Jun 192011
 

It’s not looking great for a dry, sunny day at the ballpark today, but I’ll be going anyway because baseball is what always bonded me to my father. This is the second Father’s Day since he passed away early last year, not too long after I started writing for this website.

My father never taught me how to play the game, in his mid-50s by the time I was in Little League, to which he drove me to many games and practices despite his three hours of driving each day for work. He often couldn’t stay because I was one of several children and my older brothers had games, too.

If you think that that bothered me, that there was some resentment, well, you’re wrong. My father was the master of calm, serenity, and subtlety. Every once in a while, he would talk about seeing some kid “really get a hold of a low, outside pitch and drive it the other way” when he showed up to get me, not ask about how many hits I got. Instead he’d ask about how many runners I threw out.

Back then, I was a catcher. Five feet tall, 130 lbs. The big kid with a strong arm, but too slow for the outfield. Granted, much of my success came from kids that would run because the rest of the catchers couldn’t reach second base with a throw, much less get it there accurately. That’s what I could do.
And my Dad knew to praise me for that versus my hitting.

When I got older, Dad would talk about baseball while we watched games together. Maybe I might have missed out on becoming more of a player in part because the coaches couldn’t size up my Dad (I’m adopted) but I might have missed out on learning about the game, too.

So I’m not going to get all “Cat’s In The Cradle” on you. I miss my Dad and think about him while I’m watching baseball. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you might have a father or grandfather like him in some way. Call him today, take him out to a ballgame (or whatever his passion is) and tell him you love him. Do it while you still can.

  16 Responses to “Happy Father’s Day”

  1. [...] Paul Demny carried a no-hitter into the fifth, giving up a one-out double with a runner on but getting two key outs to escape the jam. Josh Smoker would pitch to two batters in the sixth, hitting one and walking the other before Joe Testa was brought on to kill the rally. Testa got the last six outs to earn his first save of 2011. Eury Perez’s two-run single in the second against the #39 pick in the 2010 Draft, Tony Ranaudo, stood up as the game-winner. Perez and Jeff Kobernus both went 2-for-3 to pace the Potomac offense. Sue skipped this one in part because of fatigute, but also to make time to write a Father’s Day essay. [...]

  2. Excellent post, well said and written. Did you happen to see NatsGM’s interview with Brian Oliver? I know it doesn’t interest you but it would be nice to hear which of the unheralded prospects they drafted intrigue you (and Souldrummer)?

  3. I was the big power hitter who really couldn’t field. Somone Rizzo likely wouldn’t tolerate. Power to all fields from a very early age. But slow runner, terrible fielder. Not too bad a pitcher. My dad never took me to games. Rode my bike. ~smiles~

  4. I was a left handed hitter who could barely make contact. I tried out for my Freshmen baseball team, saw how the movie was going to play out, and promptly made the proper decision to focus on drums full time. I give my Dad credit. I was the kid who had the first drum set and that gave me a lead on teh competiion. He drove all over god’s creation helping me pack and unpack my kit and didn’t complain one bit about the noise. I’m sure that part of it was that he had been prohibited from playing drums as a kid. My dad’s been one of my biggest supporters through tough times and has really taken the time to understand me. He’s been through some tough times himself, and I hope that I’ll be able to support him in his golden years as he has supported me.

  5. I never made it past little league, lacrosse became my passion, but dad would take me all over the place for baseball, now my dad takes me to my almost 100 lacrosse games a year, being only 16 I look forward to growing up and letting my dad see the man ive become, Happy fathers day everyone

  6. Thanks Souldrummer, I being from Virginia am big on UVA, so I was ecstatic to see them win, I was actually there, great seeing the growth of the sport, 25,000 fans

  7. Thanks for your site –IT”S GREAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. I was bored so I went on the GCL Roster, some interesting stuff I found

    Deion Williams SS is listed, isnt that the 16th rounder that we got who was a HSer? A Highschool pic in the 16th, we normally dont have luck signing highschoolers out of the top 15 so thats good, hoping for Laxer and Buchanon to follow, 19th and 20th!

    Tom Hanks and Micheal Herrera are both listed, 2 guys I thought found success last year, Hanks with a 3.08 ERA at GCL and Herrera with a 2.88 ERA in 14 games at Vermont last year, injuries maybe? They both are only 20 so maybe thats why, no rush I guess

    And just general comment, I hope we can get some more guys signed, Auburn and GCL rosters seem pretty boring, but like Randolph Oduber last year maybe we can find that exciting guy in the rough, Bryce Ortega anyone? haha

  9. Nice Sue. I was adopted too, by good and kind folk. They were farmers in 50′s Quebec and too busy to make my basketball games, but always supportive. Didn’t play baseball (nobody did), only softball, usually on the equivalent of a hay field. Only two players had gloves–the catcher and the first baseman. But I did manage to avoid working in the corn field one afternoon to watch Don Larson pitch his perfect game. And eventually, the Expos came to town. I’ve been a fan ever since.

  10. My Dad played Baseball up to the federation league in NYC in the 50′s. He got an offer to join a Yankee’s farm team but choose College. ROTC at Marquette. He never played in college. I saw him play in the Army leagues. Holy cow he could hit. He would tell me as a kid that he never beleived in his fielding and that’s why he went 100% Army. Lord he could hit and run. He tried to get my brother and I into baseball early. We were both real short for our ages. I think I batted .025 my last year at 12yrs of age.My coach would tell be to get into a squating stance to get walked and I did. Once on base I was like my Dad, I could run.(I went into track that was my Jr.J. and H.S. sport) I’ve always loved baseball and my love comes straight from my Dad. Card’s fan till the end. My brother and I love the Cards, too, until the Nats. Now were both big time Nats fans.

    • Good to see you as always Berndaddy. Thanks for dropping your story around here. Imagine that, choosing college and the army over a puncher’s chance in athletics. How many kids would do that today with the Big Cash to be made from playing ball?

      Can’t have worked out too bad. He’s got you for a son!

      • My grandfather was a professor at Columbia Univ. and a Navy Commodore(Rear Admiral) in the WWII; so school and military was a expected. Still he loved baseball with a burning passion. BTW he was what we’d call sabermatrix freak. He kept all the Cardinals stats on 8 or 12 column paper, years and years of it. Way before anyone I knew to do it.

  11. Awesome posts guys wonderful site

  12. Great posting Sue!

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