I'm not sure how I ended up with it, but for as long as I can remember I've been playing softball with my sister's glove. It's wonderfully broken in; when you lay it down it lies flat as a flounder. It's also a little on the small side, which I like because I often play third base, and everyone knows that if you want to be anything like Brooks Robinson, arguably the best-fielding third baseman who ever lived, you need a smaller glove so it's easier to get the ball out fast and fire it to first. It's fit me perfectly over the years, and about the only thing wrong with it is that it has MY SISTER'S NAME in big, black capital letters along the left pinkie.
Earlier this summer I was playing the Hot Corner for my college team when a line drive burst through the leather strap that holds all the fingers together. And now they're all splayed out and useless. I thought about finding a guy who could repair it, but by some weird act of synchronicity it just so happens that Robert had outgrown his first mitt and was ready for a new one. Made of leather, like the big boys use. I decided he and I should Have A Moment, so we headed off to the sporting goods store and picked out a new pair of his-and-his baseball mitts.
We picked out a pair of beauties. His is all tan, with a big red "R" logo on the thumb. Mine is blond and tan, with a criss-cross webbing that looks like a checkerboard. It's hard as a rock, but at least my son won't eventually be mortified by his aunt's name on his old man's mitt.
We also got one of those training hardballs, which are softer but still have a good heft to them. And when we got to Fake Grass Field he started firing "mustard pitches" at me that made my palm ring on impact. And I thought, Holy Cripes. Six months ago I was lobbing whiffle balls at him, and now he's already graduated to bringing the heat with a big-boy ball.
Slow it down, kid. Willya?