Have a catch! Dave Tinnes uses baseball to inspire

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – “I’m driving down Lake Shore Blvd. after playing catch with him and I literally just started crying,” said Dave Tinnes.

That was his reaction after a catch with Ike Walker, a former Negro League player who now lives in the Rochester area.

“At the end of the catch, I said, ‘Can I ask you a question?’ and he said, ‘Sure’ and I said, ‘Would you say baseball has been good to you?'” recalled Tinnes. “He said, ‘You know, I can’t help but to think if I would’ve played baseball in the North, things would’ve been different.'”

Walker’s story is special, but it may have never been told if it weren’t for Tinnes. He’s played catch with 224 people for 142 straight days. I’m the latest.

I asked Tinnes if any catches stood out to him in particular.

“I played catch with my wife’s grandmother who is 101. It wasn’t a physical catch like this where we were standing apart,” said Tinnes. “She doesn’t get around a whole lot – she uses a walker but – I sat next to her and I put my daughter’s glove on her hand and I explained to her what the catch journey was about.”

To answer that question, it’s based on a book by Ethan Bryan called “A Year of Playing Catch.” Tinnes was inspired have his own journey of playing catch for a year, no days off.

“Catch is just this vehicle that opens up the opportunity for people to really connect on a heartfelt level,” said Tinnes.

His catches range from Josh Rawitch, the president of the Baseball Hall of Fame, to his friends Jay and Rob. He hopes to one day have a catch with Drew Brees – but the goal isn’t about meeting famous people.

“This journey is really teaching me to just be a dreamer,” said Tinnes.

And at the end of every catch, Dave takes a selfie, to bookmark it in time. He then writes about how the catch went on Facebook. He hopes to turn it into a book after the catch journey is over.

After all, there reaches a point when having a catch physically becomes impossible… but having a catch isn’t always about throwing a ball.