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The Special Bond Between Player and Glove

I think it’s very telling that the one thing a man keeps from childhood through his adult life is his baseball glove. Mike and I brought our gloves into the MLB Fan Cave today for the first time and had a catch in the part of the Cave that we affectionately refer to as "The Bullpen". And, though I'm sorry to say it had been way too long since I'd had a catch, it was great to throw the baseball around, if only for a bit. And it made me think about the attachment men and women have to their gloves. Mine, for instance, is literally like a child to me. I can still remember the painstaking lengths I went to in order to make sure my glove had the perfect break. I oiled it, rubbed it down, baked it in the oven, and even put two balls in it, wrapped it up with a shoestring, and slept with it under my pillow. Now, it may seem strange for a 23-year-old man to sleep with a mitt under his pillow, but these are time-honored traditions. (For the record, and in case you can't catch subtle humor, that was a joke. I was 19.) I mean, come on, I can almost guarantee you Willie Mays rubbed all sorts of things into his glove to make it feel just right.

And, to be perfectly honest, you can sort of tell when someone hasn't put in the necessary time and effort into the breaking in of his glove. Have you ever seen or even used a glove that was broken in in such a way that the thumb and pinky of the glove didn't match up just perfectly? It's embarrassing! You just have to sort of look at the person who gave it to you as if to say, "Really, guy? Didn't anyone ever show you how to break in this glove?”

Having a catch is a special time for anyone. Whether it's a dad and son, a mom and daughter, or just two buddies in college. Some of my favorite times were spent having a catch, and the centerpiece of that has and will always be the glove. You remember your gloves. My first was a bright red glove with a black mesh pocket. My Dad and I renamed it "The Brick" because it was red. (No comment on my fielding.) The next was my first "real" glove. A brown infielders mitt that I used throughout most of Little League. The thing I remember most about that glove is that it was autographed by a couple of minor leaguers during one of my many trips to see the Bowie Baysox, most notably journeymen Jerry Hairston, Jr. and David Dellucci. As a backstop throughout my career, I also had a few catchers’ mitts, including a "target" glove that was black with a bright orange ring around the edge. See? These things stick with you.

What was your first mitt? I bet you remember. Tweet me @rwags614 with your answer.

I think it’s very telling that the one thing a man keeps from childhood through his adult life is his baseball glove. Mike and I brought our gloves into the MLB Fan Cave today for the first time and had a catch in the part of the Cave that we affectionately refer to as "The Bullpen". And, though I'm sorry to say it had been way too long since I'd had a catch, it was great to throw the baseball around, if only for a bit. And it made me think about the attachment men and women have to their gloves. Mine, for instance, is literally like a child to me. I can still remember the painstaking lengths I went to in order to make sure my glove had the perfect break. I oiled it, rubbed it down, baked it in the oven, and even put two balls in it, wrapped it up with a shoestring, and slept with it under my pillow. Now, it may seem strange for a 23-year-old man to sleep with a mitt under his pillow, but these are time-honored traditions. (For the record, and in case you can't catch subtle humor, that was a joke. I was 19.) I mean, come on, I can almost guarantee you Willie Mays rubbed all sorts of things into his glove to make it feel just right.

And, to be perfectly honest, you can sort of tell when someone hasn't put in the necessary time and effort into the breaking in of his glove. Have you ever seen or even used a glove that was broken in in such a way that the thumb and pinky of the glove didn't match up just perfectly? It's embarrassing! You just have to sort of look at the person who gave it to you as if to say, "Really, guy? Didn't anyone ever show you how to break in this glove?”

Having a catch is a special time for anyone. Whether it's a dad and son, a mom and daughter, or just two buddies in college. Some of my favorite times were spent having a catch, and the centerpiece of that has and will always be the glove. You remember your gloves. My first was a bright red glove with a black mesh pocket. My Dad and I renamed it "The Brick" because it was red. (No comment on my fielding.) The next was my first "real" glove. A brown infielders mitt that I used throughout most of Little League. The thing I remember most about that glove is that it was autographed by a couple of minor leaguers during one of my many trips to see the Bowie Baysox, most notably journeymen Jerry Hairston, Jr. and David Dellucci. As a backstop throughout my career, I also had a few catchers’ mitts, including a "target" glove that was black with a bright orange ring around the edge. See? These things stick with you.

What was your first mitt? I bet you remember. Tweet me @rwags614 with your answer.