Pluralist - 'Catch 365' Is Catching on, Delivering Stories of Hope and Healing – Opinion

‘Catch 365’ Is Catching on, Delivering Stories of Hope and Healing – Opinion

Feel-Good Friday starts with a sad note but builds into something positive. Wait for it!

Ethan D. Bryan, a Springfield musician and writer is from Missouri. Bryan is a passionate baseball fan who dreams to play for the Kansas City Royals. Bryan’s daughters challenged him to start To play catch with someone else, and to do it every day. Bryan chose to in 2018 he’d do just that—but bigger.

Bryan traveled 12,000 through 10 states, not only playing catch with people who were often total strangers, but documenting that journey: recording the conversations and lessons he learned by simply making intimate connections with people through a baseball and a catcher’s mitt.

Bryan compiled his experience for the book after completing his challenge. How a simple daily experiment taught me about life: A year of playing catch.


Dan Bryan, no relation, watched Ethan, 16 years old, practice at West County High School in Park Hills. Ethan, a sophomore who showed great promise and had high ambitions was an example of this. After practice, Dan Bryan went home, while Ethan stayed behind to “throw a bullpen and help some younger players.”

Young Ethan was killed in a car accident and didn’t make it back home. Dan Bryan was distraught.

Ethan D. Bryan, the author, was still present in Springfield, Missouri days after the accident. We search for comments and reviews when we publish work. The results of the search revealed the Ethan Bryan obituary.

The Athletic

He began reading about Ethan over the next 10 minute. How he was a fan of singing, baseball and Marvel movies. Also, how his older brother died and how West County High School friends were left behind. Bryan felt inspired to act and was overwhelmed by the coincidence. Bryan then emailed his high school administrator. The administrator sent Bryan a copy along with a sympathy note.[.]

In the fog of his grief, the book sat on Dan Bryan’s shelf for a year-and-a-half. Dan Bryan was slowly working through his grief by speaking with a counselor, attending church, and commemorating his son’s memory by starting a scholarship with his ex-wife in Ethan’s name, and getting a stretch of highway and a golf tournament named in Ethan’s honor. Dan Bryan couldn’t pass the spot where his son was playing baseball without feeling overwhelmed.

Dan Bryan recalled the book Ethan D. Bryan sent him in December 2021 and decided to grab it from the shelf.

Dan says that he was touched by the idea of ritual, communal grieving and a daily diary of baseball. Bryan, the author of this article, was called to express his gratitude. After that, he began planning. “I just determined that I was going to use that leather ball and the red seams and I was going to use that as a form of therapy,” he said.

Dan Bryan pledged to Catch 365 for Ethan in 2022 as a way to honor his son and to help him through the grief.

Former teachers and coaches were consulted. Posting invitations to Facebook was his strategy. “I hope,” he wrote, “to meet and toss the baseball with those I currently know and future friends I have not yet met.” He pulled out Ethan’s glove and a baseball that was collected from the car. He gave his project a name: “Baseball Seams to Heal.”

It’s a great sport because it allows you to move and heal. Dan Bryan spoke to the Athletic on February 59, as he continued his quest to play catch every day.

If you play catch with Dan, you will hear stories of Ethan, how he loved to listen to Lewis Capaldi and Sam Smith, how he modeled his left-handed approach after the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter, how he was the rare high school athlete who enjoyed performing Calum Scott’s cover of “Dancing on My Own.” Dan found the stories to be cathartic. He didn’t expect how playing catch would affect his feelings. “I’m not afraid to show my emotion now,” he said. “I’ve become vulnerable.”

Rhett G. Grametbauer made it his goal to travel across the country in a VW Bus, and visit every NFL stadium five years prior to Ethan D. Bryan’s Catch 365 adventure. Grametbauer found his love for playing catch again on the trip. He played catch with strangers at iconic landmarks, such as the Golden Gate Bridge or the St. Louis Arch, just like Ethan D. Bryan.

Grametbauer founded the Play Catch Movement when he was back in America. The non-profit organization seeks to encourage everyone in playing catch, and also provides those in need with the necessary equipment—including a partner—to play with!

Grametbauer also started a National Play Catch Week, which he engineered to coincide with Father’s Day.

Ethan D. Bryan has been named a partner.

Bryan’s book was published in 2020. Bryan has continued his game of catch. Rhett Gletbauer was Bryan’s catch evangelist. He founded the Play Catch Movement which focuses on the promotion of the acts. On June 19, they will spearhead the first-ever National Play Catch Week, which will launch on Father’s Day and coincide with a Guinness World Record Attempt in Council Bluffs, Iowa, during the College World Series.

By chance, it will also coincide with Ethan Bryan’s birthday. He would be 18 on June 24. This fall, he would have been an adult senior.

There are many benefits to playing catch, both for children and adults. Playing catch can help you socialize and improve your agility. It also gives you the chance to have fun with other people in a more relaxed environment. In Dan Bryan’s case, it was a way to overcome his grief. He was able to play catch and reconnect with Ethan, the sport he loved. Each catch and pitch are helping him heal.

“In the beginning,” he said, “I just wanted to spread the word, let people know who Ethan was, for those that didn’t get to meet him, and keeping his memory alive with me. It’s become a lot more than a game of catch.”

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