Experts in the baseball and softball realm are rare. DeMarini has Hodad, Marucci has a Player Advisory Board, and Rawlings has the history. But, Wilson gloves have the Glove Guru.
Do you know about the Glove Guru? JustBallGloves.com introduces you to Wilson's long-standing master glove craftsman and what he's accomplished.
Known as The Glove Guru, The Glove Whisperer, and Glove Master Craftsman, many ballplayers knowingly and unknowingly rely on Shigeaki Aso for their baseball gloves.
Shigeaki Aso is a Japanese-born glove maker who has designed Wilson baseball gloves since starting with Wilson Sporting Goods as a quality inspector in 1977. Aso's legend started when he designed and developed the A2000 1786 pattern glove in the late 1980s. This infielder's glove is still in production today and is considered one of the best baseball gloves ever.
Aso knows a lot about the ins-and-outs of baseball gloves, as he demonstrates in the Glove Resource Guide or in this video about how to break in your glove properly:
Here are some fun facts about Glove Guru Shigeaki Aso:
- Started at Wilson Sporting Goods in 1977 and still works there today.
- Was inspired to design his first glove after visiting Chicago Cubs spring training in 1985.
- Aso crafts custom gloves for players -- including Jose Altuve, Mookie Betts, and Clayton Kershaw -- but most of the player gloves he crafts take four weeks.
- He developed a wider pocket for Greg Maddux, a thumb injury cover for Ivan Rodriguez, and a larger glove for Dustin Pedroia.
- Aso invented the SuperSkin; Wilson's glove series that is a more durable alternative to leather.
The Glove Guru continues to craft and break-in gloves for Major League players. But, his craftsmanship is seen in nearly every Wilson glove manufactured -- especially A2000 and A2000 SuperSkin gloves. What do you think of the Glove Guru? Did you know about him? Let us know in the comments.
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