SI Vault
June 11, 1990
BELOVED GLOVESIn their article Glove Story (May 7), Steve Wulf and Jim Kaplan have put into words what I have been futilely struggling to explain to my wife for the past 10 years. I have never been able to successfully convey to her the essence of the relationship between a ballplayer and his glove—even for someone like me, who played all the way from Little League to semipro ball.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
June 11, 1990


View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2

When I recently found it moldy and soaking wet in the leaking trunk of my car, 30 years of treasured memories flooded back.

Thanks and well done.
Indialantic, Fla.

In his description of life in the bullpen (A Land of Stupid Dances, April 16), Dan Quisenberry says he believes the word bullpen derives from the practice of having pitchers warm up in a pasture. According to Michael Gartner's article, "Words," in The Fireside Book of Baseball, the reason it is called a bullpen is that pitchers warmed up in the shade of the billboards advertising Bull Durham tobacco on the outfield fences, which existed in many ballparks.
Scarsdale, N.Y.

?In The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, Paul Dickson, who traces the baseball usage of the word bullpen back to 1877, mentions the derivation given by Gartner. He also discusses two other possibilities: that the term described an area in foul territory beyond first and third bases in early ballparks, where spectators stood penned in like bulls; and that the term was taken from bullfighting (relief pitchers being likened to reserve bulls, which are penned near the arena so they can be quickly brought in should the bull in the ring be found lacking in fighting spirit).—ED.

1 2