Long-Gone Glove Returns to Brothers

Forty-two years after 57-year-old Patrick Reynolds of Los Angeles lost his boyhood baseball glove, he has it back. And it still has his name on it. His brother, Jeff Reynolds found it at a swap meet last week and paid $5 for it. Melissa Block talks with the Reynolds brothers by phone.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

And I'm Melissa Block.

You can go home again. That is if you're a Rawlings baseball glove that's been missing for the last 45 or so years.

Patrick Reynolds of Los Angeles had long ago lost track of his childhood glove, a Rawlings outfielder's glove that served him well in Little League and Pony League in the early ‘60s, then disappeared. And that's where he now owes a big debt to his younger brother Jeff.

Both Reynolds brothers are with us by phone to tell the story. And Patrick, let's start with you. And how did you lose this glove in the first place?

Mr. PATRICK REYNOLDS (Lost Boyhood Glove): Well, I think my dad gave it away when I stopped using it. I used to use it playing Little League and then I started playing more first base than outfield. So the glove sat in a bat bag for a number of years. And as my dad was wont to do, if a kid needed a glove, he gave it to him.

BLOCK: And at one point did you go to him and say, Dad, what were you thinking? I loved that glove.

Mr. P. REYNOLDS: Actually I had forgotten all about it, even though I really did like that glove because it was a very nice model glove.

BLOCK: And Jeff, that's where you come in. It had been forgotten all these years and you found it. What happened?

Mr. JEFF REYNOLDS (Found Brother's Lost Glove): Well I just went to a local swap meet with my wife. And we're walking around just looking at things and I saw my brother's name at the back of a booth. I said, what the heck is that? Went and picked it up and it was a glove.

BLOCK: What do you mean you saw your brother's name?

Mr. J. REYNOLDS: Well it was kind of sticking out of, like, a five-gallon garden, like a bucket for a plant. And I just saw his name. And I - what the heck, it's my brother's name. And I went and picked it up and it was his old ball glove. It had our childhood phone number written right on it. Except it was written as in (unintelligible), you know, instead of 3-7. So I mean, those kind of prefixes went out well in the early ‘60s.

BLOCK: Well you had to buy that glove.

Mr. J. REYNOLDS: Yeah. I didn't really say anything. I just asked the guy. I said, hey, how much. And he said, oh, five bucks. My wife said I couldn't get the money out of pocket fast enough.

BLOCK: Yeah. If you had said, that's my brother's glove, it's been missing for forty years, I think the price might have gone up a little bit.

Mr. J. REYNOLDS: Definitely.

BLOCK: Well, Patrick, your brother brings you this glove. What did you say?

Mr. P. REYNOLDS: I couldn't believe that he had it, number one. And when I saw the phone number on it, I realized that it was my old Little League glove. And so I asked him, well, what box up in your attic did you find this in? I mean, it's just amazing that the glove would turn up, but that my own brother would be the one that found it. It's pretty remarkable.

BLOCK: And what kind of shape is it in?

Mr. P. REYNOLDS: It's like brand new. It's never been used. It's got the original lacing on it. The leather is like the day it was bought. It's barely been used.

Mr. J. REYNOLDS: It was actually in beautiful shape. Couldn't believe it.

Mr. P. REYNOLDS: Oh, it's amazing.

Mr. J. REYNOLDS: It's like somebody found it and put it in a drawer and there it sat.

BLOCK: You sort of like to think, though, that over 45 years that other kids would've been using that glove, no?

Mr. J. REYNOLDS: Yeah, you'd think. But, I mean, it looks brand new, basically.

BLOCK: Patrick, does it still fit?

Mr. P. REYNOLDS: It still fits. It's a great baseball glove, yeah. If I were to take up hardball again, that would be the glove I would use.

BLOCK: Have you taken it outside to try it out?

Mr. P. REYNOLDS: Oh, yeah. I told my staff at work that they had to start bringing their gloves to play with catch with me now as part of their job performance.

BLOCK: And I'm sort of guessing that that glove is not going to be too far out of your sight. You don't want to lose it again.

Mr. P. REYNOLDS: Oh no. That's going to be on a shelf in my living room somewhere.

BLOCK: And your debt to your brother at this point? How do you repay that?

Mr. P. REYNOLDS: Well, I might have to take him to a ballgame or something.

Mr. J. REYNOLDS: Go catch the Dodgers.

Mr. P. REYNOLDS: There you go.

BLOCK: Patrick and Jeff Reynolds, thanks so much for talking with us. And enjoy that glove.

Mr. P. REYNOLDS: All right. Thanks for the call.

Mr. J. REYNOLDS: Okay. Thank you.

BLOCK: Brothers Patrick and Jeff Reynolds of Los Angeles. We're talking about Patrick's long-lost Rawlings Trap-Ease outfielder's glove, which Jeff found at a swap meet. Incidentally, the glove that Jeff bought for $5 at the swap meet last week, Patrick spent $14 on back in 1961.

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