Changeup, Chapter 10

Joe placed the box on the coffee table next to the no-longer-steaming mugs and lifted the lid.

On top was Dad's old baseball glove. Joe picked it up and reflexively slipped his hand inside. He felt the familiar worn leather, smelling of sweat, oil and grass. The smells of baseball. Dad had bought the glove at a garage sale for a nickel when he was a boy. It was too big for him then, but he'd used it his whole life, even up through his two short years in the AA minor leagues.

He slowly set the glove down next to the box as he continued through its contents like an absent-minded archaeologist. There were some papers he'd look through later and a photo album of Joe's early years. Then he saw it.

The ball.

The one he'd rolled back and forth with Dad when he was too small for a glove. The one he'd eventually learned to catch and throw with in the back yard. The one that was signed by Whitey Herzog, but had been used so much the cover was coming off. He'd once asked Dad why he used the ball when it had a Hall of Famer's autograph, which was now nothing but a few scratches on the leather.

"Because it's a ball, not Whitey himself!", his dad had said, laughing.

Joe slowly came back into the moment. He'd been staring at the ball, turning it over and over in his hand.

He picked up an envelope from the stack of assorted papers. He opened it gingerly since it seemed very old.

"What's this?", he asked Mom.

"Old stock certificates from your great-grandfather. They've been passed down for ages."

Joe looked at the five sheets of brittle paper in his hands.

"Do you know what this is worth, Mom?"

"Probably not much. There's only a couple of them."

"That's all it takes", said Joe.

At the top of each sheet were the words "General Electric Company".

They were dated 1892.

What old treasures have you found?