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Traditional Thursday: Baby Oil Leather

Welcome to a Baby Oil Leather Traditional Thursday! Today I’m showing you how to weatherproof your leathers at home using the all important baby oil. It’s a tried and tested method, and I learned it from Jeremy Thompson, so you know it’s good.

The genesis of this conversation followed an MLL game between the New York Lizards and Jeremy’s Hamilton Nationals in NYC. It had been pouring rain for much of the night, and I noticed that Jeremy was still using his leather traditional pocket in the elements, so post-game, I asked him how he made it work in the wet. Baby oil leather, here we come.

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan
Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan

Jeremy responded that he used baby oil to treat his leathers before he strung up his pocket, and would sometimes rub a little extra baby oil in to them when needed, or before/after rainy games. The baby oil keeps the leathers soft, and makes them less susceptible to bagging out in the rain.

I messed around with this treatment method for a while, and now I’m feeling confident that I’ve got it down to a science. And that’s where the video starts. Pre-stretch your leathers, then let them dry out, then begin:

Baby Oil Leather Tutorial

And in case you’d like to try this, but don’t know how to string traditional, I’ve got you covered:

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Bonus Tip – After A Rainy Game

After I used my traditional in a rain, mud, or snow-filled game, I have a very specific procedure for making sure the pocket doesn’t warp.

1) Crumple up newspaper, or paper towels. Pack this paper into the pocket so that the pocket is pushed back, like it would be with a ball in it.
2) Sit the pocket in a well ventilated spot for 15-30 minutes. Do not dry it with a fan or hairdryer. Do not sit it in the sun. This could cause the leathers to dry too quickly, and shrink or warp.
3) Remove the paper, and put in a tennis ball with a chopstick where you like your pocket to sit, but only when the leathers are relatively dry to the touch.
4) Allow the stick to sit like this overnight.
5) Play wall ball with the stick once the leathers are fully dried out. Make adjustments as needed.