I do not think I ever played catch with my sister when we were growing up. We probably didn’t play catch because I was that first-born, selfish kind of brother who was completely wrapped up in all things about me — baseball, baseball cards, soccer, golf, getting good grades, and my latest crush. I knew some about my little sister’s life of dancing, but never asked about her dreams or aspirations. For both of our sakes, I wished she had not followed in my broken-front-tooth footsteps.
Katy and her husband Joseph are speech pathologists in central Arkansas, working on a team at a multi-disciplinary diagnostic clinic specializing in developmental disabilities. They live with a Shipley’s Donuts just up the street and the best cheese dip in the world available at the local grocery store.
Pancho’s Cheese Dip. So, so good.
“I just thought if I could find someone else for you to play catch with, that would be great,” Katy said. And she did, both for today and tomorrow.
Two doors down the street lives Collin, a high school sophomore with New York Yankees’ aspirations.
“Go big or go home,” his mom said with a laugh.
In fifth grade, Collin wrote Derek Jeter a letter asking for season tickets. This is a brilliant idea. Maybe I can employ Collin’s help in my pursuit to throw out a first pitch for the Royals. Jeter and his Turn 2 Foundation replied and Collin’s been a fan of number 2 ever since. Collin wears number 2 as a tribute to Jeter and I thought the timing was rather ironic because of yesterday’s game of catch which Derrick wrote about here for The Valdosta Daily Times.
Collin’s currently a third baseman and pitcher and for the Conway High School baseball team and we spread out across his front lawn to play catch. Pop-ups and grounders and curveballs that didn’t break and change-ups that bounced. At one point, we switched gloves so he could get a feel for the A2000 and I could enjoy his infielder’s mitt. It wasn’t long until I was thoroughly saturated in sweat.
“Baseball’s taught me that there are no shortcuts,” Collin said. It sounded exactly like something Jeter once said, “There may be people who have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do — and I believe that.”
Before he plays for the Yankees, Collin would like to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks. With their success at the College World Series this year, I can’t say I blame him.
After posing for pictures, I walked back up the street, shed my shoes and socks and went straight into the pool to cool off. I grabbed cheese dip and Dr Pepper to help with the writing of this story.
“Baseball, Donuts, and Cheese Dip could be the title of your next best-seller,” Joseph said.
“I’d have to write a first best-seller first,” I replied.