Internet Lesson #00001: You can’t believe everything you read.
To quote myself, which feels like a weird thing to do, I said this on January 8. “I don’t expect to find 365 catch-playing friends, but I’m willing to play catch with just about anyone. Plus, I’ve always got my daughters as backup. If they play catch with me, I’ll do one of their chores for them. Probably dishes. Neither one of them are a fan of dishes.”
You can read my words and confirm the date in the Cut4 interview.
Three days later, on January 11, MSN.com and Inside Edition posted the following headline, “Man Resolves to Play Catch With Someone New Every Day in 2018.”
I never said that.
Playing catch is all about connection and relationship. Which is probably why I love Field of Dreams so much. (And why I’m thrilled Alamo Drafthouse is doing a benefit screening for Miracle League on April 9.)
The only way I know how to do anything is with all of my heart. I watch every movie, read every book, and always cheer for the Royals with all of my heart. When I wrote The Cowboy Year and spent a year playing cowboy with Dad, it affected which movies and TV shows I chose to watch. Always, always all my heart.
When I read the MSN.com headline, I thought that idea was pretty cool. So, for 90 days now, I’ve poured my heart into finding different catch-playing partners and writing their stories. It’s literally affected my dreams. But I still want to write stories of playing catch with my daughters.
This season, MLB amended the rules in an attempt to speed up games by limiting the number of mound visits to 6, with exceptions granted on umpire approval. The number of mound visits and the length of a game have never really bothered me, but I’ll follow MLB’s lead. I will continue trying my best to find as many different catch-playing friends as possible with this amendment: On six occasions, I will play catch with my daughters, either separately or together, to get their advice and perspective on the whole endeavor.
Already, they have both played catch with me multiple times in advance of other games or just joining in for fun. They have both been humble and content to stay in the background. Two days ago, on Opening Day, they were both present for the poem reading and catch playing at the elementary school. They helped students pick out gloves and took pictures.
Should I want to utilize their arms more, I will appeal to umpire Perry Barber, who I am hoping will find a way to come to Branson and call games at some point this summer.
On Easter Sunday, I’m hoping to play catch with both of them, even with the absurd April 1 weather. That story will count as visit #1.
Now, to go find someone for Day #90…