SI Vault
Edited by Sarah Ballard
June 08, 1987
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June 08, 1987


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We're not sure what this means, but in Albuquerque the other day, four of the five VHF stations were carrying the Iran-contra hearings, while the fifth was showing The Winning Team, starring Ronald Reagan as Grover Cleveland Alexander.


Lee Chilton, a.k.a. The Gloveman, has a message for his fans: Be patient! Ever since we ran our story (April 6, 1987) about his remarkable ability to resuscitate ailing baseball gloves, Chilton has been swamped with orders. "We've had a huge increase in business," he says.

Day and night the phones are ringing, and delivery trucks bearing gloves just keep coming. "We're getting gloves from all over the world," he says, "from Liberia, Italy, Australia, Canada, Bolivia, all over. We got a few in here from Nicaragua. I don't know how they got in here but they're here." He wants people to know that he regrets having to change his policy, but there is simply no way to fulfill his promise of a two-day turnaround time. A more realistic estimate, he says, is two weeks, sometimes longer for the most seriously injured mitts. "I just want people with gloves in here not to get worried or nervous," he says. "They'll get them back."

Chilton turned his onetime hobby into a full-time business in 1981 after a mild stroke forced him into early retirement from community relations work. Now his health is threatened again, this time by success. "My doctor's telling me to back off," he says. "But I can't back off with a warehouse full of gloves."

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