|On Monday night, I had the tremendous opportunity to cover the MBA youth baseball finals.
The games had it all – great plays, wonderful performances, new champions and the increditable support of parents.
Baseball is one of those sports that dads have passed on to their kids since it was invented more than 100 years ago. Time and technology might have changed, but nothing beats having your dad play catch with you in the backyard. With Father’s Day coming up this Sunday, the sport has played a part in my relationship with my father.
Back when my brother, my cousin and I played youth baseball almost two decades ago the sport played a special part in our family life thanks to my dad. Growing up, my brother Adam, who is currently serving in the Coast Guard, and I would watch baseball on television, mostly Braves games. However, our greatest memories came in the backyard. Back then, we were told on the weekends we had to spend most of the daylight outside, unless the weather was bad.
At that time, we were both playing little league baseball, but we never had a chance to play unless it was a game or practice. However, our dad fixed that thanks to his always hard-working attitude and making sure we had everything we needed regardless of what it took. Our dad is always building something, even today. Back then, he took some posts and chicken wire and built us a backstop. It was one of the greatest things ever. Even today, I miss that backstop.
Adam and I would get our baseball equipment and play against each other. Adam tried to see how fast he could throw it passed me, while I threw down the middle, because I enjoyed fielding. Every year before the MLB All-Star Game, we would get the starting lineups for each league, and each of us chose a side, American or National. Then we pretended to be each player in that league’s starting lineup.
My dad was always working, because that’s what he had to do. At the same time, he came to all of our games; we even saw my cousin Trey’s games since he was about the same age as Adam. However, one year I played for the Indians in the Optimist league, my dad helped coached the team. It was my favorite season ever. Our record was not very good, but we always had fun. At that time, I was playing the middle infield and I was pretty good at it. My dad after practice always hit grounders to me. During the games, he coached third base. It was always great to round third and see my dad waving me home.
My dad has always been a great influence on me, but I sometimes have a hard time expressing my thanks for all that he has done for me. I, along with the rest of my brothers and sisters, have been through a lot, but he always finds a way to be there for us when needed. He is one of the hard-working people I have ever seen, and I wish I had a 10th of the work ethic he has. He always gives it 150 percent.
Our family will also celebrate my sister, Erica’s birthday on Father’s Day. I guess now instead of being my baby sister, now she is my little sister. Just kidding. Those two are just alike, but that what makes them great.
So I want to tell my dad thanks for everything you do, and I love you very much. I also want to wish my sister a happy birthday and I love you, too.