The day Matt has been waiting for finally came last week: Joe's first day of baseball. Every dad, especially those who have sons, and those who are fans, long for the day their kids start baseball. It was June 2003 when we had our first ultrasound and found out we were having a boy. When the ultrasound tech announced, "it's a boy!" I could visibly see Matt's excitement. The excitement was the promise of tee-ball, gloves, little league, bats, coaching, home runs, batting practice, stealing second, turning a double play, and one proud daddy in the stands.
Dear Joe & Jack,
You are lucky to have such a great baseball daddy. Daddy is not only a skilled player, he is a great coach as well. Daddy played catcher and 3rd base. I remember watching Daddy play for Post 15 when we were 16. I hope someday you'll get the pleasure of watching daddy swing for the fences, and use his powerful, upper body strength to easily hit one out of the ballpark. When we were in college at UNL, one summer Daddy coached 3 Babe Ruth teams. Due to the team age requirements, 2 of his teams were eligible to go to the city tournament. And not only did both teams qualify for the city tournament, both teams made it to the city championship! One of Daddy's teams won 2nd place, and the other finished in 1st place. Daddy has coached other teams, and his teams are always successful because he loves the game, understands the game and wants everyone to have fun. You are both lucky to have such a great Daddy! You may not know it or understand it right now, but Daddy is filled with such excitement when you throw the ball, swing the bat, and run around the bases.
Baseball means a lot of things to Daddy. I think it is the memory-triggering sights, sounds, smells, or possibly that shining moment when he visited Wrigley Field for the very first time. Baseball also means childhood friends Mitchell, Babs, Gaspar & sharing his passion of baseball with them. Daddy still points out the baseball field by Covell Lake where he hit his first home run. Baseball means treasures of childhood, Daddy's baseball cards and the fascination of his heroes like Ryne Sandberg. Baseball also means, Daddy's dad, Grandpa Ron, who endlessly cheered for Daddy, win or lose, good or bad. Daddy, just like his dad, is your biggest fan. Daddy will always cheer you on...and baseball will take on it's own meaning to each of you. And for you, Baseball will mean Daddy.