My Favorite Thing

Let me tell what that baseball pictured above hasn’t done.

It hasn’t been hit for a home run. It hasn’t been used to strike anyone out. It hasn’t been caught for a game-winning catch.

Pretty dull, right? Well, here’s another thing that baseball hasn’t done — it hasn’t left my side for two decades.

I don’t remember where I got it or how it came to be my favorite baseball. But I do know that whenever I need to think on a decision or take a long, hard, introspective look at myself or weigh a response to an ethical dilemma, I grab that ball. It doesn’t have magical or mystical powers. Unfortunately, it can’t give me the answer or solace or counsel that I’m seeking. But it can do one thing — calm me.

For some reason when that ball touches my palm, it gives a boost to my brain. As I roll it as quickly as I can around and around the outer rim of my outstretched hand, it relaxes me. As I lay it on top of my upturned fist and flip it around and around the tops of my thumb and index finger, it brings me peace. As I let the ball rise against my fingers and gently toss it the bottom of my hand, catching it and lightly tossing it back to the tops of my fingers, it soothes my conflicted soul.

Maybe those are magical powers.

The ball has traveled thousands of miles as my career has taken me from Maryland to North Carolina; Connecticut to Florida. It’s helped me solve conundrum after conundrum be it career or relationship, as I’ve worked out why I wasn’t happy in a job or why I wasn’t satisfied with a girlfriend.

The ball never answers back when I openly question what I should do to solve a problem. But it does take me to a simpler time in my life when all I had to do was play ball or lay on the floor of my room listening to a ballgame on the radio, tossing a ball into the air, catching it and pretending to be my favorite player. Maybe it’s like James Earl Jones said in “Field of Dreams” — “the one constant through all the years…has been baseball.” It certainly has in my life.

The ball has resided on my nightstand and on my desk at work. It’s been thrown back and forth by my father and I more times than I can count. I’ve thrown many imaginary split-fingered fastballs or knuckleballs with it and I know that I’ll use it someday to teach my kids how to catch, throw and live out their baseball fantasies. Those thoughts make me smile.

It amazes me that a simple sphere made of horsehide and yarn with a cork inside could provide contentment to a grown man. But it’s more than a baseball to me. It’s an extension of my hand, a balm for my brain and a transporter through time and space.


The Beginning
About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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This is what I think...