The idea sparked at the Field of Dreams screening.
A catch-playing road trip.
Initially, I didn’t pay any attention to the idea. But it wouldn’t leave me alone. While the girls were at school, I’d find myself thinking of places I wanted to go and people I want to play catch with. Like Florida.
I want to go to Florida for two reasons.
- To play catch with Aaron and his son Eli. They live in Jacksonville, home of the Jumbo Shrimp where Eli works, a fantastic MiLB name. The only time I played catch with Aaron, my left foot was in a cast and I was under strict non-weight bearing orders. Even with my foot on a five-gallon bucket, we had a blast and his wife took some phenomenal pictures, but I didn’t get to practice my sliders or turning two or shagging flies.
- To play catch with the Daytona Tortugas. They were the first MiLB team to reach out to me on January 11 and they play in Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
But, if I go to Florida to play catch and don’t take the girls to Universal Studios, I would be walking home.
Thanks to the Cut4 article and the CBS story, I have invitations to play catch all across the country. Some of the invitations include:
Corey in Atlanta.
Garrett in Virginia Beach.
Scott in Pennsylvania.
Shaun and Shane (twins) in Illinois.
Nicole in Huntsville.
Heather in Rhode Island.
Lisa and her three sons in Denver.
David in Pigeon Forge.
Nathan in Maryland.
Katie in New York.
Craig in Raleigh.
Just yesterday, a dear friend told me that if I come to San Diego when the Dodgers are in town, she can put me in touch with Tommy Lasorda. How cool would that be?
I could not have imagined any of this when I played catch with Sophie and Kaylea on January 1.
Much to the disappointment of 6-year old me, I’m not independently wealthy like Batman (though I do know Springfield Batman!) and I cannot afford to travel the country and play catch.
But I know this idea will not leave me alone. In the words of Liz Gilbert from Big Magic, I have entered a contract with the catch-playing idea to give it everything I have and trust that something good and beautiful will happen.
With Jamie’s help, I have planned a 10-day, two thousand-mile, catch-playing road trip. We’ll travel by van and listen to audio books and stay with friends as much as possible.
The Catch 365 Tour of Hope.
Planned games of catch include:
Brett the Artist.
A charity softball game to help raise money for a woman with stage 4 cancer.
SuperBo and the Macan family.
Omaha Storm Chasers GM.
Nate and Baseball Seams Co.
Ryan, a cancer survivor.
Bigby, born with Tetralogy of Fallot and has had multiple heart surgeries.
A player from the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.
Jeremy, a Royals super-fan who is doing humanitarian work in Puerto Rico.
Other games of catch are in the works and I know there will be some days where there will be multiple catch playing stories.
A part of me feels guilty asking for financial assistance to travel and write catch-playing stories. Last night, one of my friends sent me a note. “You always encourage people to dream big and live great stories. Now we get to help you as you chase your dreams and live your own great story.”
To put feet to this dream, I created a Go Fund Me.
As Kinsella wrote, “Even if you fail, you’ve still taken a risk.”
Or, maybe his better words are, “Go the distance.”