You may have noticed some professional baseball players put their index finger outside of their glove. And maybe you even do it yourself. So is it just personal preference, or something more?
If you ask anyone who’s been playing ball for a while, they’ll most likely say it “just feels comfortable”, but you might be surprised to learn there’s a valid reason to leave your index finger outside (or inside) your glove.
It depends on position
Players who take a lot of heat, like catchers and infielders, often like to keep their index finger on the outside of the glove. It gives an extra layer of protection between the ball and their finger - which would sit inside the glove right at the spot where the ball most often makes contact.
Catchers take a lot of heat from pitchers, so it makes sense they’d want a little extra padding between their finger and the ball. Infielders take a lot of hard line drives, and some say putting their index finger on the outside of the glove gives them more control and a quicker snap - important for an infielder.
But what about outfielders?
Outfielders tend to keep their index fingers inside the glove. Since they do a lot of diving and running to the fence, keeping their fingers outside the glove increases the risk of jamming or otherwise injuring themselves - and no one wants that. Infielders don’t have this problem, since they tend to move laterally as opposed to backwards and forwards like an outfielder.
Pitchers have the most choice, and it really comes down to what they’re comfortable with.
So, what do you prefer?