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‘Not the First Glove He’s Popped,’ Priester’s Glove Falls Victim to Skenes’ Velocity



Paul Skenes, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pirates prospects

BRADENTON, Fla. — The thing about baseball is, you never know what you’re going to see when you show up to the ballpark. Well, in this case, the spring training facility.

At Thursday’s spring workouts, a couple of Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitchers did something rarely seen, unless you’re Paul Skenes, apparently.

Skenes was throwing with fellow right-hander Quinn Priester on the fields at Pirate City during warmups. Priester looked down after receiving a ball from his throwing partner, and his glove was no more.

“It’s no secret that Paul throws hard. Then I caught one and it felt weird. I knew something in the glove was wrong and I looked and the ball was wedged halfway through,” Priester said. “I was like, ‘All right, over here. Just don’t throw it at my face because if it goes through my glove, I’m screwed.’ Then I was catching everything to the side and he was like, ‘Hey, you good?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, Paul. Let’s go.’

Though what happened is by no means commonplace in baseball, it did not come as a surprise to Pirates’ manager Derek Shelton.

“You don’t see it too often,” he said. “This may shock you guys, but Skenes throws hard, so that will happen. I would bet that’s probably not the first glove Skenes has broken and it probably won’t be the last.”

Shelton’s bet was accurate. Though he couldn’t pinpoint exactly when the last occurrence happened, Skenes said he has done it before.

The good news for Skenes is that not a single dollar of the $9.2 million signing bonus he received from the Pittsburgh Pirates after they selected him with the top pick in last year’s draft will go towards buying Priester a new glove. Priester said he has already had his glove relaced and it’s good to go as good as new.

The old lace was gifted by Priester to Skenes, who now has it hanging up in his corner locker in one of the quadrants inside the Pirates’ clubhouse.

What will he do with that lace?

“Probably make a necklace out of it, wear it everywhere,” Skenes said with a laugh and a smile across his face. 

It may only be his first spring training, but the legend of Paul Skenes continues to grow.

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