PARMA, Ohio - Gordon King’s Parma dining room table and living room look like a baseball playground, but it’s his office.
King is a baseball glove doctor, nursing old gloves back to health by restitching, reconditioning, and putting new webs on the gloves. The old gloves are donated to him; then he donates his time by fixing them. But why?
“We have an appreciation for the troops,” King said.
King boxes up the gloves a dozen or more at a time and donates the repaired gloves to troops serving overseas.
“People bring me their gloves, gift them to me, I restore them, I re-color them, I re-string them, and I ship them to the Department of Defense where they’re certified and go to the troops,” King said.
King told me his passion for doing this comes from loving baseball and being in a military family.
“My dad was in World War II,” King said.
King said troops can take bats and baseballs with them overseas, but not gloves because drugs could be smuggled in. A few people ruin it for the rest. But, troops can use the gloves donated by King during recreation time. People donate old used gloves to King, and he repairs them.
“They’re catching balls with their hands, my gloves or other gloves people donate are certified, and they get sent to them so they can use them,’ King said.
King said the baseball gloves become a tradition among the troops.
“Guys that are leaving Afghanistan or Kuwait come home, leave them behind for other guys and gals who are in the service at that location,” King said.
King also donates repaired baseball gloves to foster children. So far, King has donated 115 baseball gloves to US troops serving overseas. More information on King's project.