The special thing about Father’s Day is that it always happens during baseball season. There couldn’t’ be a better time either. Baseball and dads go hand in hand. There are plenty of moms out there who play catch and know the game, but dads will be the ones who teach you about a can of corn, quote lines from The Field of Dreams, and know why you should be swinging maple instead of ash.
Baseball is a game that a father can enjoy with his kids like no other. If you take your kid to watch football, basketball, hockey, or soccer, there is constant movement happening on the playing field. There is little down time to just sit back and chat. You better like whom you are sitting with too since those actionless minutes pile up.
A father can take his kid to a game and talk nothing about baseball. He might be the kind of dad who talks only about baseball. Or maybe he talks about baseball but is really trying to discuss other matters and is using the game merely as a metaphor. Very few sports relate to life as well as baseball does, and fathers know this.
Baseball is also probably the only sport where a father can play with his son professionally. Ken Griffey Jr. played with his father, Ken Griffey Sr. I imagine that not much else could top that feeling.
There are numerous baseball families that have impacted the game. The Griffey’s are one. The Ripken’s are another. Cal Sr. and Cal Jr. were the notables alongside Billy. The home run king, Barry Bonds, and his father Bobby Bonds have each made history for the San Francisco Giants. The list goes on and on. There are just as many unknown father and son baseball duos as there are big shots. And there is room for them all.
Players may have to work on Father’s Day, but their job is to play a game they love and probably a game their fathers loved as well. Every dad has his own special occasions and ways that they bond with their kids. For those that may have more trouble than others finding a way to spend time together, baseball is a great place to look. It can be the whole basis of a conversation or relationship, or it can simply be the common interest that passes the time discussing other things.
Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the man of the house, the head honcho, the old man, and so on. Odds are he played baseball at some point in his life. He probably at least knows some things about the game. Go to a game if you have the chance. Sit down. Eat. Have some talks. Some about baseball and some that aren’t. Hangout and have the game be the reason for showing up, but not the reason for being there. Happy Father’s Day.