“Don’t play ball inside!”
I probably should have a t-shirt with that motto on it. Over the years, with good reason, numerous adults have said those words to me. I’ve broken that rule and, as a result, broken various household items. I don’t think listing all the broken things is necessary.
Play It Again Sports is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the majority of those years spent in the Fremont Center where the movie theater used to be. I go there often to gawk at golf equipment and the massive wall of gloves.
I was completely surprised when Jeff, the owner at Play It Again Sports, invited me for an indoor game.
“Where?” I asked.
“Right here,” he said.
Between the free weights and stationary bikes and baseball section.
On an aisle about 40-inches wide.
Surrounded my plenty of breakable things.
I was afraid of joining the “if you break it, you buy it” club.
Jeff took a couple of steps back and whizzed the ball right at me, inches away from the display of gloves. Besides being the earliest game of catch of the year — there is a reason ball games are in the afternoon or evening — I was still stiff and sore from an evening workout of push-ups, planks, wall sits, and jumping jacks with my daughter. There is no way I’m not throwing anything hard unless I’m on a diamond or a mound.
We tossed and talked, or “caught and conversed” as Jill said, and Jeff encouraged me to keep up the good catch playing work. He gave me an education into the baseball glove world which I found fascinating.
And then Jeff told me about taking indoor ground ball practice.
Stiff and sore or not, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. The only thing I love more than taking ground ball practice is shagging flies, and there is no way that’s happening inside. We switched ends of the store, he grabbed a bat off the shelf, backed up another ten feet, and then took a solid swing at the ball. I got into a decent rhythm fielding and tossing the ball back, until I threw the ball behind Jeff. The hand of the blue man mannequin was the casualty.
Before I left, Jeff grabbed an old Wilson glove off the wall and tossed it my way. It was a glove for a left-handed thrower. I don’t have any left-handed gloves.
“Keep up the good work,” he said.
Thank you Jeff for helping me take one step closer to Day #365!