If you are looking for premium-quality baseball gloves, Wilson is probably one of the brands on your radar. You might be jumping from store to store looking for the original Wilson gear, wondering, ‘where are Wilson baseball gloves made’.
Wilson’s baseball gloves are manufactured by the Wilson Sporting Goods company, which is situated in Chicago, Illinois. However, the company has manufacturing plants and subsidiaries throughout the world, which has allowed Wilson to cater to the increasing demands of the non-US market.
Where are Wilson A2000 and A2K Baseball Gloves Manufactured?
The manufacturing for the professional A2K baseball glove pair is done in Japan. Meanwhile, the renowned A200 glove model, which is actually the company’s pride and has revolutionized the baseball glove industry, is manufactured in Vietnam.
Professional players often specifically request that their gloves be made in Japan, to ensure premium quality.
Through the company’s promotional videos, we learnt that the details about the designs and other specifications are determined in Chicago. Wilson has joined hands with a premium-quality designer of baseball gloves, Aso Shigeaki (also known as the Glove Guru). Shigeaki routinely interacts with professional players to determine their needs and demands. Based on this research, the designer produces gloves that are performance-driven, durable, and comfortable.
Expansion by Tech and Supply Chain:
Owing to the high-tech nature of modern glove manufacturing, involving sophisticated machinery that ensures consistency in sizes and cuts based on pre-established specifications, whether a baseball glove is produced in Chicago, Vietnam, or Japan does not make much of a difference.
A baseball aficionado is most concerned with the quality of leather used. Low-quality gloves are prone to cracking or drying, while the leather strings keeping the glove together also have very short lives. Wilson, being a high-volume glove manufacturer with a reputation to maintain, implements stringent quality control measures throughout the manufacturing process.
In the 1980s, Wilson decided to adopt a global view with regards to manufacturing, and initiated subsidies in countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and France. Later, the company also established manufacturing plants in Scotland, St. Vincent, Haiti, and Canada.
Why Did Wilson Decide to Go Global?
The main reason that Wilson decided to expand its operations beyond the US, was the growing popularity of baseball throughout the world –a trend that had been persisting for the last few decades. Popular baseball players like Miguel Cabrera, Ichiro Suzuki, and Fernando Valenzuela created hordes of fans in the countries from which these players hailed.
The popularity of baseball led to the development of youth leagues, new fields, and a general increase in baseball interest in foreign countries, particularly Asian countries like Japan, as well as the Caribbean nations like Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. With this skyrocketing increase in demand for baseball equipment, it was not smart to keep producing in Chicago and enduring the high shipping costs of delivering premium baseball equipment to different parts of the world.
History of Wilson Sporting Goods:
It all began with the genius and brilliance of Thomas E. Wilson, who was a railway worker prior to starting this company. Thanks to his determination and dedication, Thomas Wilson was able to form a sporting goods company and started manufacturing all kinds of in-demand baseball goods and equipment.
Prior to being named Wilson, the company was called ‘Sulzberger and Schwarzschild’. However, in 1916, it ultimately came under the ownership of Wilson, Ashland, and Co. With his excellent leadership, Thomas Wilson became one of the leading suppliers of the baseball equipment industry, and was able to establish a brand that eventually became renowned throughout the baseball world.
In 1921, the company started exhibiting its catalog of products, which included balls, bats made using wood, gloves, mitts (gloves for women), and kit bags for baseball items. Other than that, Wilson even produced armor suits and catcher’s masks. All in all, the Wilson Sporting Goods company had become a one-stop shop for a baseball player looking for game-related equipment.
One of the company’s most renowned glove models is called the ‘Wilson Game Model’. This model has an ingenious design – the kind that only Thomas Wilson would have been able to produce.
Why Are Wilson Gloves Preferred by So Many Major League Baseball Players?
With pro baseball players, the deciding factor for any piece of equipment is trust and quality. Gloves are often seen as extensions of our hands, and should be so comfortable that you forget that you are even wearing them. Also, the more a particular brand is raved about (especially in the professional world), the more the other players tend to take note and consider going for the same brand.
In the last few years, there has been a lot of interest in customized gloves. For this reason, smaller companies that make custom-made gloves have given larger players like Wilson a real run for their money, keeping these giants honest and on their toes at all times. These major players, therefore, have had to adjust and react to players’ changing desires and style preferences. Today’s gloves are drastically different to those that were manufactured just twenty years ago; the modern-day baseball glove is full of new elements and technological advances, added as a result of opinions and inputs given by professional baseball players.
Can You Start Using a Wilson Glove Immediately After Purchasing It?
Yes, even though Wilson’s gloves can be used in-game as soon as they are bought, you would do well to first ‘break into’ your new gloves. Although Wilson uses top-quality leather which makes the gloves instantly pliable, other, lower-quality gloves are often quite stiff and will need a bit of time and tricks before they can be used in an actual game.
Our Final Thoughts:
To sum up, Wilson is one of the biggest names in the world of baseball equipment. Although the company’s headquarters is located in Chicago, it manufactures its products in many different countries throughout the globe.
To learn more about baseball gear and equipment, please feel free to check out some of the other blogs on our website.