Everyone who knows me knows baseball is in my blood. I spent a minimum of 5 nights a week as a teenager practicing with my dad (sometimes willingly, sometimes because he made me – which I do appreciate looking back on it!). I had many gloves over my playing years, by the three I remember are two pitchers Nokona gloves (e.g. small), and one black first basemen’s glove which never, ever, ever loosened up. No matter how much I did to it, the darn thing felt like I was wearing plastic. But it was huge and it saved my butt many a time. The glove pictured above was my second Nokona glove. I loved that glove. The day I realized it was time to replace my first Nokona was very sad. It had gotten so tired and flat, and wasn’t protecting my hand very much. But this one was so close to the other one, it was an easy transition.
For those who aren’t familiar with Nokona, they make kangaroo gloves. Yep. You read that right. Their gloves are soft on day one. You never have to break them in, at least, not to the extent of pure cowhide gloves. The feel is so much softer, flexible… it really just feels like an extension of your hand.
I’ve had this glove sitting on a bookshelf in my living room for years. I’ve only used it maybe three times since I moved to DC nearly 6 years ago. It makes me sad whenever I look at it to realize I’m not putting it to good use. Last night I finally got my priorities straight. When passing by it, I grabbed it and started to throw a ball into it. I realized the leather was cracking and dry. Terror ensued. The hole that I’d worn into the palm in my playing days was growing because of it. Quick! To the interwebs! Nokona sells their own leather conditioner, and according to their website, it was available locally. Win!
On my way home from church this AM, I stopped by my local Dicks Sporting Goods and grabbed a bottle for myself and one for my sister. And wow, does this stuff bring Nokonas’ back to life! I’m so glad I did this! Hopefully it will be around for a long time to come, hole and all.