Baseball memory: Priceless mitt from an unforgettable coach

May 25, 2016, 8:28 AM | Updated: 3:04 pm

KIRO Radio's Dori Monson held onto a gloved gifted to him by his little league coach for 30 years. ...

KIRO Radio's Dori Monson held onto a gloved gifted to him by his little league coach for 30 years. (Flickr, Sean Winters)

(Flickr, Sean Winters)

With the Mariners sitting in first place AL West, we are asking 710 ESPN Seattle and KIRO Radio hosts about their favorite baseball memories. Leave your own unforgettable moment in the comments.

KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson had never jumped so high as when he received a call-up from the minors.

The little league minors, that is.

Dori was 9 years old and trying to make the leap from the more junior league to the majors. Then he received the good news from his soon-to-be coach, Gene Caruso.

“We had a doorway I’d never been able to touch, and after getting that phone call I jumped and my excitement literally lifted me up and I touched the doorway for the first time ever,” Dori recalled.

Then Dori attended his first practices. He roamed the field with a 10-cent glove his mom bought from a garage sale. The hard, unmalleable cardboard mitt made it tough to play.

“It wouldn’t hold the ball,” Dori said. “So, my coach knew my mom didn’t have any money and he takes me down to Olympic Sports Center in Ballard and buys me a glove. I was just a 9-year-old kid he had drafted to his team. And I loved that glove. He touched my heart. He coached me for four years, and you never forget those people.”

For Dori, it also meant never neglecting that new glove.

“I loved that glove,” he said. “In fact, I learned how to restring baseball gloves. I kept that glove for 30 years, and about 15 years ago I was playing softball in Issaquah and I left it at the field. And I was heartbroken because I had played literally thousands and thousands of games with that glove. Even though I lost it, the memory of Gene Caruso and what he did for me is my all-time favorite baseball memory.”

Other baseball memories: ‘C’mon, son. Rock and fire’ | Why grandpa’s are the best | It all started with an 11-year-old named ‘Boogie’ | A backyard diamond made of pillows | A great reason to yell during a Mariners’ game | Career in baseball started with dad’s lefty glove | Griffey and a legendary home run call | Father saves spirit of baseball after son learns of McGwire’s tainted past

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Baseball memory: Priceless mitt from an unforgettable coach