This week I was inspired by Juan Castro’s story about his 11-year-old glove. If you haven’t heard yet, he’s been playing with the same one for 11 seasons now! [See Phillies.com here. The glove has been through quite a lot of wear and tear and even has a few patches sewn in to block up the holes. I asked the rookies only what softball gear they’ve been holding on to for a while, and realized some of them are pretty nostalgic! Enjoy some funny photos and some interesting takes on what is fashionable in softball these days! Best of luck to the team in Atlanta tonight – Go Phils!
Kristina: Juan Castro using the same glove for 11 years is an impressive fact. In my 8 years of playing fast pitch softball in high school and college, I have went through 2 gloves. Both gloves were not given up by choice but rather broke resulting in HAVING to purchase another. My first glove was named Chiefy, as you can see on the picture, it was given its name based on the chief like emblem on the outside. This glove lasted for all of high school and one year in college. Then I moved on to Finchy, she was precious. I gave this glove her name because of the Jenny Finch logo that is stamped on her. It was a sad day when this glove broke in the final round of the NCAA playoffs last year. Even through her tough times I stayed true to her and used her in the playoff games even with a huge hole (let’s just say I made sure I used two hands).
This past Christmas I was given a gift from a very thoughtful person, a new glove. A glove without a huge hole in it would probably be needed in being a Phillies ballgirl, haha. Even though it is hard to part with my old ones I am excited for the new adventure I am about to embark on with this new glove. Although, I am a little unsure of what to name this one. Are there any Phils fans out there that have any suggestions? Look at the picture, let me know if any come to mind!
Emily: I’m not a very superstitious person and I don’t have an item that I’ve been using for
years like Juan Castro, but at one point in my life I did have a pretty infamous pair of cleats. When I was younger I was on a travel team called the Indian Mills Mystics and our team colors were red, white and blue, so to match our uniforms everyone had red cleats. I played with the Mystics for a few seasons and then went to a new team called Nitro and our team colors were fluorescent green and black. For some reason, while I don’t doubt that my parents would have bought me a nice new pair of black cleats to match, I stuck with my red cleats. Now I don’t know how others feel about this, but personally I can’t seem to think of a more strange pairing of colors than fluorescent green and red (the Phanatic’s the only one I know who can pull those colors off!) I really attempted to work with it. I even added some funky green laces to the mix! Gross. On the way to a tournament one weekend I realized that the red cleats just weren’t working for my look, so I decided that the best idea would be to color both of my shoes entirely with a black sharpie marker…and it worked! I mean I really looked sharp in my new shiny black shoes… and then the black started to wear off! Now I had a red and black tie-dyed looking pair of shoes with fluorescent green laces (again, extremely ugly). Naturally I chose that particular pair of cleats to be my lucky pair, and wore them until my team literally wouldn’t let me wear them anymore. Those shoes had a good run (Literally! Haha!)…I could never forget those ugly things!
Becca: Just like Juan Castro, I had a glove I simply could not get rid of. I started using my Dad’s glove in about 7th grade. I played with it all through middle school and some of high school, until my coach told me I needed to get an actual first baseman glove. I was heartbroken! I loved the significance of playing with my Dad’s old glove, I felt like he was on the field with me every game. I now have an official first base glove and guess what….I HATE IT!!! It’s just not the same. I might break out my Dad’s old glove when sitting on the sidelines one Phillies game so keep an eye out for it!
Kami: I’m definitely a very superstitious person as far as sports are concerned. I’ve had the same pair of Adidas softball cleats since seventh grade. When I was younger, I decided to put my lucky number (8) on the back of each shoe. After almost eight years of wins, losses, tryouts and playoff games, I finally got a new pair of cleats. In keeping with tradition, I made sure to carry on my superstition. Now all I have left to do is get ‘em dirty!
Tori: I think my “collection” of softball items has turned more into an addiction at this point. I
still own every jersey I’ve ever worn, including my jersey from my freshmen year at Immaculata before we got new uniforms. Jersey, socks you name it I have it all, I never throw out my gloves, including my old worn out batting gloves. But perhaps one of the most meaningful and superstitious item I own is a white (not so white) ribbon. The first time I wore that ribbon in my hair was the first game of my senior year of high school and I ended up hitting an out of the park home run, needless to say I have worn that ribbon in my hair for EVERY game there after, even throughout college. Softball was my life for so long I just can’t get rid of the memories, even if they do take up and entire dresser in my room :)
Bonnie: I know this isn’t too original, but everyone probably agrees that nothing is worse than
playing softball without your own glove. It’s almost like you lose your confidence without it. Unfortunately, I lost my favorite glove a couple years ago and just recently got around to replacing it. Right now, I am breaking in my new one with shaving cream and a glove beater. I even baked it in the oven a few times to soften it up. I feel like nothing could beat my first glove love, but I hope, after some good breaking in, it will come close.
Patti: I think I have Juan beat! My dad gave me my glove when I was 12 years old and since he gave it to me it has NEVER missed an inning with me. That means 14+ years! Sure, tape is holding some of it together and I’ve relaced multiple times, but it’s a labor of love. This glove has dirt and grass embedded in it from every victory, every loss, every diving catch, every high-five in the better part of my softball career. I can smell the leather and am immediately reminded of the long car rides at 4am to weekend tournaments, picnics in between games with players and their parents, the longtime friends I’ve made, the camaraderie, the tears over tough losses (I’m really competitive), and the victorious highlights. A baseball glove holds most of my childhood memories. So Juan, impressive 11 year stretch, but you have some catching up to do … pun intended :)
Bridgette: It certainly has been a while since I’ve played competitive softball, but I still hold onto a few items of gear that I refuse to part with. For example my little league jerseys, which have now become workout or pajama shirts. Most of these jerseys are cotton tees whose colors are now considerably faded, and the iron-on numbers are beginning to peel off, but I can seem to just throw them out or turn them into dust rags. My favorite in particular is my teal ‘Winslow Marlins’ tee that I rocked back in the fifth grade.