Happy Father's Day! I speak for everyone at TCB that I hope everyone has the opportunity to share a moment or fond memories with your fathers/fatherly figures.
Dad are the ones that get us our first glove, first one to play catch with, the one that teaches us the game, and the one that cheers for you one from the stands when you play. The story of the national pastime is a story of fathers and sons.
My dad was the source of my insane level of fandom. He took to me to countless games at the Astrodome and Minute Maid Park. I wouldn't be here on TCB with my dad. I could tell you a bunch of stories but I'll pick one.
My dad took to the final game of the 2004 regular season. The Astros clinched a playoff spot on the final day of the season. We were there to watch the confetti fall, it was a magical day. But the event itself wasn't the subject of my story.
When Christmas rolled around, my dad handed me a rectangle present. I found after opened it, that my dad framed our tickets. He wrote a beautiful paragraph about the game to fill in the frame. It was so touching to have the game emotionalize on my wall like that. It was a perfect gift from my dad.
Now the wonderful TCB writers want to share their stories...
I could write all day about baseball and my dad, but I will narrow it down to a couple of memories.
First was in 1986. I was 16, and my dad and I had gone to many games that year, buying the cheap centerfield seats. When they made the playoffs he said "There is no way we are going to miss this. It may never happen again." The line to buy tickets started the night before they went on sale at the Astrodome. He worked in the Medical Center and they had some kind of big project going on, so he dropped me off in the Dome parking lot with a couple of sodas, a sandwich, a bag of Cheetos, and a blanket, then went to work. I sat there all night in line and bought 2 tickets on the front row of the bleachers. He came and picked me up later and we got some breakfast. Even though he was not a guy who showed his emotions a lot, you could tell he was excited. I still can remember almost every moment of that NLCS game from the time we walked in the stadium until we left.
Second, my dad was my coach at North Side National LL from the time I was 5 until I went to high school. He was definitely a hard working guy, since there were 4 of us kids and my dad was the only paycheck at our house. After I grew up and coached my own son it floored me how much he had to sacrifice to be there for all those games.. Our relationship was developed through years of riding in his truck to and from practices and games. He became a second father to many of the kids he coached, so much that they called him "coach" long into adulthood when they would see him around. One regret in my life was that he passed away 2 weeks before my oldest son was born, because I know he would have dropped everything and been right there with me doing the same for my boy
Ok...one more. The first time I ever got to sit on the front row of the field boxes, my dad heckled John McSherry so much for a bad call that in between innings the ump was yelling at my dad. I would imagine that ended up being one of his top 10 proudest moments.
My father never took me to a baseball game. It was one of the few sports he didn't care for, which is ironic because it's the only one I still love.
But he took me everywhere else and did everything else and I'm very lucky for it. He passed away this year, just a few months ago, so I'll use this space and occasion to say I miss him greatly.
The last game I went to with my dad was a good one. August 6, 2004. Bagwell hit one of his last homers, Berkman had a nice day at the plate, and Oswalt shutout the Expos (yeah, been a while). This was just as they were getting really hot down the stretch on that run that would eventually nab them the Wild Card. I wasn't a huge baseball fan at that point, but it definitely got me more interested and played a role in me getting more into the sport.