Introducing the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROAK2MB, a glove that has not been in Rawlings’ lineup for a couple of years. Here are five things you must know about it before buying:
AK2 = TT2
Surely you’ve heard of the TT2 pattern, right?
Good news: if you’re a fan of the pattern that was on top of the glove world a few months ago, you’ll love the AK2 pattern. Here’s the thing.
The AK2 pattern is the same, exact pattern as the TT2. The same, exact thing. No joke. Here’s the story behind the linkage between the two patterns:
The AK2 was first built when Adam Kennedy wanted a flatter pattern than what Rawlings offered in the mid-2000’s. It did not gain any popularity in the MLB until a young, hot prospect came up and wanted to use this pattern.
That young player was named Troy Tulowitzki. When Kennedy started his departure from the MLB and Tulowitzki started gaining popularity in the league, Rawlings released an exact replica of the AK2 as a TT2. It was then that the TT2 was born from the AK2, and the rest is history.
So, the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROAK2MB is the same exact thing as the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROTT2 in pattern.
The AK2 is a 11.5″ pattern that plays super flat, a pattern that plays even shallower than the family of patterns considered by many to be the flattest Rawlings makes: the NP.
That said, the AK2 comes with a shallow pocket when combined with a single post web. Surprisingly enough, this once super shallow pocket transitions into one of the deepest patterns on the market. Weird, isn’t it? It’s true, though.
In other notes, the AK2 pattern has a thumb-to-middle finger close that works with either traditional or two-in-the-pinky grip.
Based on this, we recommend the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROAK2MB for middle infielders who will eventually like a deeper pocket.
On the back of the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROAK2MB is mesh, a synthetic material that Rawlings uses sparingly on a slew of gloves. Like any other material besides leather put on a glove, there’s a good and bad side to mesh.
The good side: Mesh makes gloves like the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROAK2MB lighter and therefore more controllable.
The bad side: Mesh is less durable than leather, making gloves like the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROAK2MB slightly less durable than an all-leather glove.
Is it worth it?
We think so – but only for smaller or medium built guys that want a lighter glove than you will usually find on the market.
The Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROAK2MB is a typical Heart of the Hide glove, with Steerhide leather and a Deer Tanned Cowhide liner.
We’ve found the Steerhide leather on the latest Heart of the Hide models to be softer than before but with a little better durability. The lacing, inserts, and padding are as good as they have ever been, and the liner is even softer and durable than the older models.
The Heart of the Hide line continues to be well worth the price tag Rawlings puts on it and one of the best lines on the planet. Given that, the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROAK2MB is well worth the money.
Although it has been on the market for five-plus months, the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROAK2MB is still considered a limited edition glove.
Even though it’s limited edition, the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROAK2MB is available for $250 at the link below.