Don't Help an Opponent, Francisco Cervelli, Vince Coleman, Willie McGee

Stop! In the Name of Glove

There was a bit of hubbub in New York last week when Francisco Cervelli, normally a catcher for the Yankees, showed up at third base.

The clamor had less to do with Cervelli’s ability to make plays than the tools he used to make them. Midway through the game, TV cameras homed in on his Wilson model glove, smartly embroidered with the words “Wright No. 5.”

There is a Wright who wears No. 5 and plays third base in New York with a Wilson glove, but his home games aren’t at Yankee Stadium. It’s David Wright, the longtime third baseman for the Mets.

What, asked reporters later, was Cervelli doing with that glove?

“We have the same [glove] company,” Cervelli said in an report. “That’s what they sent me, so I’ve got to use it. That’s my glove. I don’t know, maybe later when I’ve got more years in the big leagues, they’ll put my name on it. I don’t really care.”

It’s a far cry from Vince Coleman, whose actual glove was once used by an opponent. It was 1991, and Giants outfielder Willie McGee had his equipment stolen from the visitors’ locker room at Shea Stadium, so he turned to ex-teammate Coleman for backup. Using one of Coleman’s gloves, he recorded three putouts on the day.

(McGee was significantly happier with the result than were Coleman’s teammates on the Mets, who later fined him $10 per catch in kangaroo court.)

Cervelli’s tale also ended up in the Mets clubhouse, albeit a more circuitous route. Although he’s only played three innings at third base so far this season, he regularly takes ground balls there before games. When he left his glove on the turf when the Yankees plaed at Citi Field earlier this year, clubbies mistakenly returned it to Wright’s locker.

“He got confused and said, ‘I’m so sorry,’ ” said Cervelli. “I want him to sign my glove when the season’s done. I’m going to send it to him.”

– Jason

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