When we were kids growing up in Yonkers, my little brother and I loved baseball.
I was probably around 11 and he was 8, when I would bug him every day to go out and have “a catch." He would say, “No, you throw too hard and hurt my hand.” I would promise him that I'd throw it easy, so he would come out and play.
When we got outside, I threw it hard and hurt his hand.
One day, when we were playing catch, I hit him squarely on the forehead. There was a cut and some bleeding, and he started to cry. I felt terrible. All I could think to do was to give him my prize possession, a dinosaur named Ally. I don't think he really cared about the dinosaur, but at least I made the gesture.
Another game we played, one I made up, was called “dart baseball." I had my brother hold up an old baseball bat, while I threw metal tipped darts at it. The idea was to get the darts to stick into the the wooden bat. It was all going along well, until I threw an inside pitch towards the bat handle where my brother was holding. The dart stuck more into the fleshy part of his hand than in the wood, immediately ending that game, and any future planned games of dart baseball.
Somehow, my little brother survived childhood and didn't end up hating his big brother. In fact, as adults, we are good friends today.
Our brothers' bonding through baseball experience may not have been typical, but that's just how it played out – and little brother still has the scars to prove it!