The Story behind the Glove

How one baseball glove came to represent its owners teenage years.

LN: How did you come to play softball? Isn’t it more of a US game?

AB: In 1992 in the Netherlands I was thirteen it was definitely not a typical sport. I came to it really by accident. My best friend and her sister had lived in the US for a while and in the boredom of the long summer holidays I decided to tag along with them to a training session. The love affair was instant and it opened up a whole new world of sport, teamwork and, (most importantly) life-long friendship.

LN: How did you come by the baseball glove?

AB: I actually bought my glove second-hand from another older girl at the baseball club, so it was already a few years old. I liked it all the more for that, it was already broken in and more flexible to play with. We trained two nights a week, our patient parents drove us across the country for matches at weekends – that glove was in constant use for five solid years. It withstood sun, rain, heat, cold and a lot of red sand. Being a teenager I didn’t give it much care, but it never needed repairing and was good to go time after time.

LN: Looking at the glove now must bring back lots of memories?

AB: It really captures all those hours training, playing and travelling together. It represents such an important part of growing up in a tight knit group through my teenage years. We went to different schools, but went out together to (our first) parties, gave new coaches collectively a hard time (sorry!), and went together on our first holidays (without parents) to Spain. We won and lost games, yelled at each other and always made up, and cried and laughed together.

At some point, we all decided to quit playing softball. Some friends went studying outside town already, I continued playing field hockey. The friendships stayed, but my glove ended up in a box at the attic of my parents home.

LN: what’s next for your glove?

AB: As soon as I had my own home, the box moved back in with me again. And now, after more than 30 years, the glove still lies – in great condition and still very good to use – at the attic of own home. My kids are too young to use it right now, but it’s nice to think that it could go to work again for the next generation and continue to store more great memories.

The leather baseball glove proved to be truly sustainable, very durable and of excellent longevity. 

Aukje is Global ESG Director at Royal Smit & Zoon
Website: Royal Smit & Zoon