In front of us was the father who brought his three boys to the ballpark. One of them had allegedly spit in the Cold Stone ice cream that belonged to the youngest. While he pleaded his case to his dad, the accused only laughed. Next to him; a tug of war between a dad who wanted to watch a baseball game and the rest of his family who wanted to leave in the 5th…..he lasted until the 7th.
One row behind sat the Burns family. In between a Blue Moon and a bag of peanuts came conversations about what makes a good OPS, why Muhammad Ali – who was at the game – was his generations Michael Jordan, and the lack of replays on the Jumbotron.
I had to laugh when reading Greg Esposito’s piece on the role his father played in fueling who he is as a sports fan. Laugh because my father had nothing to do with my love of baseball. Literally nothing. When I take him to a game he has to walk a lap around the concourse every few innings just to keep from falling asleep. As kids, we never even played little league. From dad came the thrill of football, whether it was a Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium or a Monday night with Howard, Frank and Dandy Don. And movies. Lots of movies.
Baseball I found on my own.
On a Saturday night in 1986 I sat in my room, alone, and watched a harmless ground ball roll through a soon-to-be-tortured man’s legs. And while Bill Buckner suffered, I was enthralled. So much so that I went out and bought a Mets jersey, mistaking my love of the game for a love of Daryl Strawberry.
I don’t mean to get all James Earl Jones on you, waxing poetic about the great game of baseball, but there is no place I’d rather be on a Father’s Day. You can have sitting on your couch watching golf. Take me out to the ballgame. Despite the fact the D-backs were throttled on this particular Father’s Day, I continue to be grateful they’re here.
I just may not always show it, that’s all.
I started the week by speculating on a D-backs move to the American League. I ended it by saying what I believe to be a simple yet inconvenient truth: The Giants are a better team. I’ll probably start this week ranting about the lack of production out of guys like Juan Miranda, Melvin Mora and Gerardo Parra at positions that usually demand premium run production.
That’s the talk show host in me…the baseball fan in me. Don’t expect me to apologize for it anytime soon.
The dad in me takes a look around Chase Field and recalls the bleacher seats where we first had season tickets. All the times the kids ran the bases after a game. Father’s Day in 2004 when my son was fortunate enough to throw out the first pitch (to Brian Bruney who ironically pitched Sunday for the White Sox). Sometimes it feels like, second to our own roof, we raised our kids under that giant tin shed.
There was so much not to like about how the D-backs played on Father’s Day. Funny, but as I write this I can’t think of a single one of them.