Rawlings OR 520 vs. RBG 36

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Rawlings OR 520 vs. RBG 36

Postby Cowboy7130 » May 2nd, 2007, 6:21 pm

I rescued a Rawlings OR 520 from a trash can a few years ago at the high school where I coached. It was a Dale Murphy, and I liked ol' Dale, so I thought it was a heckuva lucky find. I am usually a Wilson guy, because they fit my hand better, but this OR 520 fits great, and looks good on my hand!

Last year, I rescued a Rawlings Ken Griffey Jr. RBG 36 from a similar fate. But that glove fits badly, almost as if it was built to fit at a different angle than my hand. Otherwise, the two gloves are almost identical as far as size and features.

I see RBG 36 gloves on ebay all the time, but I have not recently seen any of the OR 520's. Can anyone tell me more about the OR 520, and more to the point, might anyone have an OR 520 Dale Murphy for sale?
Yes, I still have my first glove.
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Postby BretMan » May 2nd, 2007, 11:32 pm

I'm also curious about the Rawlings gloves with the "OR" model numbers.

There seems to be a few gaps in the Rawlings catalog information for the years these gloves were made. Judging from the style of these gloves and the players endorsing them, they seem to be from the early 80's. But I can't find any "OR" model numbers in the Catalog Source Book or the supplements.

I, too, had assumed that the RBG36 was an identical model to some of the "OR" gloves. Perhaps these were models sold through retail stores and not through the Rawlings catalog.

The first RBG36 I can find is in 1980 with a Reggie Jackson endorsement. That also seems to be the year that Rawlings adopted the "RBG" prefixed model numbers. Other listed models and their endorsers:

1981 through 1983 (Dave Winfield)

1984 through 1990 (Dale Murphy)

Sometime in the 90's Ken Griffey became the endorser on these gloves and that model number carried on it's long run. The RBG36 has been a mid-priced, 12.5 inch pattern, basket web, fastback stalwart in the Rawlings line-up for nearly three decades!

I have a mid-90's RSE36 (Rawling's Special Edition) that is the exact same pattern with slightly better leather and a Cal Ripken endorsement. This glove was originally purchased for my daughter, but she felt it was too big for her and it went unused for about five years. I switched over to a softball team after several seasons of playing adult baseball and needed a bigger glove, so I began using it.

After many seasons of softball since then, this glove still works great, is perfectly broken in and has lots of life left in it. I just tightened the laces and gave it a light coat of lanolin last weekend and it is looking beautiful! Even with literally hundreds of gloves in my collection, this old favorite is so comfortable that it is always the first one to go in the gear bag.

Funny that one of your "found" gloves seemed to fit you well and not the other. That could be due to how the gloves were broken in by their original owners and the amount of wear on the gloves.
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The old OR 520

Postby Cowboy7130 » May 3rd, 2007, 12:08 am

I guess you can't keep a good glove down ... I found it buried in a fire ant mound in an outdoor softball storage shed! I tried to return it to the owner, and she said throw it away. I couldn't do that to a good ol' ballglove!

But when I tried it on, it fit like it had been tailored for me. It is the only Rawlings that has ever fit like that. The RBG 36, in every one of its incarnations which I have encountered, has seemed clunky, crooked on my hand, and awkward, by comparison.

I am sitting here and staring at both gloves. It seems that the OR model is a 12" because it is a bit shorter than the RBG 36.

... I am trying to ignore the Dale Murphy RBG 36 on ebay right now ... even though it is a dead ringer for my OR 520 ...
Yes, I still have my first glove.
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OR or RBG

Postby softball66 » May 3rd, 2007, 8:40 am

Rawlings was tinkering with its numbering system in the 1980s. I'm sure "RBG" stood for Rawlings Ball Glove. "OR" I'm not sure, might mean made in Orient? Remember the Rawlings "GJ" models were import (glove Japan?) "OR" could also represent a particular outlet or chain for Rawlings and these were stamped at manufacturing to distinguish them for delivery. Like the "KM" (K-mart?) gloves we saw.
Rawlings made a lot of the nice Murphy gloves and many of them I remember in the Wal Mart stores.
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