All weekend it was cold and windy. But Saturday was baseball tryouts for my step-son. His old mitt had endured 5 seasons and had held up pretty well. It was the trips to the beach that did it in though. Saltwater and sand were not part of the design plan. So this season, I promised him a new glove.
With the baby in tow, we braved the bitter wind on Friday night and went to the Rawlings Outlet Store. We sorted through dozens of mitts. It was a bit of a process. You see, he's a lefty. And there weren't many left handed mitts under $300. We found a nice 12.25 inch pitchers glove that seemed versatile enough to use in the outfield. It was a blemished item, marked down to $40 from $100. That pretty much sealed the deal. I was prepared and willing to spend around $100. So everyone's a winner.
We had a little over 14 hours until try-outs. So we rubbed in a little glove oil, placed a ball in the pocket and wrapped it in rubber bands. The next morning we stepped out into the unfriendly weather to work it in a little. A little warm up, some long tosses and a few dozen pitches from the wind up and we were in business.
The report form try-outs was roundly positive. And Sunday afternoon we ventured out into more bitter cold and wind for another extended round of snaps and pops. I can't put my finger on how this relates to being a gentleman. But there's something to be said for the smell of oiled leather, a little strain on the shoulder and that sweet crackling thud of a hard toss stopped just short of your chest.