Bad news – you can get it anywhere. Open up your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and you’ll find it in abundance. Surf to any local or national news website and it is there. Turn on the TV or radio and they are focusing on the negative things going on, or offering opinions on “hot button” topics which just continue to fuel the negative vibes that are so abundantly available.
I don’t recall what radio station I was working at, but I recall that the News Director always started his newscast with a “feel good” story. I think we used to say something like “WXXX – where the good news comes first” or something like that. People were grateful to hear happy stories instead of stories about war, murder, and whatever else was going on in the world.
With that in mind, I sat down today not knowing what to write about. I wanted to blog, but didn’t have anything in mind. As I scrolled Facebook (through the various heated opinions about the presidential debates), I came across a story that a friend of mine posted. It immediately reminded me of a “feel good” story, so I had to share it (and a few thoughts of my own) here.
Grandpa’s Bucket of Baseballs
In Alabama, a 72 year old grandfather cleaned out his garage and found a bucket of old baseballs. He took the bucket up to the batting cages that he and his son used to go to and left them there with a note.
The note says the following:
Hope someone can use some of these baseballs in the batting cages. I found them cleaning my garage. I pitched them to my son and grandson for countless rounds. My son is now 46 y/o and my grandson is 23 y/o. I am 72 and what I won’t give to pitch a couple of buckets to them. They have both moved away. If you are a father cherish these times. You won’t believe how quickly they will be gone.
P.S. Give them a hug and tell them you love them every chance you get.
His son tweeted the picture of the bucket and note and the story spread. The grandpa is amazed at how many people are reacting. ESPN even wanted to talk to him.
Here is a link to the full story. It is worth the read.
I can tell you that one of my favorite childhood memories is playing catch with my dad. I know that there had to be days where he wasn’t in the mood to play, but he did it anyway. We’d stand out in front of the house and play catch on the sidewalk. Eventually, he got sick and tired of me over throwing and we began playing on the side of the house. That way, if I threw a bad ball, the backyard fence caught it!
Growing up, we played a lot of baseball. Like any 13-14 year old kid, I dreamed of becoming a major league pitcher. When my dad and I played catch, we’d spend hours calling balls and strikes. I smile as I think back to my dad winding up real fast and then lobbing a change up to me. I smile when I think about him saying, “Watch this pitch!” and then tossing an amazing curveball or sinker to me. I love to remember the day he showed me how to throw a knuckleball. What tremendous memories these are!!
When I had my first son, I couldn’t wait for him to be old enough to play catch with. I felt the same way when I had my second son. I coached both boys at Tee ball and baseball. Neither one were as excited about playing as I was. I’m glad that my youngest son still wants to play catch with me. He has a bit more accuracy than my oldest son, and could still easily play ball if he wanted to. I always love being able to play catch with both of them. We have a big backyard and it’s great for catch!
I’m not gonna lie, I still chuckle as I throw the same pitches to my sons as my dad did to me. I remember the first time my oldest watched a knuckleball coming at him. He couldn’t believe that the ball didn’t really spin. I love those moments with my boys as much as I loved playing catch with my pop. I hope that they look back one day and remember those moments as fondly as I do.
The way my daughter throws her pacifier out of the crib and toys around the room, who knows, maybe she’ll be playing softball on a team. I’d be ok with that! She’s got a good arm!!
So what is the point of this blog? To share a wonderful story and to give you a little push. Maybe it’s been a while since you played catch with your child. Maybe you’re missing your parents or grandparents who don’t live nearby. The tweet, and this story are a great reminder to cherish those things or, better yet, go do them. Time is precious. We don’t get much of it. Don’t waste it – take advantage of it. Grab your mitt and a ball and play some catch with those you love – who cares how old you are?