It’s battered and more than a half a century old, but it’s my old battered baseball glove and I still love it. (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
On Sunday, I celebrated another trip on this rock around this giant ball of hot plasma. Yes, I celebrated my birthday. I won’t tell you my age, but some of my colleagues remind me that I was there when Pele made his debut and when he was born. I guess I will take their word for it. Seriously, this is not a story about soccer, but about a birthday present that was close to my heart and I still have it today. I originally posted this story on Facebook and it got an incredible amount of reaction from fans of all sports. Many of my friends talked about their baseball gloves that they still have. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you former soccer players still have the soccer boots, uniforms, a ball or some sort of memento from back in the day. I wanted to share this story with the soccer community, even if it is not about the beautiful game.
By Michael Lewis
As I have grown older, every birthday and as many days as possible because we really don’t know how much time we have on this planet. I don’t need birthday presents at my age (although I certainly won’t turn them down; LOL).
Way back in the day, I had an old baseball mitt that was given to me by cousin Ken Hausman, which was very nice of him. He used it playing Little League and I used it as well. It wasn’t in the best of shape and it actually looked so old that Babe Ruth used it.
For my 14th birthday, my parents asked what I wanted, and I said a new baseball glove. At the time, I saw one advertised in The Sporting News. It was a replica of the Gold Gove that was given to the best fielders in Major League Baseball. I fell in love with it. My Mom drove me to Goldman Bros., a sporting goods store in Hicksville, N.Y. and bought it.
If my memory served me right, it cost $32, which was a considerable amount in those days. With a modern, state of the art glove in hand (sorry for the pun), it made me a better fielder (although I don’t think I was Gold Glove worthy).
But it gave me more confidence on the field, knowing that it would snare balls, especially hard-hit ones, without the glove coming off. And yes, I am happy to say that I had a few catches with my father while I wore the mitt (for all you Field of Dreams fans).
The glove has survived to 2021. I kept it for games in college and softball games in the future. It even survived a fire in Rochester, N.Y. in 1975, when I neglected to take it out of my car when I moved into a new apartment. I don’t like procrastinating, which I have become quite proficient about, but I am glad I did that time.
Yes, I still have it. It has seen better days, and it probably can be engulfed by the monster gloves of the 21st century. But after all these years, it is still a cherished birthday present to a 14-year-old boy. Thanks, Mom and Dad!
There is a Goldman Bros. store still around in Wantagh, N.Y.: