson is not known for their amazingly thick laces. The original laces were not very thick and started to get stretched out kind of soon in the web. Last summer I got it relaced in grey Wilson lace by Craig from Jonquil Sporting Goods. I didn’t have the laces break on me so I can’t really complain too much. But if Wilson would use Tanners’ lace like Rawlings does, their gloves would get a great upgrade. Laces will get a 7.5/10

Weight
Out of all the four gloves I own at the moment this is the heaviest glove as it weighs 723 grams. It’s very close with the Pro Issue 1613 AG but this has probably collected some dirt and stuff like that in it after the use it has had. When I use it I don’t feel like it’s heavy at all and I think most Wilsons are not really that heavy, compared to the usually thicker Rawlings gloves. If Wilson would place the Superskin on the first base mitts differently I would maybe look in to a Superskin first base mitt. Now that they’re getting all the new colors it might actually look really good. I would give the weight of this mitt a 8/10.

img_20160516_103147.jpgComfort
The lining on A2000’s is the same leather as the rest of the glove which is pretty comfortable. It hasn’t shown any signs of cracking yet, still very smooth. Instead of fur, Wilson has Drilex on the wrist which would soak up sweat. I think it’s better than fur because fur gets nasty pretty quick if you sweat a lot, but trust me, when it’s hot outside your hand will still be wet from sweat eventhough it has the drilex. I’d give the glove a 8/10 for comfort.

Price
This glove is $349.99 plus shipping and taxes. Right now, I’d rather spend that money on a retail Pro Preferred than on a custom A2000. If you really like Wilson patterns and what a custom glove, of course get one but for the better leather I’d go with a Retail Pro Preferred. I think this glove would be a 7/10.

Overall
Overall this glove gets a 7.7/10 (average), still pretty good. You can get your custom wilson glove on http://www.wilson.com/custom/gloves/

Glove Review: Elysian Custom Glove

I am going to start a series where I review the baseball gloves I use! I’ll start this series off with my Elysian Custom Glove, following by my Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS15MTBR, Custom A2000 A2800 and my Wilson A2000 1613 AG Pro Issue! (The SOKO will not be reviewed because I don’t use that glove).

IMG_20160429_150245My Elysian Glove is all-black with white stitching and split grey welting. It’s 11.75″ and has the Viper web. I got my name embroidered in gold to match the Elysian logo. On the ringfinger the Dutch flag is stitched and on the palm lining I got You ain’t much if you ain’t Dutch embroidered.

Leather
Elysian makes their gloves with US Kip leather, Kip leather is known as the highest quality leather for baseball gloves. The glove came very stiff, which often is a good sign, stiff leather means high quality leather. This is because the grains of the leather are very thight. When the glove arrived it was kind off hard, but now that it’s more broken in the leather is getting softer and it’s very nice to the touch. I haven’t noticed much wearing yet, some other gloves I have started wearing very quick. You will read about that later in the series. I would give the leather on my Elysian glove a 9/10.

IMG_20160429_150130Laces
On my Elysian I got the laces that where only the top and bottom are dyed black and the middle is white. People often say that these kind of laces are bad quality, I totally disagree with that. The laces are a little bit stiff but the seem to hold up great and I think they will last for a long time. The laces are not extremely thick, but on the spots good lace is neccassary (web and fingers) the lace is very nice. The laces on my Elysian are a 8/10.

Weight
When I unboxed this glove probably the first thing I noticed was how light this glove is. I weighted the glove and it turned out to be 587 gram, later in the series you’ll see how it compares with my other gloves. I think the reason for the light weight is that Elysian makes gloves that are semi-Asian and semi-American. Asian gloves are overall lighter than the thicker American gloves. The weight has to get a 10/10 because it’s such a light, all-leather glove. No mesh, superskin or any other non-leather materials are used on this glove which in my opinion looks so much cleaner.

IMG_20160429_150057Comfort
When I first got the glove it definately wasn’t the most comfortable glove but it’s getting a lot better now that it’s getting more broken in! The lining is made out of steerhide leather . The embroidery on the lining is not really noticeable when you are using the glove, so that is not something to worry about when you’re ordering a custom glove. For comfort I give this glove a 7.5/10, this could definately improve when the glove breaks-in more though.

Price
Elysian retail gloves cost $219.95 on their website, which is a great price for these high quality gloves. But why wouldn’t you spend 20 dollars more ($239.95) and fully customize the glove to your liking! I think that the price Elysian asks for there custom gloves is totally right. You get a custom Kip leather glove for the price big brands sell their Retail Steerhide gloves for. If you ask me. I would go with the Elysian! I’d rate the price point for Elysians at a 9.5/10

IMG_20160429_150158Overall
Overall, this gloves gets a 8.8/10 (average of the grades above) and that’s a great grade for a smaller company like Elysian. If Elysian keeps doing what they’re doing they will grow for sure. And maybe some day, a Major League player will use Elysian as their weapon on the field!

Get your Elysian Glove now at http://elysianbaseballgloves.com/ !!!

Wilson A2K KP92 Pro Issue SOLD!

Because I thought I wasn’t going to play any or a lot of outfield I decided to put my Wilson A2K KP92 Pro Issue up for sale or trade. I had posted some pics of it on my Instagram (@eu_baseballgear) with the caption it was for sale or trade. The buyer wasn’t from Instagram though, one of my teammates wanted to buy it and I was perfectly fine with that. So I don’t own this anymore…

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These gloves I own at the moment:
– Elysian Custom Glove
– Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS15MTBR
– Custom Wilson A2000 A2800 PS
– Wilson A2000 1613 AG Pro Issue
– Soko Sports Lin Chi-Sheng, which is FOR SALE OR TRADE. You can make offers on that!

Baseball Gloves

To start this blog of, if you are not a part of ‘the glove community’ which mainly takes place on Instagram, you might think I am crazy for having this amount of gloves. I got addicted to buying them. I am not the kind of person that buys gloves to put on a shelf and look at them, I always buy them with the intention to use them! That’s also why I would not like to call my gloves together a glove collection….
I’ll describe/review all my gloves that I have right now in chronological order from newest to oldest.

elysian 1175Elysian Custom Glove
My Elysian glove is my most recent glove pickup. The glove is 11.75″, has all black leather with split grey welting and white stitching. The web I chose for this one is the Viper web, as you can see it’s a closed web which is preferred by pitchers because you can hide your pitches. I also got some embroidery, on the thumb the glove says Milan van der Breggen (my name), on the lining it says You ain’t much if you ain’t Dutch and on the ring finger it has the Dutch flag. The glove is made with high-end US Kip leather which feels very nice. I can’t really give a good review on this glove yet because I have not used it yet, but don’t worry, you’ll get a review and updates of this for sure! This glove will most likely function as my pitching gamer once it’s broken in!
You can get your Elysian (custom) glove at http://elysianbaseballgloves.com/!
Important: Make sure to follow Elysian’s social media because they will be doing a giveaway very soon!

pi 1bWilson A2000 1613 AG Pro Issue
This mitt is 12″ (if you buy a Retail 1613 it will be 12.25″, but because this is a Pro Issue the size differs) and has a black and saddle tan colorway. Everything besides the web and lacing is black. The web on this glove is the single post double bar web, probably my favorite for first base. Pro-Stock leather (I am pretty sure it’s a steerhide type leather) is what’s used on this beauty. This mitt previously belonged to Tanner Donnels, he got this from Wilson on last year’s Glove Day but didn’t really feel it, read more about that right here: https://dutchbaseballtraveler.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/wilson-a2000-1613-pro-issue/. Tanner sold this on eBay and I was Lucky enough to buy it! So far it’s breaking in pretty good, not yet fully broken in but it’s getting there. My previous gamer at first base was my custom A2000 A2800 model which has a double break point, this one has the single break point but so far it’s been working good. This will most likely function as my gamer at first base once I am fully comfortable with it. I also can’t really give you guys a review of this mitt yet, after it gets some more use you’ll read more for sure! You could customize a look-a-like of this on http://www.wilson.com/custom/gloves/, it will be a quarter inch longer though and the stamping will be a bit different. Another way to get this glove is have luck on eBay or know a pro that has this glove.

SOKO Sports Lin Chih-Sheng Glove
This glove I won in a giveaway from SOKO Sports on Instagram. You can read the reason they gave it away right here: https://dutchbaseballtraveler.wordpress.com/2016/01/17/story-about-the-soko-giveaway/. The glove is about 11.5″ ( I am not 100% sure because it doesn’t say on the glove) and has a orange and honey colorway. The orange is pretty dark and might look a bit like red in the photo. I relaced this glove to tan TannerSoko lin‘s lace, it originally came with a bit darker colored lace. I wasn’t a big fan of the original lace, that’s the reason I relaced it. I also took of the finger hood it came with. The leather on this glove is Premium Formosan Kip Leather which is honestly on of the best leathers I have felt on baseball gloves. I do not have a use for this glove though and that’s the reason it is for sale or trade if you are interested in it, send me a DM on Instagram @eu_baseballgear or @fpmilan!

 

kp92 piWilson A2K KP92 Pro Issue
Here we got my outfield gamer, outfield is not one of my main positions but as soon as I saw this pop up on eBay for the price it was I couldn’t resist it to buy it… The addiction is real, haha. It’s another Pro Issue, this means it was meant to be for a pro. The stamping on Pro Issues is different and overall the glove is thicker and high quality than what you’d find on a retail glove. This one is the KP92 model so it’s 12.5″ (just like the retail model this time) and it has a vintage tan and black colorway, the picture will tell you at what spots what color you will find. This glove has Pro-Stock Select leather, this is the top 5% of the Pro-Stock leather Wilson gets in their factory. This was owned, and used for about 6 games, by Brandon Macias. Read more about that right here: https://dutchbaseballtraveler.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/wilson-a2k-kp92-pro-issue/. Brandon Macias just recently switched glove brands and is now using 44 pro gloves (http://www.44progloves.com/).  This glove will for sure be my gamer in the outfield and so far it’s feeling very nice. This glove is also new to me so a review is still kind of difficult to do. You could customize a look-a-like of this glove aswell on http://www.wilson.com/custom/gloves/ as well, I have not seen many of this colorway Pro Issues around so it will be more difficult to get one like this from a pro, especially since A2K colorways change every year. This year’s A2K colorway is actually pretty identical to this one though.

rawlings ppRawlings Pro Prefered PROS15MTBR
I’ll start of with explaining what PROS15MTBR means; PROS means it’s a Pro Preferred (Heart of the Hides would say PRO), 15 means 11.5″, MT means Modified Trapeze (which is the web it has) and BR means Brucciato which is the main color on this glove (the lighter brown is camel). If you would like to learn more about glove codes, make sure to check out these YouTube video’s made by my friend Jay:



I got this glove in May of 2015 as a birthday gift (my birthday is on April 24th but it got lost in the mail). Since then I used it for about the whole season, mainly as a pitcher but also at 2nd base, 3rd base, shortstop and I think once in the outfield. Last year I literally played all 9 positions with my two teams, this year I’ll most likely be more focussing on pitching and first base mainly. Since I got my Elysian, kind of unexpected, this will not get as much use anymore. Pro Preferreds are a really good gloves though, using full grain kip leather. The leather wears pretty fast but stays stiff at the same time. They’re also pretty thick gloves compared to Wilson, they come in very stiff yet soft to the touch. The only thing I don’t really like is the Pittards performance scheep skin lining. The lining just doesn’t feel as good as regular leather linings like on my A2000’s and Elysian. If you’re looking to get this exact glove, make sure to check out eBay because with some good searching you should be able to find this for a lot under the most suggested retail price.

rawlings 5toolRawlings 5-TOOL PROTRAIN
I don’t know if you could really consider this a glove, it’s more like a training tool. It’s a 9.5″ training glove. I mainly use this when I throw a ball against a wall and field grounders and work on picks. It’s all black with grey split welting, the leather isn’t very nice but I mean, for a training glove you don’t want leather that’s too expensive. If you can get this glove for a good price, I think it’s nice to have. It will prevent you from getting lazy because you really have to focus on the ball. I think this is better than the pancake glove because it also works on backhand grounders and especially for me, as a first base man it’s nice to be able to actually catch the glove.

custom 1bCustom Wilson A2000 A2800 PS
This was my first ever custom glove and I based it of my team colors back when I ordered it. My team was navy and red and we always wore grey pants. I think you understand the colors I chose now. I really like this glove and the way I broke it in, it’s just getting a bit too broken in for my liking. That’s the reason I got my Wilson A2000 1613 AG Pro Issue! I originally got this with navy blue laces, but last summer Craig Brooks from Jonquil Sporting Goods relaced it to silver lace. I chose silver because navy blue wouldn’t match anymore because the leather has faded a lot over the years, red would also not match because the red on it has also faded so I thought silver would look nice. I think that custom A2000’s are much higher quality than retail A2000’s and pretty close to Pro Issue quality! The A2800 pattern is 12″ and has the double break point, at the end of this season I’ll for sure do a 1613 vs. a2800 pattern comparison!

 

First base mitt break in

To start of this post, you have to know that this is how I like to do it. If you like it, use the same technique, if not no problem. There is no right or wrong way of breaking in a first base mitt.
So when I first get the glove I decide if I want to go traditional or two in the pink. On first base mitts, I am personnaly a fan of going traditional. I feel that it gives me more control. Now that you know that, try to squeeze the glove as far as it let’s you. Don’t over squeeze it because this will create creases in the palm, which you’d prefer to keep away. Now that you know where your breakpoints are located, pound those. For the pounding I use a Mizuno mallet, you could also use a bat or screw a baseball on top of a stick.
As a first baseman you want to be secure that you catch the ball so a deep pocket is a must, I always like to stretch the web laces out and pound the pocket with my mallet. For me, a first base mitt is game ready when it closes around a softball!

After the pounding work, I’d advise you to go outside and play catch, preferably with a heat-thrower to speed up to break-in proces. Because I have my WebGem 3GRANDE System, why not use it… it’s a great way to form your glove and protect it when it’s in your bag. I usually keep it in there whenever I can’t use the glove (for example during the night or while I am at school). Of course this is not a must but I really like it!

A few DON’Ts when breaking in a glove:

NEVER ever put your glove in a microwave/oven!!!

– Don’t use (too many) oils, conditioner is better for the leather. Don’t over condition it though.

– Just do it yourself, don’t let your teammates play with your glove because you’re the one that has to use it so it better forms to your hand and your hand only!

If you want to know how Aso from Wilson breaks in a first base mitt, check out this video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9PzGJyWRp4

Elysian Custom Glove is finished

When I woke up this morning I saw Roy had DM’ed me multiple pics of my Elysian glove. I’ll show a few of them and describe what’s going on in them.

welting progress

Some of the welting (grey split) has been sewed in

welting finsh

All the welting is sewed in and a good look at my name that’s embroidered in the thumb in gold

 

 

 

The glove is starting to take a shape…

 

elysian no lace

The glove with a good look on the lining embroidery that says: You ain’t much if you ain’t Dutch. Also the first time we see the web! Let’s get this beauty laced up…

laceing progress

Lacing the glove, a skill that takes lots of patience and it beats up your fingers haha…

Now the glove is all laced up…

finger stall

The glove master is forming the finger stalls so my hand can fit in the glove nicely

pounding

The final pounding before the glove is getting boxed and ready to ship!