Davis Schneider is a Toronto Blue Jays prospect who is from Voorhees, New Jersey. Schneider was called up and made his big-league debut earlier this month. While he only had a pinch-hit appearance in the Philadelphia Phillies recent series split in Toronto, the 24-year-old prospect is having a nice start to his MLB career— hitting .385 with two home runs and five RBI in just 26 at bats.
Being from Voorhees, Schneider grew up in the Philadelphia area and still trains in the vicinity in the offseason. Two years ago, at Indoorance Sports in South Jersey, Schneider discovered a used glove in the lost and found. He received permission to take the glove as no one else had claimed it and he has been using it ever since.
What is unique about the glove is not that a now-Major Leaguer is using an old, worn-out glove, it is who the glove previously belonged to. Written on the wrist area of the glove is "VUK"— yes, that Vuk, John Vukovich. Vukovich became a legend in Philadelphia, not necessarily because of his play on the field, but because of his contributions to the club as a coach during the Nick Leyva, Jim Fregosi, Terry Francona, and Larry Bowa years from 1988-2004.
Vukovich was known as a fierce competitor and a fiery coach. He would let players know when he was unhappy, but always remained loyal to his guys. Players respected him. Vukovich unfortunately passed away in 2007 at the age of 59. The club honored him by wearing a "Vuk" patch on their uniforms for the 2007 season.
So how did Vuk's old glove end up in the lost and found of an indoor sports complex in New Jersey? Vince Vukovich, John's son, coaches youth baseball and left the glove behind one day. Schneider indicated that he would return the artifact back to the Vukovich family if asked. Vince Vukovich— understanding the superstitions of baseball players— decided he would wait until after the season to request its return. After all, Schneider did make his MLB debut using the old glove and Vukovich said:
"Maybe I'll reach out to him after the year's over and we'll see. Maybe we'll have to make a deal... I just think it's a great story. It definitely puts a smile on my face."- via Scott Lauber/ Philadelphia Inquirer
Now the glove has a connection to Philadelphia and Toronto. It's funny how something like an old piece of equipment can make for such a great story. It's what makes baseball such a great game.