Baseball at My Desk

A baseball is a perfect thing. It’s just the right weight and size for being thrown fast and far. It pleads with your hand to hold it and squeeze it. And the flex of your hand muscles on the ball and the soft popping of joints feels like a long drag on the cigarette you’ve been craving.


I used to have a desk partner named Mark who played high school baseball and kept a ball next to his computer. I realized I spent a lot of time picking it up and holding it. Then Mark moved across the newsroom and I finally went to Big Five sporting goods on a weekend and bought an official major league ball.

I hold it when I’m thinking. I twist it in my grip and rub the rawhide like a pitcher between throws. Sometimes I lean back in my chair and lob it toward the ceiling and hear the slap as it falls and hits my palm.

Baseball has always been my favorite team sport. My dad played the game when he was a kid. I was a little league catcher. There are dreams of baseball stardom I had when I was young that are wrapped up in that ball, and there are memories of great wins by my favorite teams though many more heartbreaking losses.

Now when the routine of earning a daily living gets to me I can reach over and feel that dream maker in my hand. Its red seams and the white rawhide pick me up and hurl my spirit into the blue sky of summer.

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