The Glove
Josh Morley

There are not many special objects that have been passed down through either side of my family, but there is one little thing that brings back memories and that I can honestly say that still holds a part of me as a child.

When I was eleven years old, growing up in small Ville Vassar, I was a very active lad. There were many things that I loved doing, and playing baseball with friends was one that I looked forward to every day that I woke up. Once school ended and summer rolled around, I knew by the sweet smell of the summer air and by the hot sun that it was finally baseball season and Little League would be starting up. My father also loved baseball as a boy and young adult, and I still remember the day I played my first game of catch with him. I was eight years old at the time, and I can remember him going to the closet where we kept all our sporting goods and pulling out this gray, monstrous, and beat-up-looking ball glove. He said that was his glove that he used when he was my age and that I was old enough to use it. I'm not quite sure if he was drunk at the time he told me that, but at first glance of that glove I knew there was no way he used it when he was my age; maybe when he was twenty, but definitely not eight.

I grabbed it from my father's hands and looked at him and said, "Is this the glove I have to use?" I thought to myself that my little hands could never fill such a huge glove. I put it on anyway and went with my dad outside and played my first game of catch. The glove was so flimsy that on the rare occasion when I caught the ball it was like the webbing of it was going to break and let the ball right through and hit me in the face. I think that is why I wasn't very good because I was afraid of the ball. I wasn't very good, but I had the passion to make myself a ball player.

The glove had a tint of blue running from one side to the other and had many cracks in the leather on the outside, so it really looked like something that had been lying on the side of the road for a year. The glove weighed maybe two pounds and was twelve inches long, but was so heavy for me as a young boy to hold up to catch the ball that after playing every time my arm hurt and my shoulders felt like I had a bolder on my back. I think I walked around all summer looking like the hunchback of Notre Dome.

My monstrous, gray, and hideous glove gave off a smell of something that had been sitting out in the rain for a year. It was such a musty rotten smell that if you put it to your nose you would croak, but nonetheless I loved it. When I had it on my hand I could feel the cool feeling of leather on the inside. Even though it was very unattractive and nasty on the outside, once on my hand it felt like a thing of beauty; too bad everyone else couldn't know this by just looking at it. I can't remember for sure, but I'm almost positive that no other kid had to go through the embarrassment that I did, having to wear that ratty, beat up, torn, and grotesque glove.

To this day I still have the glove and actually intend on giving it to my son or daughter the first time he or she wants to play a good `ole game of catch with their daddy. But I won't put them though the hell that my dad did, making me actually use it for three years before getting me a good glove. I'll just make them use it once, so they know how bad I had it in the outfield with the man glove that broke my arm every time I used it--or so it felt.

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