Gio inserts personality, flair into glove design

Gio inserts personality, flair into glove design

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The first time Gio Gonzalez remembered a glove that really stood out to him in the Majors was when Jose Lopez rocked a solid teal glove as a middle infielder with the Mariners. That same style of glove was passed down to Seattle's current second baseman, Robinson Cano.

Gonzalez tries to add his own flair to his glove, and he has partnered with Wilson to create his own custom glove each season.

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"When [Lopez] did that, it was like immediately one of the coolest things, like, man you can finally add a little flavor, a little something to your glove," Gonzalez said. "Then Wilson started catching on to that, and basically you can put the color where you want it."

Gonzalez's glove is bright red, with blue laces and white lettering. There's a silhouette of himself in his delivery on the inside pocket near the pinky finger, and the name of his hometown, Hialeah, Fla., written in black ink on the outside -- "I put that there to kind of like, remember [to] never forget where I came from," he said.

He received his new glove for the year during Wilson Glove Day at Nationals camp last week along with Derek Norris, Koda Glover, Sammy Solis, Spencer Kieboom and Tanner Roark. Gonzalez uses about two gloves per season, constantly breaking one in along with the regularly-used one so he is never caught off-guard if one breaks.

Gonzalez gloves Altherr's liner

He joked that breaking in the current glove is easy, because playing catch with hard-throwing Enny Romero is getting the job done. The glove is made to be slightly larger than his hand, which he believes allows him to be more deceptive on the mound, and helps him to better field his position.

"Tom Glavine liked a real big glove, just to hide the ball just a little bit more," Gonzalez said. "I like that theory."

Gonzalez does not keep his gloves after the season. Instead, he might donate them to a high school kid from his hometown. He also passes some along to his father.

Gonzalez enjoys the partnership with Wilson that gives him the ability to insert some of his personality into each glove.

"As far as what Wilson gloves are doing, they're taking it to another level," he said. "They're personally molding it, crafting it to basically exactly what you want."

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.