Katy and Joseph are in town, so I brought the Mighty Henry donuts for breakfast. He picked the double chocolate for his first donut from St. George’s and I followed suit. For reasons unknown to anyone on this planet, he has taken to calling me “Uncle Deanie.” I have returned the love and christened him “Coconut.” After donuts and eggs and bacon, I finally convinced Katy, Coconut’s mom and my sister, to play catch.
“This is the first time I’ve worn a glove,” Katy said.
I started close with gentle underhand tosses. I had no desire to write a story about sending my sister to the ER or emergency dentist because of a bad throw or missed catch. It didn’t take long until we were spread out across the backyard, taking advantage of what little shade we could find. She practiced her wind-up and did an epic Fernando Valenzuela imitation, following the ball with her eyes instead of focusing on the target.
“Why did we not do this when we were younger?” she asked.
“Probably because I never thought of it,” I answered feeling a little guilty.
Should Coconut ever want to play baseball when he gets older, he will most likely have to catch and throw the ball with the same hand.
“Hemiplegia is Henry’s type of CP,” Katy said. “It just affects the left side of his body.”
I remembered the viral video of Luke earlier this spring, the eighth-grader who is a one-armed catcher. I also remembered the story of Jackson, Nolan Ryan’s grandson, who is a baseball player in Texas with CP and throws and catches with the same hand. So I put my glove on my right hand, flipped the ball in the air, dropped the glove, caught the ball, and threw it to Katy.
Katy wanted to try it.
Katy got the hang of the move almost immediately and then took it to the next level, catching the ball in her right hand and pinning the glove to her body with her left arm. She repeated the motion several times before we finally called Dad out to take pictures.
With a little creativity and perseverance, baseball truly is a game for all!
Side note: Congratulations to Harper and his team who won both games of a doubleheader yesterday to win the end-of-the-season championship!