by Nathan Rueckert
Baseball. Is. BACK!
I don’t know about you, but this off-season felt extraordinarily long with all the talk of lockouts and cancelled games. I have no idea if the groundhog saw his shadow this year, but the true mark for me that spring has finally arrived is when Spring Training baseball is finally here. One of the things I love about Spring Training is that every team has an opportunity to hit the reset button; to turn the page from the past and have a brand new start. It kind of reminds me of the life of every baseball that finds its way to Baseball Seams Co.
Brand new baseballs are often referred to as “pearls” – they’re bright white with beautiful red seams. They aren’t referenced anywhere in the Bible, but I’m sure there were a handful of them in the Garden of Eden. They are that perfect. New baseballs bring imagery of opportunity, of optimism, of adventures waiting to be had; of moments waiting to be made. These balls eagerly wait their chance to get in a game and anxiously prepare themselves for the long season ahead. Teams during Spring Training remind me of these new baseballs. Hope springs eternal before Game 1, Opening Day.
And then the season begins – game after game after game of wear and tear; sweat and tears; of grass stains and grounders; of scuff marks and broken bat spankings that leave those pearls tattooed with evidence of unapologetic abuse. Eventually, that once brilliant pearl is transformed into a tattered, dingy, ripped, worn shadow of its former self and is ceremonially retired without pomp or appreciation into a bucket mixed with other undesirables.
But imagine something with me. What if those balls could talk? Can you imagine the stories they could tell? The moments that were had? The road trip conversations they overheard? The friendships that were formed? The trash cans that were banged? (Just kidding, Astros fans.)
Every baseball season has this beautiful cycle that takes us from white to waterlogged. It’s such a winsome journey and I absolutely love it. And the parallels we can draw are plentiful. Moments are made in the markings. The tears are tattered from the trenches. The frays are formed through the friendships.
There is beauty in the waterlogged.
This is true in our lives as well, as we experience hardships and seasons of difficulty. Life doesn’t always feel like a pearl, does it? I would encourage you to find a tattered old baseball and place it somewhere to remind you that the unique stains and blemishes in your life give you a story to tell…..a story to share. The only question is who will you choose to share your story with? Who needs to be encouraged by your story today?
I hope this imagery can be seen in my artwork. I love how the more tattered and worn the baseballs are, the more beautiful the artwork becomes. One of the joys found through what I do is regularly having customers send in their old tattered baseballs so they can say ‘thank you’ to someone for the love that was shared through those balls.
What season of life are you in right now? Are you feeling like a pearl? Or are you feeling waterlogged by the craziness of life? nRegardless, I’ll leave you with this: find joy in the season.
I appreciate you following along on my journey as an artist and as a storyteller through baseball.
Nathan Rueckert, Artist & Founder
The Baseball Seams Co.
To check out Nathan’s amazing creative work and to support his family-owned small business, visit www.baseballseamsco.com. Follow Baseball Seams Co on Facebook @baseballseamsco and on Instagram @baseballseamsco
Featured image photo credit: Passenger Productions
Nathan Rueckert is the founder of The Baseball Seams Co. and creator of the “America at the Seams” project. For over 20 years, he has torn apart old and tattered baseballs and reclaimed them into beautiful artwork, accessories, and limited edition Christmas ornaments. He resides in Sioux Falls, SD with his wife and 3 daughters. His company exists to honor God and reflect his love through creating unique and meaningful products that connect people and transform relationships through the platform of baseball. For a quick snapshot of his product offerings, visit his best sellers here.
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