Like a glove.
From the top shelf of my small bedroom closet, my father exclaimed, "got it!" after fishing around among winter sweaters and boxes of photographs and produced the most beautiful thing I had ever seen - his childhood green baseball glove. The webbing was circular, reminding me of the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. Inside was a weathered baseball, keeping the pocket's form perfect, despite however many years the leather receptacle had been dormant.
"You ready?" my father asked, as he blew away the layer of dust. I think he knew my answer, even though I said nothing. I didn't have to, as the smile on my six year old face must have said it all. He handed me his glove and I immediately put it on my left hand. I can't remember if it fit properly, but I remember the smell. I took the ball and held it in my other hand, ready to give it all I had.
We went down the hallway, through the living room, past the kitchen and into the back yard. He immediately knew something was wrong when I threw the first ball his way. "Umm, that's right," he said. "You're a lefty. We'll have to get you one of these for the right hand, literally."
That day started my lifelong love - some may say obsession - with baseball. Little League, J.V., then high school Varsity, followed by numerous tournament teams, then college. There was even an invitation for a Cleveland Indians tryout mixed in the timeline.
To this day, I play in a men's league among other good players, all past our "prime." But it's a love that we all share and refuse to give up. That smell is still there, even if the 90 mph fastball may be long gone. Thanks Dad.