Puppies…Nostalgia…father/son bonding. Take me out to the ballgame!
( a note from Mike to me: “… please use the pic of my glove and don’t
title the story some silly thing like ‘love glove’. Thanks, Mike) OK…I didn’t.
Mike Casper, author and previous prize-winner at the Towers that are A Word with You Press offers a story guaranteed to catch your attention. It even has puppies in it! And it is so sweet and innocent that I spare him the seventh grade humo(u)r that has made me so loved and revered on this site! (Please be sure to check out the links following the story. And PLEASE don’t be shy about entering the contest yourself! https://awordwithyoupress.com/2018/11/24/our-new-contest-high-heeled-sneakers/)
Here is his story about a glove that Michael Jackson would envy
My Baseball Glove
by Mike Casper
Puppies don’t think twice about gnawing on things. It’s their nature. So, when I discovered Welly, my family’s four-month-old puppy, finishing off my most prized possession, my baseball glove, I was both angry and forgiving. I hugged Welly, told him I loved him, and he licked my face. My parents tried to console me by saying that I was acting pretty grown up for a seven-year-old boy, and I was proud.
But it was early in the baseball season, my family was poor, and I had a game the next day.
I retreated to my room to cry, yes, I cried a little, but after a while, I looked up and saw my Dad standing in my bedroom doorway. With a toss of his head, he beckoned ‘come on,’ and we got in the family car.
We drove downtown Albany, to a side of town I’d been to only a few times. We parked on a cobblestoned street in front of a seamy, sooty, red-bricked warehouse building. A run-down neon sign hanging out front read, Johnny Evers Sporting Goods, and I thought, whoa. Even at seven years old, I was familiar with the double play combination Tinker to Evers to Chance, where the three players exploited a loophole in the rules of the game for a guaranteed double play.
Eventually, Major League Baseball outlawed the play with it’s ‘infield fly rule,’ but their names live on in baseball history. Just ask any true fan of the game.
Well, I thought my Dad was taking me to meet Johnny Evers to make me feel better, and, as we entered the store, I was disappointed to learn of his death long ago. But then my Dad said to pick out a new baseball glove.
I was astounded and protested a little. Our family always seemed to have more month at the end of the paycheck, and I earned my own money by collecting glass soda bottles from neighbors and turning them in at the local grocery store. A quarter was a LOT of money to me, and I was even more astonished when my dad said not to worry about the cost, but to get a good one. Overwhelmed, I chose an $18 Spalding brand ‘Dick McAuliffe’ model, mainly because I thought the diamond pattern on the inside webbing was cool.
I proudly wore my glove throughout little league baseball, intramural softball at university, and years later, playing catch with my children in front of my house. Now it patiently waits for the chance to play catch with my grandchildren.
But every once in a while, I take it from its honored place in my dresser drawer next to my socks, slip my fingers deep into its leathery softness, close my eyes, and inhale its memories. All of me is captured in those worn leather strips bound up around my hand, and I just sit and think. I’m at peace at how things have turned out, and life is good.
Author: *The Sing Song Child, a love story*
*A rich disabled boy, a poor peasant girl, an aging war hero becomes a hero
again, roses that somehow bloom in winter’s snows…and the songs of
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