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Glove Day brings back memories for Cubs

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has a box at home stuffed with about 30 of his gloves. He can't part with them. If you picked one randomly out of the box, Schwarber says he could tell you when he wore it. His glove from his college days on the Indiana team is in there.

"I'm a big glove hoarder," Schwarber said. "If I have gloves, I like to hoard them. If you get that connection, it's hard to let it go. Any glove I get, I keep."

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has a box at home stuffed with about 30 of his gloves. He can't part with them. If you picked one randomly out of the box, Schwarber says he could tell you when he wore it. His glove from his college days on the Indiana team is in there.

"I'm a big glove hoarder," Schwarber said. "If I have gloves, I like to hoard them. If you get that connection, it's hard to let it go. Any glove I get, I keep."

Tweet from @Cubs: Happy #GloveDay at #SpringTraining! pic.twitter.com/9ttI8tAg7h

On Wednesday, Schwarber and several other Cubs players got new gloves courtesy of Wilson Sporting Goods, which made a stop at Cubs camp.

Jon Lester received his own Game Model (GM) glove, joining a select group of players such as Dustin Pedroia, Mookie Betts, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa to receive that honor. Fans will be able to purchase a Lester model, and a portion of the proceeds will go toward his NVRQT Foundation.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Other Cubs who use Wilson gloves include Willson Contreras, Tommy La Stella, Anthony Bass, Oscar De La Cruz, Alec Mills, Mike Montgomery, Randy Rosario, Duane Underwood, Justin Wilson and Rob Zastryzny.

"I remember [my first Wilson glove] -- they let me pick one out of a bag and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world," Zastryzny said. "I still think it's pretty cool when they show up and they're like, 'Here, take a glove.'"

Most kids remember their first gloves. Zastryzny does.

"My first glove was a two-way glove," Zastryzny said. "It was red and my brother's was blue because my parents had no idea what hand we were. I threw right-handed. After a couple months of doing that, what I've been told is I switched because my brother was right-handed and I wanted to be the other hand and the glove was reverseable. That's what switched me to being a left-handed pitcher."

Each year, Zastryzny gives his glove away to someone who needs a left-handed glove. However, he kept his glove from the Cubs' 2016 World Series championship season.

"If I have a really good year, like the one from '16, that one is sitting at home," Zastryzny said. "I'll do something special with that one."

Contreras said it's like Christmas when the Wilson glove reps arrive.

"We usually have two or three gloves, and one of those is the gamer," Contreras said. "You take care of your gamer glove like a baby, like a little baby. The other two, you take for practice or catch extra bullpens. The gamer glove is a baby."

Contreras would like to someday be recognized as the top defensive catcher in the game.

"Someday, if I get to win a Gold Glove, I might ask [Wilson] to put an extra 'L' in Wilson," Contreras said, smiling. "For right now, it'll stay like that."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

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