Luke threw the ball just a little over my head. I stretched and caught it.
And then I heard the ball hit the fence.
I reasoned that I missed the ball because I was in the middle of telling a story to Luke’s mom. Misses happen. Bad throws happen. No big deal. Just keep playing.
I leaned over to flip up the ball when I saw through my glove.
It finally happened. Twenty-eight years of chewed-on, sun-baked, leather laces snapped. For the first time, I didn’t even have my other gloves with me. I left them in the van because I knew Luke had his own glove. And I parked on the complete opposite side of Meador Park, unaware of the construction they were doing near the field I used to play on that isn’t there any longer.
So I caught the rest of Luke’s throws on my palm.
Luke, age 14, is pretty much my size, and 100% my kinda guy.
A Cardinals guy. Ok, so I’m a Royals guy.
An Ozzie and Yadi and Paul DeJong guy. I mean, I’m Bo and Salvy and Gordo guy.
An MVP of the MLB dream-chasing guy. I just want to throw out a first pitch at the K.
He cheers Glendale. I root for Kickapoo, with strong Central leanings.
But, despite our team and player cheering differences, during the post-game-of-catch selfie and interview portion, Luke said this:
“Playing catch was definitely the high point of my day.”
My kind of guy.
We laughed and had fun and celebrated weather that felt marvelously spring-like. Thanks to the new hole in my glove, I dropped so, so many throws I had to break a rule and apologize to Luke.
And the best advice he’s ever received?
“Never give up.”
Amen. Luke is definitely my kind of guy.
Even when strings break, never give up.
I’m hoping I just played catch with the MVP of the 2030 World Series winning Royals.
Side note: If you are a praying kind of person, please pray that all the strings in my arm hold together better than the laces. Preferably for the rest of the year. Without any need for surgery.