We recently stopped by the Rawlings store at Phoenix Premium Outlets and picked up a new mitt for my daughter.

She ended up with a really nice mitt – the FP110 – for a good price. It’s already broken in so I won’t have to go over that tradition with her, but we will talk about the process whether she wants to hear it or not.

While walking around the store, which has some really cool and unique merchandise, I fondly remembered my favorite glove of all time.

My first glove was a Wilson Doug Rader autographed model, but it was a hand-me-down.

My second glove was MAG Plus that was broken in perfectly thanks to my Dad’s help and it was so big that it probably touched the infield dirt when I stood up between pitches.

I swore it had magical powers.

From the time I stepped on the field I was always one of the better fielding kids on every team I played on. It wasn’t me. It was my MAG.

It could suck up balls in the hole, grounders toward the bag and line drives that were meant for the gap.

I tell ya I could snag anything with that glove.

Except the one day I really needed it to.

I was still in coach pitch and I was playing pitcher’s mound. There was a line drive right back to us, the coach (of the hitting team) moved out of the way and it hit me square in the forehead.

I was knocked to my butt, I made my way to the ball and threw out the runner at first base.

There was no bloodshed so I could not understand why they were taking me out of the game. Of course, I couldn’t see the ever-expanding knot on my head.

As I cried while they forced me to the dugout I left a little something on the field that day.

It was the fearlessness that comes with being a kid.

After that I was a bit afraid of the ball, especially in the batter’s box. Hitting was never my strength, but I wasn’t bad either.  From that point on, however, I rarely strode toward the ball when swinging. Subsequently I’d step in the bucket, pull off the ball and never make good contact, if any at all.

Defensively, though, I still had complete trust in the MAG. Anything hit to me was eaten up like Dairy Queen after a win and the runner had no chance.

Then my brother borrowed it a few years later.

He’s six years older and I couldn’t do whole lot to stop him. When he returned home, he didn’t have MAG with him.

It was gone. I was crushed. He says someone stole it. I didn’t know what to think. Considering the magical powers, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised.

I just know the magic never returned after that no matter what mitt I tried.

So my daughter now has her second glove. Like just about every 6-year-old, she names everything that she owns.

I suggested Maggie.

She said it sounds pretty.

And I said - maybe even a little magical.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com

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