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Saturday, November 15, 2003

Thinking Out Loud

Several months ago I began collecting used baseball gear. My original intention was to make a trip to Cuba and give it all away to needy baseball fanatics. I have altered my plans slightly. I have decided that I will go somewhere in Mexico to unite baseball gloves, balls, bats and players. As I began looking at travel arrangements to Cuba I became a little overwhelmed with the logistics of getting there. I also realized that I have much more of a connection to Mexico. The whole project is simply about mixing my love for Latin America with my love of the American pastime.

Just where in Mexico is still up in the air. I know quite a lot of people from Vera Cruz, a place I have yet to visit. I may go to Guanajuato, a beautiful city I explored briefly on my last trip south. I have narrowed down the ‘when’ part to some time in February. I am also working on the ‘who’ part and I am encouraging everyone I know to take part in this mission. I am going to need porters as I already have enough stuff to burden three people and I haven’t even asked for outside donations yet. I have a couple of people willing to donate tons of stuff if I get enough bearers of my goodwill.

The ‘what’ part of this story has become something of a mild obsession for me these past few months. I can’t drive past a yard sale or a thrift shop without stopping to see if I can pick up a glove or two or three. At last count I had 73 baseball gloves, 28 aluminum bats, five batting helmets, and three full catcher ensembles. I kept one mitt for myself out of this treasure chest—a beautiful infielder’s mitt I got for $1.99 that probably retailed for over $100. It is so broken in that I never want to take it off my hand.

As my plans for this trip become more concrete I will let you know. I have also been working on my baseball skills as I don’t want to look like the old gringo who talks a good game but ain’t got game. Infield practice anyone?

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