In 1990, Cheri gave me my first Father’s Day gift. She knew that I loved baseball and I couldn’t wait for the day
would be old enough to throw the ball with me.
I played some softball before Austin
was born, but my glove was stolen. She
had seen me admire a Wilson first baseman’s mitt called “The Big Scoop” in the
store but it was expensive, and I couldn’t justify spending the money. Being the diligent saver, Cheri had collected
enough stamps from her grocery shopping to redeem for the baseball glove, and
she surprised me with it on Father’s Day.
Over the years I’ve used it countless times, throwing the ball with my boys, pitching batting practice to their youth baseball teams and occasionally playing on the neighborhood softball team. I found it in the laundry room cabinet about a week ago. It’s been there, unused, the entire six years we’ve lived in our current house. The leather is dry and the laces are brittle.
I hadn’t thrown a ball in years, and remembered that I stopped throwing because of pain I had developed in my shoulder.
Tyler had just gotten home for the summer,
and we decided it was time to give throwing another try. It didn’t take long for us both to get back
in the groove, and we enjoyed hearing the whistle of the ball approaching and
the sound of the ball popping in our gloves.
I was just starting to get the curveball to break when Tyler smoked a fastball to me and the brittle
lacing in the web of my glove gave way.
The 22-year old glove is sitting on my desk as I write this, and I have no plans to replace it. With some new lacing and leather conditioning, it will live on, along with the memories it holds. I love that old baseball glove!