“I won’t be happy until we have every boy in America between the ages of six and sixteen wearing a glove and swinging a bat.” – Babe Ruth
I was at physical therapy yesterday working on getting my knee in shape (it’s getting there) and one of the exercises I now do is a crouch. My physical terrorist, the fabulous Mandy, pointed out to me that I need to be a little further back as I get into the crouch and it made me think of my days, oh so very long ago, when I was a catcher. So from that point on, each time I went into the crouch, I gave a signal to my imaginary pitcher and then I got up and crouched again. It actually seemed a lot less painful that way.
As I continued to do this, my mind drifted to the ballplayers in Florida and Arizona and how good it must feel to be back playing ball. I kept thinking how much I used to love catching a baseball. Perhaps, of all the sports-related activities I have tried, I don’t think anything was more fun than feeling that ball enter the mitt.
Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson said it best, “It’s a pretty sure thing that the player’s bat is what speaks loudest when it’s contract time, but there are moments when the glove has the last word.”
Most of us are realistic as to what our glove can do, and that included Reggie Jackson, who said, “The only way I’m going to win a Gold Glove is with a can of spray paint.” The great baseball writer Jim Murray described the ultimate glove: “Willie Mays‘ glove is where triples go to die.”
Baseball gloves are a great piece equipment, when it fits right, and it is well broken in, it truly feels a part of you. An extension that feels so natural, so comfortable, so right. And as sporting goods go, they are pretty affordable (check out the Amazon link below if you need a new one).
The great baseball historian, John Thorne, summed it up, “Donning a glove for a backyard toss, or watching a ball game, or just reflecting upon our baseball days, we are players again, forever young.”
Back to my exercises.