First thing this morning I took my favorite glove to Jeff at Play It Again Sports for surgery. He promised to take care of it and return it by day’s end.
Over the past 48 hours, I’ve worn and tossed a ball into every glove I own, except the vintage Wilson — I don’t want to wear that one out. The other five gloves are all perfectly fine, good gloves. I have memories with all of them. First glove for my first team. Gap glove through junior high. Dad’s catcher’s mitt for pitching lessons. Dad’s softball mitt. Jamie’s glove from high school. But they just aren’t the same. Modifying the words of Roberto DeVicenzo, what a silly I am for forming a strong emotional attachment to an inanimate object. I checked my flip phone a lot today, hoping to speed up the re-lacing process.
In the summer of 2015, one month before I broke my ankle, my family was at Silver Springs Park for a birthday celebration. After presents and after cake, a game of catch broke out between a mom and her two sons. I rushed to the van and grabbed my old backpack full of gloves and asked to join the game.
That afternoon, borrowing gloves or bearing their own, multiple people entered and exited the game of catch. The mom, her two sons, and I were the constants in the game that lasted at least an hour, maybe longer. I do remember my hat being thoroughly saturated afterwards, sweat dripping a steady stream from the bill.
More than a year later, maybe even closer to two years later, during a small group Bible study session, I learned that I had been playing catch with Harper (my Sunday catch-playing friend) and Atticus and their mom, Kendi.
We played catch before we became friends. I love that story.
Kendi and I pretty much sorted out all the details of that first serendipitous catch-playing as we tossed a ball in the front yard much to the delight of her pup, Judy. Thankfully, the rain held-off just long enough today. The rest of this week does not look very favorable. (If you have access to an indoor game of catch, please let me know.)
Kendi is an INFJ with a brilliantly witty sense of humor. Her quips and jokes always make me laugh. She’s on the leadership team at church and works with the youth with her husband, Curtis (Day #46).
Kendi played catcher and first base on her school’s fast-pitch softball team.
“I never used a catcher’s mitt, though. Just an old Wilson. That glove’s still in Ohio, though.”
She also played basketball, swam every stroke on the swim team, was a cheerleader, and threw the discus and shot-put in track.
And it was during this afternoon’s game of catch that I learned Harper uses Kendi’s glove on Sunday mornings.
We finished playing catch right as Harper, Atticus, and their sister, Radley, got home from school.
Harper snagged his mom’s glove and I played catch with him for a few minutes before braving the Springfield traffic and heading home.
A block away from my house, Play It Again Sports called.
My favorite glove is once again ready for action.
Good news: MLB Opening Day is only 3 days away and Miracle League starts in 3 weeks!