When I got home from the twilight game of catch there was a new glove waiting for me.
Sean of Painted Gloves told me to contact Brett of Play OK Antiques in my pursuit of a vintage glove suitable for playing catch. Brett, from Connecticut, grew up a Royals fan. In 1985, he went to his first game, watching the Royals play the Red Sox at Fenway. Another Royals fan at that game gave Brett a foul ball hit by someone whose last name was the same as his first. Brett sent the glove for free — 1940’s model, split-finger Wilson.
“Glad to help out a Royals fan who is doing something cool.”
I woke up this morning and could not wait to use it.
I tossed the ball around with Kaylea while waiting for the church doors to open for worship band practice. I tossed the ball with Harper, Atticus, and Brennan before worship; they each tried on the funny-looking glove. After church, I met Owen.
Owen from Blue Springs was in town visiting family and to watch the MSU Bears basketball game. We connected at the Jenny Lincoln Field where a baseball practice was already underway. Owen has the honor of being my first southpaw catch-playing partner. I caught pretty much everything he threw right in the middle of my palm. Though it stung a little bit, I was wonderfully entertained and distracted by Owen’s baseball stories:
The Barry Bonds autograph story.
His daughter met Buck O’Neil at the NLBM story.
Watching Alex Gordon play in the College World Series story.
But his best story starts with the 2014 postseason. Shortly after Game 1 of the ALDS started, Owen was rushed to the hospital. He spent the entire postseason in the hospital, recovering from surgery repairing a ruptured esophagus. He was dismissed the day after the Royals lost the World Series.
The redemption part of the story, however, is amazing. Thanks to a connection from college, Owen watched the Royals play the Astros in the 2015 ALDS from the owner’s suite.
I completely lost track of time playing catch with Owen. Thirty minutes later, after one throw popped nicely on my palm, we decided to call it a day. My left hand matched his Nebraska red Royals hat.
Baseball tells the best stories.