FORT MILL TOWNSHIP — Minutes before he was scheduled to throw the first pitch before the Charlotte Knights’ game last Monday, Air Force Captain Adam Glover was making a much more important toss near the Guest Services desk at Knights Stadium.
Tossing and catching his 19-month-old son, Ryan, Glover also made time to play with his twin son and daughter, Joshua and Caitlyn, who milled around under his feet. The noise and chaos of three energetic children is perfectly fine by Glover. For the past two months, he’s been halfway across the world, transporting people and cargo to and from Afghanistan.
Compared to flying a C-17, managing “little people” is a much more enjoyable prospect. The twins, now 4, were just 2 months old when the 30-year-old was deployed to Qatar for the first time.
“They were little babies and when I came home, they were crawling,” he said. “There’s no kids running around where I usually go and then I come home and there’s cute little people everywhere. It’s a great feeling.”
Knights Stadium is familiar territory for Glover and his wife of nine years, Laura. It’s hosted many date nights over the years, stretching back to when the two were high-school sweethearts at Fort Mill High, where Laura was in the class of 2000 and Adam the class of 2001. Adam’s childhood home is just 10 minutes away from the stadium, so he and his brother David would often celebrate Fourth of July fireworks there after a home game. The brothers even played in a tournament against other local high schools on the field.
“I remember hitting it out of left center field,” Adam says, pointing toward the wall. “Playing on that field was a huge thing for me because we’d always come here. Our team would come and think about how it’d be to be a professional player.”
Which is why throwing that first pitch felt very special. For just a moment, Glover was back out on the field, just like the old days.
“I could tell it was fun for him,” said Laura. “He has a connection here and he was so excited to come out. We’re a big baseball family, and now that the kids are reaching T-ball age, it’s great to see.”
Adam and his family has been living in Charleston since October and will continue to do so for the next two years until the Air Force moves them to a different base.
Change is a constant trope for the Glovers. Although Adam is home for the next six months, he may get called to do missions elsewhere at short notice. Laura often needs to take care of both the house and the kids’ activities without a second set of helping hands. Technology like Skype and email help, but the family is never complete without Adam.
“Nothing is certain until it’s happening,” Laura said. “It never ceases to amaze me when he comes home. I can maintain it, but he makes it fun. The kids just have a huge difference in behavior when Daddy’s home.”
The homecoming was short-lived for the Glovers, who traveled back to Charleston Tuesday morning. The memories, however, are refreshed. Adam and Laura hope they can pass on pieces of their golden youth to their growing family.
As for the throw, Glover admits it could have been better. Blaming a tired arm after a full day’s practice, his toss had a good trajectory, but took a short hop before reaching Knights pitcher Deunte Heath.
“Terrible,” he said, laughing. “But I’m just happy to be a part of it.”