The Web of Vintage Baseball Glove Collectors

The value of any collectible goes up if it comes with a good story. And my glove is enhanced by its history. As with any good baseball tale, it's a father-son thing.

My old man was the master of the tall tale and for years he convinced my brother and I that he used to pitch for the Yankees and could throw either hand depending on the batter. He would act it out while playing catch with us, switching the glove to his other hand and throwing lefty. "Oooh, there he goes, there he goes," he would tell us, mimicking the supposed Yankee Stadium crowd.

When we finally called him out on that whopper he conceded he exaggerated. It was a Yankee farm team. That satisfied us for a few more years.

He was intent on making my brother a pitcher and came home one evening with a gift, a glove he claimed once belonged to a Washington Senator. Not the political kind of senator, but the woeful defunct National League team that was still playing at the time.  The guy didn't need the glove any more because he had a new one. It was a beautiful glove, nut brown, broken in, and the envy of the neighborhood.

That Christmas I got a catcher's mitt. My father was apparently creating a battery. And when I went out to play Christmas day, he cut out the web and sewed the thumb to the fat finger part of the glove. He was sure it would make me a better player by making it harder to catch the ball.  

He made it impossible. I was left with a pillow that had a faint indentation of a baseball. When he saw how upset I was, he told me that's how Yogi Berra trained. The only time that glove got used was when we needed second base.

So when he came home one night and said he had a glove just like my brother's, I was thrilled. I ran out to the car to get it and was appalled to find this flat, old-timey thing. I ventured only once onto a diamond with that glove, but took such abuse it spent the next few years in the back of my closet.

I don't know what happened to the catcher's glove or the glove that I used for my high school career. But for some reason, I kept that old mitt that my father gave me. It conjures up all those ridiculous stories he would tell. Priceless.

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