It is official: A Year of Playing Catch is available for pre-order!
Robert Benson, author of The Game: One Man, Nine Innings & a Love Affair With Baseball, wrote this endorsement, “This book is a gem like baseball itself — everyday, interesting, thoughtful and funny. It is an inside the book home run.”
Backyard wiffle ball and Nintendo baseball not included, it’s the only home run I’ve ever “hit.”
National Play Catch Week begins June 21. The brainchild of Rhett Grametbauer of the Play Catch Movement, the whole purpose of the week is to invite others into the joy-filled cause.
“Playing catch brings family, friends, and communities closer together while providing invaluable physiological skills,” Rhett said.
Playing catch is good for the body and the brain. In this play-deprived country, playing catch is a great way to not only have fun and get some exercise, it’s a way to strengthen relationships and inspire new dreams. Playing catch helps us practice our empathy, cooperation, and communication skills. With everything in me, I believe that playing catch is for all people.
Unfortunately, MLB will not be playing any catch during National Play Catch Week. I’m almost positive Alex Gordon misses my invitations and the Royals miss my Twitter pleas for a first-pitch opportunity. By this point of the summer, I had plans to attend at least two different baseball games at the K. I wanted to Dress to the Nines and get a picture with Bob Kendrick and watch the Royals play in Monarchs uniforms. I was also planning on celebrating Isaiah’s 16th birthday with a game of parking lot catch before the Royals battled the Mariners.
Not only did the 350 ballplayers from the Boys & Girls Club miss the chance to cheer on their favorite professional teams and players this summer, they missed playing in their spring league.
But there is good news!
In mid-July the Boys & Girls Club teams will start practicing, with plans to play games throughout August and September. They will get the chance to play on their own favorite teams and alongside their own favorite players. They will make their own favorite baseball memories of 2020.
I had an idea to kick-off National Play Catch Week and celebrate the pre-selling of the book.
Starting at 10 AM on Saturday, June 20, at CY Sports Center, I will participate in a marathon game of catch. My catch-partners will be friends from the Grip’N’Rip Baseball League. (Tryouts for Season V are on August 2. Here’s hoping another team needs an old guy.)
With the help of Rance Burger, the voice of the GRBL, I’ll be livestreaming the effort on Facebook. As long as I’m playing catch, I’ll be asking for donations for the Boys & Girls Club, so that when their league opens, they’ll have new equipment to use. Everyone loves getting a new glove.
I’ve been encouraged to set a goal for this endeavor, not necessarily for funds raised, but for how long I can throw a ball. Assuming my arm lasts longer than 15 minutes, I’ll switch out throwing partners every 15 minutes so I don’t wear out their arms. The modest goal, then, is 2 hours. If I can play catch for two hours, I’ll be satisfied. Anything above that will be icing on the cake.
While MLB struggles to find ways to get the season started, consider donating the price of a ticket or your parking or how much you might have spent on concessions to encourage the next generation of ballplaying dreamers. I’m hoping to grow the game one game of catch at a time.