The thing I learned camping this summer that sticks most in my head:
Angela's got a wicked throwing arm. You know those plastic, velcro-covered discs you strap to your hand to catch overly-fuzzy baseball-shaped things that you find in the anemic toy aisle of local pharmacies? She pitched a ball at me that I caught clean and shattered the backing of it.
30 seconds later, she did exactly the same thing to the other one.
If you're gonna throw like a girl, throw like mine.
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I've started thinking about baseball.
I was on a baseball team as a kid and, with the exception of the one year when I was bigger, stronger and faster than most of the other kids in the league, I didn't like it much. I could catch practically anything and could knock the ball over the fence, but I got nervous when I had to throw and, more often than not, over-shot my target. I played a lot of first base.
Throwing a ball around, though. I could do with a bit of that now, as an adult.
My dad was sending me a package from home, and I asked him to put my old baseball glove in it. It's a Wilson, all black, signed in gold by Kirby Puckett. I knew this, I realized, before I had opened the box.
It had been sitting in a box in the closet for a decade, more than that. It needed to be oiled.
- - -
There are hundreds of ways to oil a baseball glove. This is the only one that matters to me:
You oil it with your oil of choice. Some people swear by Vaseline; I don't like the texture of it. Glove oil is fine, but it's just mineral oil in a tiny, comparatively expensive bottle. It's still cheap enough for me - a buck will lubricate two gloves if you don't skimp on the oil.
You don't skimp on the oil. You put a baseball in the pocket, wrap it tight with twine, wrap the whole mess in a towel.
You sleep with it under your pillow, and in the morning it's a glove. In my case, it's a glove again.