Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Fathers Day

Today baseball fans celebrate the grand game, and the fathers who introduced them to our National Past Time.

Baseball and the father-son relationship is really what fueled the love of the game for generations of big league...and minor league baseball fans, handing down the memories of Ebbets Field, the Polo Grounds, Shibe Park, and the Original Yankee Stadium.

Dad's have passed down the exploits of the Big Train, Three Finger Brown, Big, and Little Poison, the Waner Brothers, and of a skinny kid for San Diego, the Splendid Splinter.

It starts with the gift of a brand new glove, and a shiny new baseball, a catch in the back yard with your Dad.

From there it grows...sandlot games with your buddies in the neighborhood, picking teams and playing in any lot of land that has enough grass to play on...and sometimes playing where there is no grass.

Then it's on to Little League Baseball, playing organized baseball for the very first time.

Fathers passing down their love of baseball, generation after generation.

My Dad wasn't a baseball fan, he preferred basketball.

He would always tell me that when he did play baseball with his two brothers growing up, that he liked playing catcher, because he had a strong arm and could throw runners out trying to steal second base.

In the 1950's my Uncle Bob, my Dad, and other family members liked the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees.

My Grandmother Sharp and my Uncle Paul, the youngest son, would root for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

My Grandmother especially didn't like Yogi Berra, and would scream at the tiny TV set when Yogi would get a hit.

My Dad was happy that I liked baseball, always supported me and my brothers playing.

My Mom was our Team Mother one year.

My parents were great about my love of baseball, but it was my Uncle Bob, who loved baseball, and taught me, and my brothers, the games history, and how to play baseball..

My Dad passed away on Christmas Eve, 1991, at the age of 54, a young man ravaged by Rheumatoid Arthritis, his body broken down from working since the age of 7, working at any job he could to help his Mom, and his two brothers survive.

My Uncle Paul and my Uncle Bob love college baseball these days more than big league baseball, but we still have talks about baseball.

My Uncle Bob enjoys going to AA Bowie Baysox games, an following the Baltimore Orioles.

My Uncle Paul doesn't get to ball games anymore, but he watches on TV, and we have good talks about the game.

If your Dad is still with you, I hope you have a great relationship, even if he's a Cubs fan, and you're a ChiSox fan.

Happy Fathers Day...Play Ball!

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