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From White to Waterlogged

Nathan Rueckert

Posted on March 08 2020

Baseball.  Is.  BACK! 

I don't know about you, but I'm happy to be able to turn the page from this extraordinary off-season filled with talk of controversial trash cans and buzzers.  I'm sure that conversation is far from over, but for now, I'm just glad that Spring Training 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 a baseball that finds it's 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 scripture, 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 are just chomping at the bit to get in a game and are anxiously preparing 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.

(Sigh).  

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 chose 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?  Regardless, I'll leave you with this:  find joy in the season.    

I appreciate you all following along on my journey as an artist and as a storyteller through baseball.  Feel free to comment on this post below or share with your friends.  

Play ball,
Nathan Rueckert, Artist & Founder
The Baseball Seams Co.

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4 comments

  • Marcia Adair: March 31, 2020

    Beautifully written!
    What a joy to give those weary balls a new life with your incredible artwork.
    Your prose and artwork never cease to amaze me.
    My son, a teammate of yours at Truman, and his son are recipients of some thing you make every year.
    Soon my two other grandsons will be old enough to appreciate your talents. Their Daddy already has a piece.
    Good Luck this season.

  • Joel Partin: March 31, 2020

    Nathan,
    I’ve have two of your products proudly displayed in my classroom (American flag print and the hand-made cross with Phil. 4.13). After 30 years in the public schools I’m enjoying the spiritual freedom of working in a Christian school. I love your sentiments with the baseball metaphor. I will use it with my class with our weekly devotional. Thank you for your art, your ministry, and your faith. They are inspiring.

    I look forward to seeing what other baseball masterpieces you create!
    Joel Partin
    Allen, Texas

  • Terry Vitiello : March 31, 2020

    I just sent you two pictures (one pitching, one at bat) of my grandson in his Babe Ruth Cobra league. This child has the pure love of the game (much like you describe) and has set his sights on one day being named a Hall of Fame inductee. I just wanted you to see that our youth still have the grit and determination to be their best, and to love the feel of the white and the waterlogged. Each “game ball” he has on a shelf tells it’s own story.

  • Dee: March 31, 2020

    That was beautiful…I’m getting an old baseball and setting it out where I can see it and remind me of, well, life…thank you!

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