It was bound to happen sometime: I have officially collected too many baseballs, and now I’ve run out of space.
Most of the balls are in my old–but newly renovated–childhood bedroom at my parents’ place.
I posted this pic once before. Here it is again to refresh your memory. Normally, all the balls are in the drawers, and all the drawers are closed, and all the barrels are covered.
My parents would like me to move the barrels downstairs to a basement locker. I’d rather keep them where they are.
My parents live on the 10th floor in an apartment building in Manhattan. Yes, there’s an elevator, but each barrel holds 400 balls and weighs about 135 pounds. That’s a lot of schlepping. Still, that’s not even the issue. What it comes down to is that the basement is dark and creepy and filthy–like a murder scene from some mafia movie–with century-old steam pipes that look like they’re gonna spew asbestos and floor-to-ceiling cages stuffed with relics of people’s forgotten pasts. I don’t want my baseballs to be forgotten. As it is, I miss my childhood–and the bedroom that housed it. My 100,000 baseball cards have been packed up. My autographs are in storage. The newspaper clippings on the bulletin board are gone. Everything’s been repainted. New furniture. New lighting. Other than the queen-sized bed and a black desk, it’s an empty shell of my old life. The only thing unique to me that remains is the baseballs. Lots of baseballs. Over 2,400 baseballs. And when I finally get around to bringing over the ones I caught this season, there will be 2,752 baseballs.
I don’t go over to my parents’ place THAT often, but when I do, I always visit my old room and check out the balls. At family gatherings, people often want to see the balls. Occasionally, I’ll make a special trip with a friend who wants to have a look. I don’t want to have to take my friends into the creepy basement storage area and turn on the lights…and unlock that flimsy chain…and tiptoe into the locker…and remove a heavy sheet of sooty protective plastic. It makes me sad just to think about it.
But this IS my parents’ place. They’re the ones who live there, and they’d like to fully redecorate my old room and turn it into a cozy space for overnight guests–not that there are that many, but still. They have a right.
I recently conceded and said I’d move the balls to the basement.
Then my parents conceded and said I didn’t have to…yet.
Now what? I can’t decide. But one thing I do know is that I’m keeping the balls. I’m not selling them. I’m not using them. I’m not donating them. Someday, I will have kids, and those kids will see the balls. Period. (They’ll probably turn out to be Star Trek geeks who don’t give a ****. Serves me right.) What happens between now and then has yet to be determined.
For what it’s worth, here’s what the room normally looks like, when the balls are NOT on display: