If you didn’t see this story by Jason Fry, do yourself a favor, it’s a gem.
I also really dug this piece by King Kaufman about playing catch with his seven-year-old son:
It is fun. I’d forgotten that. It’s been coming back to me as we toss the ball back and forth, usually from only 40 feet or so. I just love playing catch. I always have.
…I’ve never really felt that some great mystical communication was going on when I was playing with a friend, or with my dad. It’s fun to play catch with someone I hardly know too. I love the rhythm of it. The simplicity. I love the sound, the pop of the glove when there’s a little mustard on the throw and it’s caught square in the pocket. Catch is a little hypnotizing. It ought to be the most boring thing in the world, but I’ve never ended a game out of boredom. I’ve worn out my arm a few times, though.
I love playing catch with my son not because some magical, wordless discourse travels between us but because I love playing catch and I love that he enjoys playing it with me.
I don’t know about anything mystical but having a catch is one of the great pleasures in this life, at least when you’ve got the right partner. My brother is one of those guys (Jon DeRosa is one of those guys, Glenn Stout is too). Can’t think of many things better, really. My bro knows how to throw, how to pitch, how to toss pop flys and grounders, just the way I like. We have fun with it, and have a lot of laughs.
Don’t even have to talk. I like that. The satisfying pop of the glove when the ball hits the pocket just right, the appealing sensation of hitting the target dead-on. I like the feeling of knowing how to throw and catch, knowing that I’ve got good mechanics and that I look good doing it. My vanity about it cracks me up. In my mind’s eye it makes me feel competent and good, the realization that I could have a catch with a big leaguer and not humiliate myself. I may not have been any good as a player but I’m certain that I can at least imitate one.
[photo credit: Weblog of the Turner Family]