Celebrating Dad: Players share their stories

June 20th, 2021

From catch in the backyard to coaching Little League and more, fathers often pass baseball's great lessons and history to the next generation. For today's crop of Major League players, managers and coaches, Father's Day is a day to both celebrate that past and also look forward to the future both on and off the field. With that in mind and with the help of MLB.com's 30 beat writers, here's a special Father's Day story from each club:

American League East

Blue Jays: Riley Adams and dad, Matt

When Blue Jays catcher Riley Adams made his MLB debut back on June 8 in Chicago, his father, Matt, was in the stands alongside his mother, Shelly. It was a special moment for Adams, who got a kick out of watching the video of his parents together when his first base hit fell.

“It’s been so fast-paced since I got up here that I haven’t really had time to reflect on it, but just thinking back to how young I was when I first started throwing a baseball, for them to see me out on the field and see some of the videos of their reactions when I got my first hit… My mom, obviously, she’s very emotional, and my dad tries to act calm, but I could tell in that video he was pretty excited.”

Orioles: Hunter Harvey and dad, former MLB closer Bryan Harvey

Orioles reliever Hunter Harvey grew up in a baseball family, led by patriarch Bryan Harvey, the former two-time All-Star closer. The American League save leader in 1991 (with 46), Bryan accumulated 177 saves across nine seasons with the Angels and Marlins, from 1987-95. He also had two sons, who both grew into professional ballplayers.

The elder Harvey, Kris, was a second-round pick by the Marlins in 2005 who played eight Minor League seasons as an infielder (one for now-Orioles manager Brandon Hyde). The younger, Hunter, a pitcher like his dad, was the Orioles’ first-round pick in 2013. Now after working through years of injuries -- the most recent a strained oblique that sidelined Harvey for the first two months of 2021 -- he’s a hard-throwing reliever like his dad. And still leans on his old man for everything baseball related.

“He’s everything” Hunter Harvey recently said of his dad.

Rays: Mike Zunino and his dad, Reds scout Greg Zunino

Like a lot of big league baseball players, Rays catcher Mike Zunino grew up around the game. And like a lot of kids, he shared baseball with his father, Greg. But Greg was able to share a different perspective with his son, because he was -- and still is -- a baseball scout.

Greg was drafted by the Yankees in 1981 and spent two seasons playing in New York’s farm system before heading overseas to play in Italy. (It was there that Greg met Zunino’s mother, Paola, who was a catcher on the Italian national softball team.) Greg began working for the Expos as a scout in the late 1980s, joined the Marlins in the early ‘90s and has been with the Reds since 2000.

“Growing up, I was able to be around the game a lot more in different levels than a lot of people,” Zunino said. “I was able to go to Spring Training, see from the inside, see games, have conversations with players that were far older than I was and pick their brains. So, in that sense, it sure put me well ahead of the curve in understanding the game and how pro ball works."

Red Sox: Garrett Whitlock and his dad, James “Larry” Whitlock

At a young age, Red Sox standout rookie Rule 5 pick Garrett Whitlock learned all about work ethic from his father James, who everyone calls by his middle name of Larry. When Garrett was a child, Larry Whitlock took ownership of a goat farm in Georgia. And the father put the son to work.

“The goat farm was a lot of fun,” Garrett recalls. “That will teach you hard work and that will teach you responsibility. You’ve got a lot of animals’ lives that are in your hands. That's a huge responsibility.”

This week, Larry had the thrill of seeing Garrett pitch in the Major Leagues when the Red Sox were in Atlanta. Not only that, but Garrett got his first Major League hit that night in just his second career at-bat.

Garret Whitlock's father, Larry, watching Garrett pitch in Atlanta.

Yankees: Chris Gittens and his son, Tristan

Chris Gittens watched his first Major League home run soar over the wall at Buffalo’s Sahlen Field on the evening of June 15, describing the sensation of having his mind “go blank” as he touched first base.

By the moment the rookie slugger touched home plate, he already had decided what to do with the baseball, which came to rest near the Interstate 190 on-ramp beyond left field and was retrieved -- after some negotiation -- by a Yankees security official.

“I’m going to give it to my son,” Gittens said. “I’m going to definitely put it in his little crib and let him have it.”

Gittens and his girlfriend, Heather Chee, welcomed Tristan on May 22, five weeks ahead of the child’s expected due date. The slugger was rewarded soon after with his first promotion to the big leagues, following seven years in the Yankees’ farm system.

AL Central

Indians: Cal Quantrill and his dad, former MLB reliever Paul Quantrill

Cal can still remember anxiously standing outside of the clubhouse doors in Toronto, waiting for the security guard to give he and the other kids of his father’s teammates a thumbs up that the team had won.

“I knew the hotel so well even at like 8 or 9 that I could go down the back elevator into the clubhouse as long as they won,” Cal said. “So you have no bigger fans than the sons of baseball players because you can only go in the clubhouse if the team wins.”

Cal spent the first 14 years of his life in and out of big league clubhouses, following his dad, Paul, around whenever he could. He grew up watching his dad play, and he seamlessly took over the family business when he broke into the big leagues in 2019 for San Diego. Cal calls his father all the time to talk about anything and everything, but the one thing that’s always been the glue of this bond has been the sport they both love.

“[Growing up,] school’s tough, life’s tough, whatever, and you go play catch,” Cal said. “It’s nice that everyone gets to play catch with their dad, but I have a guy who’s really good at catch. I think it’s really cool.”

Royals: Danny Duffy and his dad, Dan

Whenever he thinks about where he found his love for the game, Danny Duffy remembers a familiar scene: He’s sitting in the reserve seats at Dodger Stadium -- way up high, with a bird’s eye view of the field and scoreboard -- tuned into every pitch. Beside him is his dad, Dan, explaining all the different aspects of the game and why things were playing out the way they were. Duffy didn’t want to miss a word his dad was saying. He hoped and hoped for extra innings. That way, his bedtime would be pushed back, and he could hear more of what his dad had to say about the Dodgers.

“He was instrumental in explaining the game to me as the game was happening,” Duffy said. “Why this happened, what happened and when it happened. And how. He instilled that in me at a very young age and just sharing that love for the game with him.”

Tigers: SS Prospect Ryan Kreidler and his father, Mark

Long before Mark Kreidler became an award-winning columnist, radio host and author, he got his start in his journalism career as a young writer on the Padres beat covering Tony Gwynn as well as countless young players making their way to the big leagues. Little could he imagine that, one day, his son would be on that same path and he’d be watching games from a vastly different perspective.

“It's definitely been a journey,” said Mark, who credits his wife Colleen for the athleticism in the family. “And believe me, if I could figure out a way to take credit for this, I would've. I'm still not 100 percent sure what being a baseball writer did for Ryan."

Ryan Kreidler and his father, Mark

Though Mark was a columnist in Sacramento and covering several sports by the time Ryan was born, he and his wife made a point to make time to go watch games with the kids. Ryan was a multi-sport star and played high-school basketball against fellow Tigers prospect Matt Manning, but fittingly gravitated toward baseball, tagging along with his older brother Pat. Once Ryan started getting attention from Pac-12 schools as he began high school, Mark realized they were in for a journey. He couldn’t pass along hitting tips or any special access, but he knew the work ethic required to make it.

“My dad exposed me to different walks of life, different people,” Ryan said. “And he has endless stories, just like you guys do. He's met them all, you know, all sorts of different countries, experiences. So I would say I think I got a leg up on the competition when it comes to doing media relations and things like that.”

Twins: Alex Kirilloff on his father, Dave

Alex Kirilloff is well on the path to overcoming the challenges of growing up in the cold-weather area of Pittsburgh and establishing a lengthy Major League career. Having a traveling hitting instructor as his father almost certainly helped with that.

Dave Kirilloff operates a coaching service called “The Language of Hitting,” as part of which he organizes in-person and Zoom sessions with athletes and coaches alike around the United States. He lists a lengthy page of testimonials on his website -- but the best indicator of his coaching success is perhaps his 23-year-old son, who has established himself as a consistent big league presence this season.

“I'm very grateful for him sharing a lot of knowledge and hitting passion, baseball passion with me,” Alex Kirilloff said. “It really helped me grow and develop as a baseball player for sure. Part of it is the work ethic that he kind of pushed me towards as well. That definitely helped me out a lot."

White Sox: OF Adam Engel and his dad, Jeff

When Adam Engel talks with his dad, Jeff, their focus seems to rarely be baseball according to the White Sox outfielder.

“We talk more about other hobbies. He’s into golf now so we talk a lot of golf, and that’s fun too,” Engel said. “He watches baseball and he really enjoys the game and my parents love coming to the games.

“But actually talking baseball itself, like, my dad knows it’s what I do for a living and he’s more, like, 'Are you having fun?' Off the field stuff, asking me every now and then a baseball question here and there, but when I’m with my dad, it’s more Ohio State football. Talking about the Buckeyes or whatever the case may be.”

Engel, 29, is a married father of three daughters. It was his parents who served as role models as he grew up and made sure Engel had the training needed to excel.

“Both my parents were incredible role models to me growing up,” Engel said. “I’m one of the kids, people ask me who was my role model growing up, expecting a pro athlete or something like that. I was like I didn’t really look up to pro athletes. I was really looking up to my parents and the examples they would set for me."

AL West

Angels: Max Stassi and his dad, Jim

Angels catcher Max Stassi comes from a long line of catchers, as his great-grandfather, grandfather and father were all Minor League backstops. His brother, Brock, also played in the Majors with the Phillies as a first baseman and outfielder in 2017. And Stassi said his dad, Jim, played a huge role in their development both on and off the field.

“My dad is everything," Stassi said. "He's the one who taught me the game. He's the one who taught us to go out there and play hard and leave it all out on the field. Off the field, he's always been there for us. He's an amazing father and I love him with all my heart."

Stassi was also coached by his dad at Yuba High School in Northern California and said he learned the position from him and helped him get to where he is today.

"He's the one who taught me the position,” Stassi said. “Santa Claus brought me catching gear when I was five years old. He taught everything back there. He watches all of my games. Him and my mom were in Oakland for the last series."

Astros: Darren Baker is all grown up and the pride and joy of Dusty

Most remember Darren Baker as the three-year-old bat boy who was scooped up by J.T. Snow of the Giants and hastily carried off the field during the 2002 World Series. He’s grown up now. Darren is 22 and recently graduated from the University of California, where he started his final 123 consecutive games as a left-handed-hitting infielder.

The only son of Astros manager Dusty Baker, Darren is carving his own path in the baseball world while enjoying his 72-year-old dad’s success managing a Houston team with World Series aspirations. The two are extremely close and bond over baseball, music and fashion.

“It’s a double treat to grow up with him and for him to come around and be at the baseball games,” Dusty said. “He was on the bench for every [managerial] stop except this one because of the COVID stuff. He’s a man now. Even though he’s still your kid, he’s a man now. You got to let him be a man. He’s always been his own guy. He’s a respectful young man.”

Astros manager Dusty Baker with his son, Darren

Athletics: Cam Bedrosian on his father, Steve

Some of Cam Bedrosian’s earliest childhood memories came at Fulton County Stadium. It’s where his father, 1987 NL Cy Young Award winner Steve Bedrosian, spent the final years of his career, playing near home with the Braves.

The youngest of four brothers, Cam was only about four or five years old when he caught a glimpse of his father on a big league mound. That turned out to be a benefit, as Steve soon retired and coached Cam from Little League up through his teen years at East Coweta High in Sharpsburg, Ga.

“Ever since I was little, he’s been coaching me,” said Cam. “Going with me to tournaments and all that. So many good memories of us through the holidays and everything."

Cam Bedrosian with his father, Steve, who won the 1987 NL Cy Young Award

Mariners: Soon-to-be new dad, Marco Gonzales

In a short time, the Mariners’ No. 1 starter will have a new title, one that he believes will bring him some added intangible strength: Girl Dad. Marco Gonzales’ wife, Monica, is expecting their first child in early July.

It’s been an up-and-down year for Seattle’s left-hander, but his wife’s pregnancy has been one topic that evokes a wide smile every time it’s brought up. As if the labors of the Major League season weren’t already demanding enough, with the constant travel, daily grind at the ballpark -- and specifically for this season, his recovery from a left forearm strain -- adding dad duties is certainly something at the forefront of his mind. But it’s a newfound part of his life that the 29-year-old is so thrilled for.

Gonzales and his wife, Monica, are expecting their first child in July

And Gonzales grew up in a baseball family, so he got glimpses of what’s in store because he’s lived it. His father, Frank Gonzales, was an eight-year Minor Leaguer in the Tigers, Pirates and Red Sox organizations, and he played three seasons in indy ball, too, before hanging up his glove in 1999, when Marco was seven years old.

Frank is now the pitching coach for the Rockies’ Double-A Hartford affiliate.

“Gosh, we're just so excited and can't wait,” Frank said. “The whole family, it’s just a blessing to experience this. And to do it in baseball, it’s just kind of cool.”

Rangers: Isiah Kiner-Falefa on his father, Fili

When you ask Rangers shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa about the people who inspire him, you get the typical baseball name like Derek Jeter, but he also doesn’t forget to mention his father Fili, who has been his No. 1 fan from the very start.

Kiner-Falefa comes from a competitive, athletic family, and his father is a former football and baseball coach who currently works as a tree trimmer in Hawai’i. He’s been vital to Kiner-Falefa’s development as a baseball player from the very start of his career all the way to as recently as this offseason.

Most notably, Fili suggested Kiner-Falefa build up power by chopping wood as he spent the offseason in Hawai’i. And while that is important, Kiner-Falefa emphasized how his father instilled in him a work ethic that is unlike anyone else.

“[My dad] means the world to me,” Kiner-Falefa said. “Just coming from a work ethic standpoint, he's kind of drilled the line for me and paved the way of what I have to do and how to accomplish goals. So I think that just being on this stage in this game on Father's Day is really a dream come true for him.”

National League East

Braves: Chip Caray on his dad

Braves broadcaster Chip Caray recently reminisced about what it meant to have the opportunity to spend a few years working with his father, Skip Caray, the legendary broadcaster who is a member of the Braves’ Hall of Fame.

“Any time your kid does something, it makes you feel good," he said. "You're happy for your child. When I came to the Braves for the first time, in ‘91, he had a very honest conversation with me. He said, ‘Look, you're my kid, I'll do everything I can to help you. You have to help yourself, obviously, but I'll do everything I can to help you. But if you run afoul of a coach or manager, general manager or something, I can't help you.’

"I think he was really, really proud. Again, my parents divorced. I didn't have much of a relationship with my dad until I got out of high school and went to the University of Georgia. I've said all the time that baseball has given our family everything. It's also taken away a lot because of the things we missed; those family relationships. I've always said that the opportunity to work with my grandfather would have closed a huge circle in our family. That never happened.

"So for me personally, to be able to come back and work with my dad, be his son, take him to the doctor's office, take him to lunch, get his suitcase on the road, have a drink with him as an adult, be a colleague, and be his kid, I hope it was rewarding for him, because it was rewarding for me. I'm eternally grateful for the stupid stuff that he and I got to experience together for those five or six years before he died. It was life changing.”

Marlins: Corey Dickerson on his father, Tim

The youngest of four siblings, Corey remembers his father, Tim, catching his games at Summit Dixie Youth Baseball in Mississippi. Tim, a three-sport athlete in high school, was a constant presence in the stands through Corey's time at Meridian Community College. Eleven years and nine Major League seasons later, Corey will still hear from his dad about games.

"At first when I was in the Minor Leagues, he did a little bit more when I got up here," Corey said. "If I was going through a real rough patch, he might call and give me a word of encouragement, but he would never tell me what to do or how to really fix myself. It'd be more or less to check on me emotionally."

Over the last couple of years, Tim has been going through some health issues; Corey tries to be with him as much as possible, calling his father a "tough man."

"I think me having three kids being a dad, you have a different perspective when you get older," Corey said. "When you're younger, you think a lot of the things are to control you or you don't know what's best for you. But just knowing that he means the world to me. I know what I do and what I represent is a reflection of him."

Corey Dickerson with his father, Tim

Mets: Luis Guillorme on his father, Luis Guillorme Sr.

When Luis Guillorme was 12 his family moved from Venezuela, where he had trained as a baseball player throughout his youth, to Florida. Almost immediately in his new neighborhood, Luis Guillorme Sr. became known as “the baseball dad.” Not only would Guillorme Sr. bring his son to the field for extra practice after games, but he would recruit four or five others from Guillorme’s youth teams to do the same.

“My dad was the guy that was always with me whether it was after practice, every tournament, every game,” Guillorme said. “My mom helped out a lot. But when it came to the practice side of it, playing baseball, it was all from my dad. He took time after work to come out to the field with me. We were always out there. I would go to school, go to practice, and then go to the field with him after. He was a huge influence on me.”

Luis Guillorme with his father, Luis Sr.

These days, Guillorme Sr. is a constant presence at Mets games whenever he can attend in Florida, New York or elsewhere. Although Guillorme is well-established as a steady bench bat for the Mets, his dad still texts regular words of encouragement -- and also criticisms when he notices flaws in his son’s game.

The younger Guillorme appreciates them all.

“Even when he’s not here, he watches every game,” Guillorme said. “I’ll get texts the night of the game, the day after the game -- whether they’re good texts or bad texts, he’s always on me because he always wants the best for me.”

Nationals: Josh Harrison and his father, Vincent Sr.

Stay humble. Get good grades. Don’t cut corners. Strive to be better. Those were some of the lessons Josh Harrison’s father, Vincent Sr., imparted on him and his two older brothers growing up in a family of standout athletes in the Cincinnati area.

“He wasn’t going to sugarcoat anything,” Harrison said. “He expected hard work.”

Over the course of his childhood, Vincent Sr. coached Josh in football, basketball and baseball. Their house often was filled with teammates, as Vince Sr. provided rides to games.

“My pops, he’s a legend back home,” Harrison said. “Big Vince.”

Josh Harrison with his father, Vincent Sr.

There was one basketball game, though, Vincent Sr. couldn’t make that Josh still recalls years later. He was in fourth grade, and his team lost to an opponent they seemingly could have defeated. Vincent Sr. asked Josh why they didn’t win, and Josh replied they didn’t play well. Then his father asked Josh how he played, and the rest of the conversation has stayed with him since then.

“I remember telling him, I had like 20 points and so many assists,” Harrison, now in his 11th Major League season, said. “I’m thinking he’s going to be like, ‘Hey, good game.’ His first question was, ‘How many turnovers?’ I’m in the fourth grade like, ‘Why do you care about my turnovers?! I just scored 20 and had assists!’ But as I got older, I realized it was, don’t settle for just being good. There’s always something you can work on and improve.”

Phillies: Luke Williams and his father Mark

Williams credits his father Mark and mother Jeannine for so much of his success as a baseball player. Fortunately for Williams, he will spend Father’s Day with his father at Oracle Park in San Francisco. A Williams friend has a suite at the ballpark, and he invited the family to watch the game with him.

Williams played recently with Team USA at the Olympic qualifier in Florida. His parents were there. They were in Philadelphia on June 8 when he got a hit in his big-league debut. They were there on June 9 when he hit a walk-off home run for the first home run of his career. They were there on Monday, when the Southern California kid played in front of 75-100 friends at Dodger Stadium.

“I think that’s every dad’s dream, right?” Mark said about watching his son hit the walk-off homer last week. “It’s every parent’s dream to be able to see your kid do something like that. Obviously it came really quick in his Major League time frame. … It has been a crazy spring. So exciting, so exciting.”

NL Central

Brewers: Brett Anderson on his father, Frank

This would be one fine from Major League Baseball that Brett Anderson would happily pay.

Anderson knew he was exposing himself to discipline when he brought his phone to the dugout during the Brewers’ sweep-clinching win over the Pirates last weekend, but the temptation was too great to keep track of the University of Tennessee’s super regional showdown with a berth in the College World Series on the line. Anderson’s father, Frank, is Tennessee’s pitching coach.

“It was worth it because they won and they're going to the World Series, so that's pretty cool,” Anderson said.

Father and son talk or trade texts at least every other day, Brett Anderson said, and always have stayed in touch even as their baseball careers have pulled them in different directions. Frank Anderson has been coaching in the college ranks since before Brett was born, including recent stints at Texas, Oklahoma State and now Tennessee, such that Brett joked that his closet is filled with college team gear in various shades of orange. He’s worn plenty of colors himself; Brett has pitched in the Majors for six different teams over the last 13 years.

“I'm happy for my dad,” Brett Anderson said. “I'm kind of veteran of this team and he's the salty veteran of their coaching staff. I think everybody else on Tennessee's coaching staff is 20-30 years younger than him. So, we're both salty veterans in our own respects. I'm proud of him."

Cardinals: Edmundo Sosa on his daughter, Naya

This May and June, Edmundo Sosa, with regular playing time at the Major League level for the first time, is playing some of the best baseball in his career. In March, he and his wife welcomed their first child, Naya.

Those two circumstances are related.

Teammates, coaches and Sosa himself have marveled at how the responsibility of being a dad has completely changed the way he conducts himself at the field: focused, driven and paternal -- now playing with the knowledge that he’s now providing for a family of three.

Edmundo Sosa with his first child, Naya

“Everything now is for her and for our family,” Sosa said in Spanish. “ … It’s one more reason to give 100 percent on the field.”

Sosa, who briefly left the club in Spring Training for the birth of Naya, spent part of the last three seasons on the Major League roster but with only 13 career at-bats to his name. When injuries offered him the chance to be a regular starter, he didn’t look back, earning the hearts of the fanbase, eyes of teammates and ire of opponents searching for their own success. All for Naya.

“When I finish a game, it doesn’t matter anymore if I have a good or bad game,” Sosa said. “When I get home, everything changes. It’s all joy when I see her smile.”

Cubs: Tommy Nance and his dad Mark

Tommy Nance returned to an empty house when he came home for a weekend visit during college in 2014. When he phoned his dad, Mark, to find out where his parents were, the pitcher learned some life-changing news.

Mark Nance had just been diagnosed with ALS.

“I remember finding out, it was just a lot to take in,” Nance said. “I didn't really know anything about it, what it meant, anything like that.”

This Father’s Day, the Nance family is counting their blessings. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) -- commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease -- has a life expectancy of two to five years. On May 17, Tommy Nance completed his improbable rise from independent baseball to the Cubs nearly seven years to the day of his father’s diagnosis.

Tommy Nance with his father, Mark

On June 2, which was MLB's inaugural Lou Gehrig’s Day, Mark was among the family and friends in the stands at Wrigley Field to watch Tommy pitch.

"To watch him just feel so comfortable up there," Mark Nance told Marquee Sports Network, "I'm like, 'How can you do that?' I'm amazed. That's who he is. He never quits. He wants his dream.

"That's what I always try to tell my kids, is, 'I want to keep feeding your dream, your passion.' Follow your passion."

Pirates: Reliever Geoff Hartlieb on his son Crew and dad Chris

Father’s Day will be extra special for Geoff Hartlieb this year, the first as a dad himself. He and his wife welcomed their first child, Crew Thomas, on May 28. Hartlieb was with the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate in Omaha, Neb., when his wife called at 2:30 am saying it was time. He hopped on a flight and watched what he called the best and most stressful moment of his life; the birth of their son.

“Way more stressful than when you're pitching,” said Hartlieb of the birth. “I don't know what I was doing with my hands. I was standing there and there were nurses all around just doing crazy stuff. And yeah, it was a lot of things going on. But watching him come out -- he came out backward -- was just super wild. All of a sudden color just kind of started coming into him and it was really cool.”

Geoff Hartlieb with his father, Chris

The Pirates reliever is looking forward to returning home for a few days and spending time with his wife and son. The two have been with family, including Hartlieb’s father Chris, while the righty has been on the road. Being away from his son is hard, but he is grateful that he’s already been able to share some firsts -- like Crew’s first bath and the family’s first walk together.

Creating family moments is really important to Hartlieb, who recalled the Pirates Father’s Trip in 2019 as one of his favorite memories with his dad. The Pirates invited the players’ fathers to ride on the team plane to a weekend series in Cincinnati, spend time in the clubhouse and throw out the first pitch. Looking back, it was such a rewarding moment to share with his dad, since Hartlieb was experiencing most of it for the first time in his career too. Hartlieb laughed when asked what type of grandpa his dad was going to be.

“He's been really excited for a long time,” said Hartlieb of his father. “He'll be a really good grandpa. He's ready to not be the dad who has all these rules. He's gonna be the grandpa when you go to his house, [where I will have to say] ‘no, you can't do that here, that’s allowed at grandpa’s house.’ He's ready to fill that role.”

Reds: Outfielder Tyler Naquin on his father, Ken

Growing up in Spring, Texas, Naquin was grateful for the example set by his Dad -- especially in daily life. To him, that meant everything.

“He’s a hard-working, blue collar man,” Naquin said. “He just showed me how to go about my business, how to treat people and how to do everything. I am the man I am because of him. That’s also shown through my brother as well and even my Mom. But since it’s Father’s Day, we’ll narrow it down to him.”

“He’s a good dude with a good heart. He wears his heart on his sleeve. Whether it was baseball or life, all the things he taught me translates between these lines, the weight room, the clubhouse, with friends and everywhere else.”

Tyler Naquin with his father, Ken

NL West

D-backs: Torey Lovullo and his father, Sam

It wasn't until the fifth grade when new D-backs manager Torey Lovullo realized that his father, Sam, had a unique job.

Sam, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 88, was an executive producer for "Hee Haw," a TV variety show that featured country music. The show ran from 1969-71, and then for 21 years in syndication.

When his fifth grade teacher asked what he did over the summer, Lovullo said that he went to Nashville and spent some time with his father and the people he worked with.

"Do you realize who those people are?" his teacher asked.

"Yeah, Buck Owens and Roy Clark," Lovullo said as a fifth-grader, referring to a pair of country legends. "It was like nothing to me, because I'd sit and play cards and laugh and tell jokes with those guys. They were my friends. She was the one that told me that my upbringing might be a little bit different."

Dodgers: Kenley Jansen on being a father

After Kenley Jansen caught a comebacker to secure the save against the Pirates, the closer sat on the mound and pounded his chest a few times. When he checked his phone in the clubhouse, the right-hander had a special video from his kids back home.

His middle child, Kyrian, imitated Jansen’s celebration. It’s something that Jansen has become accustomed to, given that his two-year-old son doesn’t miss a game.

“That was awesome, man,” Jansen said of the video. “My son Kyrian is more involved in baseball. He always wants to come to the stadium with me. Kyrian definitely loves to imitate me and loves coming to the ballpark and watching Dodgers games. It’s a lot of fun.”

Jansen has had a lot of success in his career, but he’s enjoying the fact that his three kids, Natalia, Kaden and Kyrian are all understanding that their father is one of the best closers of his generation. That fact has given Jansen even more perspective, as he enjoys one his best seasons in the last few years.

“You realize that this is a part of your life, so having your kids love you unconditionally and no matter what happens in any circumstance, when you go back home, it’s just that love waiting for you. It’s awesome,” Jansen said. “This is a game that I love so much and when I see Kyrian, it reminds me of me when I was that age."

Giants: LaMonte Wade Jr. on his father, LaMonte Sr.

The Giants’ trip to Washington, D.C., last weekend was a bit of a homecoming for Wade, who grew up in Baltimore and attended the University of Maryland before being selected by the Twins in the ninth round of the 2015 MLB Draft. Wade had plenty of family and friends in the stands to watch his first regular-season games at Nationals Park, including his father, LaMonte Wade Sr.

Wade’s father played baseball in high school and helped pass along his love for the game to Wade and his younger brother, Jamal. Wade inherited a few other traits as well, including his father’s affinity for ping pong and the Baltimore Ravens.

“He was a fan of the game,” Wade said. “He coached me when I was younger. Every home game I had at the University of Maryland, he was there. Anytime we’re on the East Coast, they’re there. They’re always supportive and big fans of the game.

“If it wasn’t for my mom and my dad, I wouldn’t be here today. The sacrifice they put in to take you everywhere as a kid, all the tournaments, taking off work to take you [to games], putting you in good schools so you can get an education and be able to play baseball. Everything that they’ve done for me, I’m completely grateful for."

Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr. on his father, Fernando Sr.

Fernando Tatis Jr. is quick to credit his father for his successes. Whether Tatis Jr. is thriving or struggling, the two talk often after games, and their conversations help keep the 22-year-old superstar even-keeled. Turns out, it helps to have a father who experienced the ups and downs of playing big league baseball for 11 seasons.

“It's the biggest part of my success and where I'm at right now is because of him,” Tatis Jr. said. “He always has the right advice. He always has the smart advice.”

Fernando Tatis Sr. and Jr.

Tatis Sr., of course, is quick to deflect that credit back upon his son. Like the rest of the baseball world, Tatis Sr. is sitting back in awe of the things his son has accomplished at such a young age. But he also views those accomplishments through a bit of a different light.

“You know what I see?” Tatis Sr. said. “I see a young kid who put in a lot of hard work since he was seven, eight years old, and now he's living the results. So I feel very emotional, and it makes me feel proud.”

Rockies: Pitching coach Steve Foster on his daughter, Lauren

Foster says he's very proud of his daughter, Lauren, who plays softball at the University of Wisconsin.

"It's hard to do what she's done," says Foster of Lauren, "and come away with a three-point grade point average and a double major -- communications and family counseling -- and get asked to come back for a fifth super-senior year. She's now going to get graduate school in her fifth year paid for -- so we're thrilled.

“During the pandemic year, we became workout partners. We lifted some. We ran some. I can’t run with her … But I tried."

Scott Foster with his daughter, Lauren