To this day, I can’t look at my baseball glove without thinking about a BLT. As a boy my dad taught me to moisturize my ball glove with bacon grease. On hot days in right field, my glove smelled like a leather sandwich.
My rocket-armed daddy played triple-A baseball as a young man. Once upon a time he had a ninety mile an hour fast pitch that was sure to bruise any catcher’s paw.
When I was eleven years old we played catch almost every evening. Sometimes he’d get carried away remembering his minor league days, forget that I was only a boy, and pitch at full speed. This was inversely proportional to the number of empty beer bottles down by his feet.
One such evening, the sun disappeared behind the tree line, and I couldn’t see very well. Dad’s pitches were faster than usual. He flung the baseball like Bob Feller, grinning after each pitch. And that’s when it happened; he threw a fast ball that torpedoed through the air and nailed me in the crotch.
The next thing I remember is laying on the hospital bed. The room smelled like Windex and oranges, my twig and acorns were black and swollen. I looked up at a giant fluorescent light in agony, thinking that I had lost the most important part of my pubescent-body. I cried, certain that I was thereafter doomed to roll through life like a car with nothing under the hood.
The doctor looked down at my happy-place and shook his head with a smirk, “Well, you can still make babies old timer, but maybe y’all should consider taking up ping pong.”