The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. – Terrance Mann, Field of Dreams
I don’t know if it’s the game of baseball I love, or the stories behind baseball that are more intriguing to me. In the first week of the 2013 MLB season we were captured by an almost perfect game from Yu Darvish and witnesses to a 20-year-old phenom, Bryce Harper, have a multi-homerun game. Stories like these are what get my baseball “blood” flowing.
As much as I love the stories, I love the memories I had growing up playing catch with my Dad and brothers. Long toss in the yard, monkey in the middle, and the game of 500 were played on most summer evenings. Driving to games in a caravan of cars to arrive and leave as a team, the bonds that were shared amongst boys in a man’s game, the incredible catches, stolen bases, and a bases clearing double are what I remember and love of playing baseball. They are fond memories; they are memories that will be embedded into my brain as much as the 2003 Chicago Cubs run at the World Series will.
As I embark on the “Baseball Dad” journey with my son a part of me wants to go back in time to relive the moments I had with my Dad while he showed me how to throw and catch a ball. I never knew how difficult it would be to teach my 5-year-old son how to perform the basic fundamentals of the game. We tend to pick up the ball off the ground more, than taking it out of the glove. I have a vivid memory of playing catch with my dad for the first time and throwing the ball into the ground. I can still hear my dad’s voice giving me pointers and tips on where to release the ball as my arm is coming forward. The patience he displayed during the first few days of my training should be inducted into the, Dad Hall of Fame. I wasn’t the best student; he was a great teacher who made me a better player.
As I play catch with my son, I try to remember the pointers and tips that were presented to me by my father. We might pick up the ball off the grass more often than not, but it is the time spent with my son that is the most important part of the game. How my son embraces the stories, the smells, and the love of the game will “mark the time” of our baseball journey.
LET’S GET SOME RUNS!!!