I've mentioned before how much I enjoy Laid Off Dad's blog (and I may even manage to add a link on my sidebar sometime in the next century. He wrote an entry today about buying his oldest son and himself new baseball gloves after the one he (LOD) had been using got ripped apart by a line drive. Here is the comment I posted there (though if you click on the entry link, you'll be able to read it there, so I don't know why I am putting it here, too):
I had a glove like your sister's. It was my first glove, and it was a hand-me-down from a neighbor so I could play in the neighborhood softball league when I turned 7. My parents really couldn't affor to buy a glove for something that I may or may not do for just one season (I lasted 6).
I used that glove for two seasons before the exact same thing happened to me at practice before my third season. My mom tried a little home repare with some embroidery floss, but it just wasn't as strong as rawhide, and had to be repaired after every practice.
My dad got me a new mitt for my birthday, but it just wasn't the same. Even after four years of playing and religious conditioning it never really got soft enough. Still, I used it for catch and pickup games all the way thorugh college, when my dad gave it away to a neighbor kid.
I miss both those gloves, the first because it was wonderful and soft and comfortable, and the second because my dad gave it to me, and I miss him.