Baseball truly is something special.
It’s more than a simple sport or even a game.
Baseball involves feelings and emotions, and in result, can create a special bond between a father and a son.
My dad didn’t introduce me to the beloved game. He didn’t pass down his trading cards or retell memories of players he saw while growing up.
No, my story is unique.
You see, my dad didn’t grow up loving the game that I do. He played little league, faked breaking his finger, and didn’t pick up a glove until more than two decades later.
The reason my story is so special is how my dad became a fan of baseball.
I grew up playing recreational baseball, moving my way up into competitive and travel leagues.
My dad would spend endless hours in the backyard with me. He would wake up early or stay up late in order to help me become a better ballplayer. With each ball he soft-tossed to me, he pushed me to become a better player. As we played catch, he would instruct me to follow through with each throw.
One time I failed to listen to his advice and my throw sailed over his head and through the next door neighbor’s window, a memory that is humorous now, but wasn’t so funny when it happened. I was mad that my dad didn’t jump higher to catch my errant throw.
My dad took time off work to drive across the state and country to see me play. He went with me to every tournament and rarely missed a game. His free time turned into time watching me play baseball.
My mom recently told me that my dad would read books about baseball, learning the game so that it would give us something to talk about.
He gave up his life for the game that I loved.
I have the good fortune of having an April birthday, always falling right around Opening Day. Each Rockies’ home opener, my dad and I would play hooky from work and school to go to the game. A couple times, the game fell on my actual birthday, and once, we even saw Albert Pujols make his Major League debut.
We would get down to the game before the gates opened, early enough for batting practice and autographs, and he allowed me to stay after the game to savor the final sights, sounds and smells of the ballpark.
It was our time together.
There is no worldly thing that is more special to me than baseball.
When I think of baseball, however, it’s more than a game.
It’s an emotional attachment. It’s memories full of my dad and me spending hours together in the backyard, on the diamond or at the ballpark.
Baseball is for fathers and sons.
It’s for me and my dad.
This article is also featured on View from the Rockpile.