Each Wednesday before church, Julie Anne and Mike Lisi peruse the aisles of the Jupiter Goodwill Super Store in search of treasures.
Mike seeks out Starbucks cups and mugs, while Julie Anne veers toward the toys for anything that would be good to send on mission trips. The Lisis have spent half the year in Tequesta since 1989.
On Aug. 29, during their regular perusing, Julie Anne’s eyes were drawn to the bottom shelf of her favorite section, and, among rackets and baseball bats, she recognized something she hadn’t seen in 40 years: her son’s baseball mitt.
The dull brown Wilson infielder glove with “Christopher Lisi” written in large, black letters was more than 1,000 miles from where the then 12-year-old lost it.
Mike turned the corner to find his wife in an apparent state of shock.
“She had a terrible look on her face,” he said, thinking something was wrong. “I said, ‘I don’t need a glove.’”
It was 1978. Christopher Lisi hit two home runs for the first time ever during the season-closing All-Star Game at Todd Field in Willoughby, Ohio, a city today of more than 22,000 near the southern coast of Lake Erie, 20 miles east of Cleveland.
“At the end of the game, they presented trophies and had a big hullabaloo,” Julie Anne Lisi recalled. “He must have left his mitt at the ball park.”
The adult Christopher Lisi — a math teacher and coach for football, girl’s basketball and bowling in Ohio — told The Palm Beach Post that he realized he had forgotten his glove so he got up at sunrise and raced over to the ballpark on his bike, but it was nowhere to be found.
“I remember being really upset,” he said. His parents worked hard to make sure he wanted for nothing, he said. And seeing the glove again made him remember “how fortunate I was back then and how fortunate I am now.”
When he received a photo of the glove from his mother, he texted back, “Buy it.”
Christopher Lisi thought it might make a nice gift for a grandchild, but his eldest son is likely to pass on his love for lacrosse instead, he said. If anything, he said, he can play catch with his wife in their backyard.
“It’s like this is our miracle,” Julie Anne Lisi said.
Sue Rounds has worked at the Goodwill Super Store, 1280 W. Indiantown Road, for seven years, and has never seen anything like this.
“I’m thrilled for her,” she said. “I’m thrilled to death that it happened.”
She said Lisi walked up to the cashier counter with her husband on Aug. 29, holding a treasure from her son’s childhood she never thought she’d see again. She was shaking and amazed, Rounds said.
Rounds has no clue how the glove made the long journey to Jupiter.
“There’s so much that comes in so many bags, boxes totes,” she said. “There’s no way of tracking it either. It would have been fun to find out how.”
The Lisis bought the glove for $1.49 plus tax. But the find was priceless.