Who’s Your Daddy Week: Arizona Sports reminisces

Jun 13, 2013, 11:32 PM | Updated: Jun 15, 2013, 2:50 am

With Father’s Day coming up, Arizona Sports 620 and ArizonaSports.com is launching ‘Who’s Your Daddy Week’ presented by Michelob Ultra.

From June 10 through June 14, guests on Arizona Sports 620 will be asked to reminisce about their fathers and answer two questions:

What is the most important life lesson your dad passed down to you?


What is the most memorable sports experience you remember sharing with you dad?

You’ll be able to check out all the responses during the week right here on ArizonaSports.com:

Derrick Hall, D-backs president

Kirk Gibson Jr., son of D-backs manager

Richard Justice, MLB.com writer

Kevin Gibson, son of D-backs manager

Tim Kempton, Phoenix Suns analyst

Ken Rosenthal, FOX MLB insider

Dan Majerle, GCU basketball head coach

Jared Dudley, Suns forward

Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB analyst

Dan Hicks, NBC golf commentator

Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager

Tom Candiotti, D-backs analyst

Steve Lyons, Dodgers analyst

Jon Barry, ESPN NBA analyst

But we also asked our own staff to get involved and share memories with their own fathers, and those stories can be seen below.

Enjoy, and Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!

Doug Franz

What is the most important life lesson your dad passed down to you?

So many fathers say things or do things that their son will implement in their life. It’s different for me. He has given me a glowing example of the man I should be. I rarely reach that standard. It’s not to say there was ever pressure. I was never asked to be a certain way. Simply, my father is a great man and I’m a good man. He would humbly disagree and that’s exactly what makes him great.

My father would tell me to “quit being a spaz” or “show some dignity,” but as you can tell, those lessons didn’t necessarily stick. My father led more by example. We live thousands of miles apart and yet the same thing happens to me every time. I react to a situation poorly, then think of what my father would do. If the day ever comes I can skip step one and get right to step two, I’ll be a better person.

What is the most memorable sports experience you remember sharing with your dad?

My most memorable sports moment with my father is a funny question because it just happened a couple years ago, but you need some background to really understand what it meant.

My parents didn’t make very much money, yet my father spent the money to take my brother and me to a lot of Cincinnati Reds games. It was never about just one memory but the feeling of being at a baseball game with my father. I got a call once while I was in college from my dad and he asked if I had major plans for a weekend or a test I needed to prepare for. When I said no, he asked if I wanted to go to the Baseball Hall of Fame. I said yes and he said to pack and head downstairs because my parents and brother were in the car outside my dorm. He drove two hours to my dorm just to ask at that point if I wanted to go.

Now that you see, what baseball and my father mean to me, my greatest sports moment with my dad happened in Mesa. I was asked to participate in a charity baseball game with some former Major Leaguers and some Hall of Famers. The timing was amazing because it was during a visit from my father.

I hadn’t swung at a baseball since college. In my third at bat, I drove a clean single against great reliever Lee Smith to left over the head of the shortstop and somewhat into the gap, although I was way too slow to even think about second. As soon as I hit it, my father yelled, “Hey!” from the seats. In three years of varsity baseball, he never missed a home game but sat quietly and didn’t want to make noise as if to say, “that’s my son,” because he didn’t want to put any attention on himself. In that moment, he lost himself in emotion when his 39-year-old son got a hit in a meaningless game other than the money raised for charity. Standing on first, I smiled like I was 16 again.

I love my dad.

Dave Burns

What is the most important life lesson your dad passed down to you?

To always look ahead. To try to think about things two steps before they actually happen so you’re ready for them when or if they do. And to not be satisfied with what you’ve done but to look ahead to what you might do next.

What is the most memorable sports experience you remember sharing with your dad?

My first football game. I was five. We were living in Evanston, Illinois; he was attending Northwestern for a year-long program for law enforcement training. He got a pair of great tickets to see Ohio State and Northwestern but the guy who gave them to him was from Ohio so it was with the condition that we root for the Buckeyes. To this day I’ve always had the tiniest of soft spots for Ohio State football. We absolutely froze out there and by the third quarter we were back home drinking hot chocolate.

Vince Marotta

What is the most important life lesson your dad passed down to you?

The most important life lesson my dad passed down to me was simply the phrase “be aggressive.” It’s something I first heard while playing soccer as a nine-year-old and it’s something that’s resonated with me ever since.

Yes, originally the context was youth soccer. My dad wanted me to be more assertive on the field. But those three words pop up in life every day. I’m not the most aggressive person in the world. Often times, I’ve been content to accept whatever happens. So when I struggle to assert myself, my father’s words pop back up and guide me in the right direction.

What is the most memorable sports experience you remember sharing with your dad?

My most memorable sports experience with my dad is actually a tie. The first experience happened when I was four-years-old. It was August 28, 1975. My dad, a New York City police officer, came home in the middle of the day and told me to take a nap because he was taking me to my first Yankees game and it would be a late night. Even then, I was a baseball nut and my dad and I would watch every game on WPIX, much to my mom’s chagrin.

The Yankees were playing the A’s that night at Shea Stadium (Yankee Stadium was being renovated.) So my dad, my sister, my cousin and I got in the car and drove to Flushing to see the Yanks take on the three-time defending World Series champs. Holtzman against Dobson. I remember my dad encouraging me to cheer for closer Tippy Martinez to strike out Reggie in the ninth. He didn’t, but Reggie grounded out and the Yanks went on to win 3-2. My dad also bought me my first Yankees pennant that night, and my sister promptly spilled a Coke on it. Thirty-eight years later, I still have it.


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Who’s Your Daddy Week: Arizona Sports reminisces