Ozarks Life: Ethan Bryan catches life lessons pitched by friends

Local author plays catch for 365 straight days and shares his friends tales
The local author has a new project for 2021 to help area kids.
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 5:10 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Local author Ethan Bryan is quite the catch.

And his most recent book is about just that - playing catch, everyday, for a year.

“A feel good story about a guy making 500 new friends and playing catch,” Ethan said, “something he enjoys doing more than anything else in this world.”

What started on New Years Day of 2018 with his daughters took him across the Ozarks, to four states, and eventually to the Field of Dreams in Iowa where he played catch with three guys, including his dad.

“Playing catch taught me to pay attention,” Ethan said. “There’s so much good in this world and so many amazing stories that we need to interact and give them the space to tell their stories. Tell us your hopes and dreams. And I found that playing catch distracted our brains, and good stories came out.”

In his book, A year of Playing Catch, Ethan visits with everyone from school teachers to military veterans, entertainers to athletes.

“Come November/December, I’m going to make it a whole year, and then comes the, ‘what am I going to write about?”

And so the book is broken into chapters.

Life lessons pitched by those playing catch.

“The book is for anyone who enjoys a good story or needs some encouragement to chase your dreams,” Ethan said, “to do something on the edge, a little extra.”

“One quote I discovered, the opposite of play is not work - the opposite of play is depression,” Ethan said. “When we don’t play it not only effects our bodies, it effects our brains.”

“During the streak, I broke my glove and just for fun I reached out to Wilson and said, ‘can you believe I have to restring this glove?’ and they sent me a new glove,” Ethan said. “I’m 44 years old and I’m like, ‘this is awesome!”

And that glove that helped play catch for 365 straight days is not in a museum, no. Ethan did what anyone else would do.

He gave it to a kid who needed it.

“Isaiah says, ‘I love your glove, can I have it?’ who asks that,” Ethan asks. “This is my glove. Well, he’s 14, and he’ll have a lot more use for it.”

“So I said, ‘here’s the deal. Let me use it the rest of the year; I’ll break it in real good. In December, it’s yours.”

And this is Ethan’s new mission; giving gloves away to kids who need them. He met Braydon in Morrisville.

Ethan left without a glove, but not empty handed.

“He didn’t put that glove down for hours,” Ethan said, “playing catch; breaking it in. There’s something very rewarding about that.”

You can send Ethan an email at hello@ethanbryan.com to buy a book, or they can be found at some bookstores.

Anyone interested in receiving a new baseball glove can reach Ethan on his Twitter page or on his Facebook page to learn more about applying for a glove.

Finally, click here to buy a shirt to help offset Ethan’s glove expenses.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

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