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Introducing The Funnel AFL 11 from Akadema
- Updated: September 6, 2009
There are a few scents that I know of that really wake me up. One is the smell of freshly cut grass (especially that of Fenway Park as smelled from behind the Green Monster), freshly cut wood, the smell of a new leather baseball glove and a certain perfume that my wife wears which I won’t list here.
Well, I’ve only been to Fenway twice this year, I haven’t cut any fresh wood lately and I said I wasn’t about to talk about my wife’s choice of perfume, but I was given a brand new baseball glove recently. It came from the nice people at Akadema Professional to use and review here at Baseball Reflections. I was short an infielders glove as mine was lost last summer so the timing was perfect. So was the fit of the glove. At just around the same height as Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia (2007 Rookie of the Year and 2008 AL MVP), I have small hands and this glove fit me perfectly!
Here are the technical specs for the glove: AFL 11: 11.5″ pattern, two-tone, I-web, dual-hinge with inverted thumb and pinky finger design, open back, medium pocket.
In layman’s terms, what that means is that I am the proud owner of an Akadema Funnel AFL 11 which measures 11.5″ from the bottom of the palm to the tips of the fingers. It is an infielders glove (2B/3B/SS) with a medium pocket so that you can get to throwing the ball quickly and not fumble with trying to get the ball out. Two-tone just comments on the color (see the picture), open back and the I-web is the style of the pocket webbing. The dual-hinge with inverted thumb and pinky finger design refers to the patent pending FleXion slit (in the thumb and pinky) that allows the glove to remain in a unique V-shape that keeps it open in its natural state. This allows the infielder to always be at the ready to field a hot shot as the glove does most of the work of opening up to receive the ball due to this design.
To elaborate more on the FleXion patent, it is good to know that a lot of infielders have gotten into the habit of bending back their gloves in this fashion. They see it as gaining an advantage in fielding a sharply hit ball because it cuts down on the effort of opening up the glove, hence allowing them the crucial extra seconds to make the play. It is said to “allow the fielder the maximum fielding surface available for that hard ground ball up the middle or that two hopper in the hole“.
The only negative thing I can say about this glove is that it’s a little tougher to break in due to the thumb and pinky inserts, but the end result of that innovation is sure to make up for it. Due to that fact, I highly recommend purchasing their Mitt Masher and Glove Conditioner to assist you in the breaking in process. Consider it a new glove starter’s kit!
As a reminder, this is a professional-quality glove.
Players who use Akadema gloves are the Phillies CF Shane Victorino, the Dodgers LF Manny Ramirez (who has his own model on their site) and they are endorsed by Hall of Famers pitcher Bob Feller, catcher Gary Carter and LF/1B Carl Yastrzemski. Akadema, Inc. is now based out of Hawthorne, NJ.Hawthorne, NJ.
Please see the previous article on their Patriot Series Gloves which are made in the USA!