Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Father's Baseball Glove

By Gary Schwab
The person who usually handles questions about baseball gloves, the “Glove Man” they call him, is not in when I call Rawlings Sporting Goods in St. Louis. Instead, I’m transferred to Ruth in public relations.

I try to explain what I’m looking for, without really knowing, and Ruth says, “I understand about fathers.”

Twenty seconds later, she’s back on the phone.

“Maybe this will help in your story,” she says, and starts to read:

“A baseball glove is a beginning and an ending . . .”


You get only so many baseball gloves in a lifetime.

I have a home movie where, in short pants on an Easter, I unwrap my first baseball glove.

My second glove took me through Little League.

My third was stolen from my high-school locker.

My parents gave me my fourth glove as a present when I was 26.

I won’t get another. I’m 42 now and will use the glove I have for the rest of my life.
My father only had one glove in my time with him. It’s a Rawlings T-70, “the George McQuinn Claw.”

McQuinn was an All-Star first baseman for the St. Louis Browns in the late ’30s and early ’40s. He’s remembered by baseball history books as a “solid-hitting, excellent-fielding first baseman.”

My dad would have preferred a Lou Gehrig model, his hero, but that year Rawlings didn’t offer a glove named after the great Yankees player.

In 1943, when a five-piece maple dinette set sold for $29.85 and kids under 12 got in the local Broadway Theatre for free, the Claw was a top-of-the-line model at $15.35.

It’s listed as “the hit of ’41 and ’42” in an ad on page 345 of the 1943 Baseball Guide and Record Book, next to a Pacific Coast League schedule that includes the notation “Buy War Bonds to Speed Victory.”

In 1943, the country was in the the heart of World War II. My dad was 15, a left-handed first baseman, then and always. In baseball, you become your position if you play it long enough, and I never imagined him anywhere other than at first.

Extension of his hand . . . .  Read the rest of the story at: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/12/09/4532600/my-fathers-baseball-glove.html#.Uqc93k2A0Sk

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/12/09/4532600/my-fathers-baseball-glove.html#.Uqc93k2A0Sk#storylink=cpy

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