The phone rang. It was Velma, our receptionist downstairs.

"Troy, someone has dropped off another glove," she said.

That's always exciting to hear, because most often, it means another gift for another child, teenager or special needs adult who could use a good baseball or softball glove.

Sometimes, she calls to say a whole bag full of baseball goodies was donated, and that means a local nonprofit team, club, church, housing project or some group in need will get more than just a glove. They might get enough equipment to field an entire team, or perhaps two teams for their own games.

Such is the purpose of the Glove with Love Drive, started more than two years ago to help put baseball gloves on the hands of those who can't afford one of their own.

Oh, but this glove was special.

What about Bob?

I hustled back upstairs on a busy day with the glove still wrapped inside a plastic shopping bag.

Like so many other fine folks in this community, whoever donated it simply left it to the cause, with no name attached.

The glove is a 1940s or early 1950s Nokona model, endorsed by then pro baseball player Bob Bundy, in extremely excellent condition.

But who was Bob Bundy?

Perhaps his biggest play in baseball happened without him even knowing it.

Bob Bundy was playing for a traveling pro team called the Hollywood Stars during the winter season of 1950. Another player on the team was Moe Franklin, a World War II-era catcher for the Detroit Tigers.

Bundy was running the bases and tried to score on a play at home but was knocked unconscious at home plate after a collision with the catcher, Jim Gladd.

Gladd frantically looked for the ball to tag Bundy out, but while he searched for the ball, Moe Franklin, who was the on-deck hitter waiting to bat next, picked up Bundy's hand and put it on home plate to score the run.

Connie Mack connection

A lot of fun things happened in baseball during 1950.

During the Major League all star game on June 12 of that summer, one Connie Mack was selected as an honorary manager.

Then on Oct. 18, 1950, Mack retired after 50 years as manager of the Philadelphia Athletics.

He is the same Connie Mack we honor here in Farmington, New Mexico, with the annual Connie Mack World Series, one of the best events in all of amateur baseball and a showcase for college and professional scouts who flock here seeking treasures to the game such as Bob Bundy and Moe Franklin.

Whoever owned the Bob Bundy glove donated to the Glove with Love Drive kept it in a nice place, as the glove feels like it could be used in a game played today.

Thank you, donor.

We likely will auction off the glove and use the proceeds to purchase a collection of new gloves.

When the Hutchison Athletic Scholarship Foundation made a generous $500 purchase of gloves more than a year ago, it helped equip several teenage baseball players who had little of their own, and it provided more than a half dozen new gloves to young girl softball players.

Speaking of the young girl players, opening ceremonies are today, beginning at 3 p.m. at the Ricketts Park area.

Need a glove?

Have an extra?

The Glove with Love Drive started two years ago as a simple column like this one in the paper and is by no means an operation of magnitude.

I've drafted a few fellow volunteers here at The Daily Times to help sort, clean and repair some of the equipment, and others such as students at Farmington and Piedra Vista high schools have offered to help. At least three students have contributed by doing their senior project on this.

Donations have come from generous people throughout the Four Corners community who, as we originally requested, cleaned out their closet, garage or neighbor's yard sale and dropped off the gloves they found here at our front office, at 201 N. Allen, next to the Civic Center.

We are not yet an established nonprofit, so until that legal process is done and we can set up an account easily available for public audit, we ask future donors to continue providing just the gloves and/or other baseball/softball equipment you want to give.

We also have gloves now ready to provide for those who are in obvious need.

If you are a youth or recreation coach, nonprofit worker, etc., and you know of a need, please let us know. We do not give equipment directly to the public, but we do to registered coaches and workers at local entities, such as the Special Olympics where we donate adult-size gloves too big for kids.

The gifts are done quietly and without ceremony most of the time to avoid anyone getting embarrassed.

It's all about fun.

After all, sports is an excellent way to keep kids out of trouble and to develop teamwork.

If you know someone who needs to replace that plastic glove with a crack in it, or a tiny hand using Daddy's old giant piece of leather, and there is a known need for help, the Glove with Love program is just for that.

Send requests or inquiries to me, if you like, at the addresses listed below. We'll respond with a few questions we'll need answered for confirmation.

Meanwhile, yet again, thanks to all of you who give!

You make a difference.

Play ball!

Troy Turner is the editor of The Daily Times. He can be contacted at P.O. Box 450, Farmington, N.M., 87499; or at tturner@daily-times.com.