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Baseball and Dads Go Hand In Hand

Baseball and dads just sort of go hand in hand. Most of us had our first catch, or got our first glove, or went to a ballgame for the first time, with our dad.

My dad was always a driving influence in my baseball career. He was at almost every game I played in Little League, and was even a coach on a few of those teams. He used to keep my stats each season, and actually still has the notebook he used. He brings it out of mothballs occasionally just to remind me that, when I was 11, I didn't strike out for the entire season and even pitched a couple of no-hit innings in relief. Back then, I never understood why he thought it was a good idea to record so much of what went on at the games, but as I've gotten older, I realize that he knew how important those memories would be to both of us as the years went by.

Whenever my dad and I would have a chance to hang out, more often than not it was at the ball field. He would hit grounders and fly balls to me for hours. I was committed to playing each position, and playing it well, so our sessions would last for quite a while. I should have spent an equal amount of time at the batting cages, because my bat never caught up to my glove or arm.

I remember a day, just a couple of years ago, when my dad and I decided to go out to the ball field and play some catch. It had been years since we had done so, but for those two hours, I was reminded of how much I cherished the times when we would spend an afternoon at the field. It was the simplest, most redundant exercise in the world, but we both loved it. He would hit a grounder, I would shift to my left or right, scoop the ball up, and throw it back, letting it bounce twice so he could scoop it up and hit it again.

Before you we knew it, four hours had gone by, the sky had darkened, and it was time to call it quits. I had to get home to finish my homework and get to bed, and dad had to make the drive back home, which was about a half-hour away from my house in those days. I would scoop up the last grounder, look at him and say, "Just a couple more, Dad?" He'd smile, raise his hand to call for the ball, and I'd run back to my spot at third base, eagerly waiting for that next ground ball.

Somehow, no matter how dark it was, there was always time for a couple more.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Baseball and dads just sort of go hand in hand. Most of us had our first catch, or got our first glove, or went to a ballgame for the first time, with our dad.

My dad was always a driving influence in my baseball career. He was at almost every game I played in Little League, and was even a coach on a few of those teams. He used to keep my stats each season, and actually still has the notebook he used. He brings it out of mothballs occasionally just to remind me that, when I was 11, I didn't strike out for the entire season and even pitched a couple of no-hit innings in relief. Back then, I never understood why he thought it was a good idea to record so much of what went on at the games, but as I've gotten older, I realize that he knew how important those memories would be to both of us as the years went by.

Whenever my dad and I would have a chance to hang out, more often than not it was at the ball field. He would hit grounders and fly balls to me for hours. I was committed to playing each position, and playing it well, so our sessions would last for quite a while. I should have spent an equal amount of time at the batting cages, because my bat never caught up to my glove or arm.

I remember a day, just a couple of years ago, when my dad and I decided to go out to the ball field and play some catch. It had been years since we had done so, but for those two hours, I was reminded of how much I cherished the times when we would spend an afternoon at the field. It was the simplest, most redundant exercise in the world, but we both loved it. He would hit a grounder, I would shift to my left or right, scoop the ball up, and throw it back, letting it bounce twice so he could scoop it up and hit it again.

Before you we knew it, four hours had gone by, the sky had darkened, and it was time to call it quits. I had to get home to finish my homework and get to bed, and dad had to make the drive back home, which was about a half-hour away from my house in those days. I would scoop up the last grounder, look at him and say, "Just a couple more, Dad?" He'd smile, raise his hand to call for the ball, and I'd run back to my spot at third base, eagerly waiting for that next ground ball.

Somehow, no matter how dark it was, there was always time for a couple more.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.