Review: Rawlings Heart of the Hide HOH Series Gold Glove

Review: Rawlings Heart of the Hide HOH Series Gold Glove
Retail: $199.99, but MBstores.com is currently offering many HOH gloves for less. (Offer exprires soon)

Product Description
  • Heart of the Hide Inch leather shell
  • Large pattern catcher's mitt
  • All leather binding and lacing
  • Lite Toe padding construction
  • Two piece closed web
  • Fastback with Holdster slot
  • D-ring wrist adjustment


Reviewed by: Pavlo,  from Canada
Date Reviewed: 8/1/2002 12:13:50 PM
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
The Rawlings HOH Gold Glove is a superior glove for its class. It offers comfort, style, and the winning touch. With only a quick close of your hand, you will be holding that red and white ball without and uncomfertable feeling. I purchased this glove because I was looking for something new. I always have loved the Rawlings gear, and this golve continues to satisfy my feelings. This glove has a great look but a little expensive. It does hold up, but not as I thought it would. I think it is a little overrated. But I would recommend this glove for the active players. This glove is not for children because it is a little hard to control.

Similar Products Tried:
PRO series
 

 
  Reviewed by: John Potter,  from Fresno,CA
Date Reviewed: 6/26/2002 11:28:44 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
This is an excellent glove. I am a left handed catcher and had a hard time finding a lefty catchers mitt. I used to manage Baseball Express retail store and had access to any mitt I wanted,unfortunately they did not make a Pro lefty catchers mitt so I as stuck with a small intermediate mitt. Although this fine honed my catching skills by giving me less glove to catch with, it wasn't sufficient for catching anything above 60-70 range. So I asked the Rawlings rep. if they made a Pro lefty mitt and he said they don't exists. I suggested that they make one that there is a market out there , he asked for me to prove it by keeping a count. I know that coaches don't use lefty catcher but there are quite a few individuals like myself who like the position enough that we would catch off friends that pitch or playing in independent leagues. After months and months of searching it paid off. One day while out at the Rawlings outlet I found the Pro lefty catcher mitt that didn't exists.The lady said in all her years with Rawlings she had never seen such a glove. Although very stiff, after about 2 weeks of catching in the cage in front of the ATEC pitching machine running at about 90+ this glove was wonderful. After breaking this glove in Baseball Express special ordered the black and tan version of my tan glove. To the best of my knowledge Baseball Express is the only company that carries this glove. 

Customer Service:
not yet needed

Similar Products Tried:
Mizuno Classic
 

 
  Reviewed by: ryan, from salem,OR USA
Date Reviewed: 5/18/2002 12:28:35 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:

I owned two different Heart of the Hide gloves that I used as a middle infielder and third baseman. They were great in terms of breaking in and quality while I used them, but they quickly broke down. They started getting holes in the palm of the glove, likely from the sweat and dirt that gathered there. I know this can happen to all gloves, but I didn't have that problem with my beloved A2000 series Wilson first baseman gloves.
The first HOH glove I got was in middle school, and I accidentally broke it in with a pretty significant crease down the middle of the palm and up into the pocket. It still had a good feel and worked well for me.
With the second HOH glove, which I used at third and was slightly bigger, I had to work hard to avoid the crease, and it didn't quite have the good feel that the first one had. It also had the same problem with the holes in the palm, despite the fact that I owned and used it for an even shorter period of time.
I used oil leather and a little shaving cream in the gloves and had similar problems.
I liked my Wilsons, and was disappointed with how little use I got out of the HOH Rawlings gloves.
 

Customer Service:
never dealt

Similar Products Tried:
Easton
 

 
  Reviewed by: Ron,  from Dahlonega, GA
Date Reviewed: 3/25/2002 7:30:58 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
This is a great glove after its broke in.It takes awhile but it's worth it. This is for the pro player not for kids it's to big and hard to control. I haven't missed a ball with this glove it cost me $175 but whell werth the money. i've had mine for 3 years and still looks brand new. Very hi quality i would recommend this glove. It is comfortable and i can catch ball up to 115 mph with not feeling a thing.

Customer Service:
Not yet. I hear nothing but good stories though.

Similar Products Tried:
Pro preferred
 

 
  Reviewed by: Jonathan Parr, from Preston, Lancashire, U.K.
Date Reviewed: 3/9/2002 12:23:18 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I have bought two of the Rawlings Heart of the Hide Gold Glove Catcher's mitts. I bought the first one for my oldest son who absolutely loves it. So I had to get another for my youngest. Both mitts have been very durable and comfortable to use.

This glove has the Lite Toe padding and two piece closed web. All of the Heart of the Hide Series have a specially tanned cowhide lining which is some of the softest, comfortable and easy to break-in leather.

The cost is $179 which is comparable to other catcher mitts in this quality and grade. I have been very satisfied with this mitt. This mitt is basically for High School and above players; others can get by with cheaper mitts.
 

Customer Service:
 Good

Similar Products Tried:
many
 

 
  Reviewed by: james Li,  from california
Date Reviewed: 12/25/2001 9:49:45 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I have been playing baseball for almost fifteen years now. And I have had to break in about thirty catchers gloves. And out of all of them this had to be the hardest leather to break in I have ever seen. I mean I oiled it massaged id and played catch for it for almost 15 months before it was finally game ready. But when it got to that point I thought it would be better than all the other gloves. Well, it turned out that the pocket wouldn't keep and no matter how soft I got it the glove would not hold on to the ball. And that how it was for me when I used it and I am an experienced catcher. So if you are planning on getting a new glove take my word for it and go for something cheaper and that has some softer leather.
 

 
  Reviewed by: John, from Philadelphia
Date Reviewed: 9/18/2001 5:50:17 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:

I needed a new catcher's mitt for my teenage son and decided upon the top-of-the-line Rawlings offering, largely because we had very much enjoyed the Youth model (RCM 45 Piazza). The youth model took some time to work in, so I bought the new PRO-LTF early, with a view to breaking it in well in advance of the season.

Well, was I in for a surprise. I mirror virtually every other review here that suggests that this is one tough glove to break in. I have worked the glove hard. I use lots of Nakona gel (which I understand to be nothing much more than petroleum jelly) and take maybe 300 pitches at 90 mph on a pitching machine whenever I have the time (once every few days). In between the pitching sessions, it's the usual elastic band and softball trick. I've been at it for some time now, and it is still fairly stiff.

This is not necessarily a criticism. All top of the line catcher's mitts are pretty stiff (the Wilson and Mizuno pro mitts are also very very stiff), and they have to be. Softer mitts that break easier also get too soft to keep handling very hard pitches over time. Even if you do not expect to catch 90 mph fastballs in the ordinary course (and believe me, I am no pro), the extra protection is really noticeable after the gloves go through a season.

The shape and feel of the glove is excellent, and I anticipate it will make a great mitt once it is fully broken in (purchaser's should anticipate buying at least one year in advance of playing with it!).

There are, however, a couple of reasons why this glove is not a full five stars. Firstly, for a top of the line glove, it does not have great lacing. In part because of my aggressive break-in techniques, I have really noticed that lacing is the achilles' heel of this mitt(and to me, lacing is critical to any glove!). The lacing is simply too thin. Notice the two-piece web pocket? In all of the pictures, it looks like a one piece web (i.e. there is no visible gap between the two pieces). Well, drilling with the pitching machine routinely stretches the lacing holding the pocket together. I stretch, then tighten, then it stretches again and I tighten again. I have decided to actually leave the 3/4" gap that has developed (I don't see the harm, although some of my colleagues suggest that the laces will snap in due course -- I actually do not think so -- many trapeze type gloves have pockets held together by lacing and they are not viewed as being inclined to snapping).

This is not the only lacing complaint. The lacing holding the bottom of the web to the glove is also blistering. This lacing, which is actually narrower than the lacing holding the two parts of the web together, looks as if it is not going to survive my break-in process. In other words, I might need the mitt relaced before it is ready to play! If that happens, I will be seriously annoyed. For this kind of money, the lacing should be much much more premium.

This segues nicely into my only other "con" about the glove. Again, like the stiffness of the mitt, this is not necessarily a "con" per se. Many top catchers want a relatively shallow pocket to give them a speedy move on the pick-off (not unlike the way middle infielders prefer gloves that do not have a deep pocket). I, however, do not. I am much more concerned about the risk of the passed ball than the risk of a slower than average pick-off move. For that, I need a deep pocket. The Rawlings PRO-LTF does not have a particularly deep pocket (but no shallower than the top Wilson or Mizuno mitt). One of the other reasons (aside from the frustration of always having to tighten the laces) that I am allowing the gap to develop in the pocket is to artificially deepen the mitt's pocket. It would be nice if Rawlings and the other big glove manufacturers considered making a deeper pocket catcher's mitt (Diamond and Kelley purport to do so, and I will review those if I ever get to try them).  

Customer Service:
 Left message but no reply.

Similar Products Tried:
Wilson
 

Retail: $199.99, but MBstores.com is currently offering many HOH gloves for less. (Offer exprires soon)


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