Fathers and Sons; A Story Told In Extra Innings

Welcome to the first entry of my first blog. I’ve thought about this for a long time. It was something I was supposed to do as a writer living in the digital age. It took me a while to want to do it. But I did. Then came the terrifying thought of what my first post would be. It would have to be brilliant. Right? It would launch my career and gain me a 1000 new Twitter followers. Right? As I was crushing myself under my own bloated expectations I noticed something today. The Boston Red Sox play the Chicago Cubs this Sunday. Father’s Day. I imagined my father walking over to me and taking the bat out of my hand and telling me, “let’s just play catch.”

You see the Cubs were my dad’s team. And the Red Sox became mine. I say became because I HATED baseball. My father loved the game as much as I hated it. I had little aptitude for it, but father tried to help by playing with me. He would pitch, but while he had love for the game he had no talent for pitching and I was chubby and slow. As a result I got hit in the head. A lot.

What changed? My father died. It will be 5 years ago this coming Wednesday June 20th. We were not a traveling family, and his death was unexpected and I needed to clear my head. So I decided to fulfill a life long dream and visit New England. I was to attend a writers conference outside of Boston. I had made the drive from Austin, so I arrived in Boston a couple of days early. I decided to go see a Red Sox game. If nothing else I would enjoy the historical aspect of going to Fenway Park. Somehow I thought it would mean a lot to my dad too. When the time came and I entered the gates to Fenway something magical happened to me. All of a sudden I got it. I saw the beauty where I only saw slow and boring as a child. I saw the art in those moments of breath. I became a fan. Before I would leave New England 6 months later, I would become a nut. I would attend two more games. My Texas truck proudly displays a Red Sox license plate frame in the front, and two fading Red Sox decals on the back window.

There is rareness and regret in this moment. You see the Red Sox and Cubs are in different leagues, it’s very rare for them to meet. The fact that this meeting takes place on Fathers Day both dulls and spikes the sting of this day and the anniversary ahead. When he passed I didn’t have a favorite team. but I do now. It’s a moment that I wish we could have shared. And we will. I have no doubt that my father will be watching the game Sunday. And with a much better view. I’ll see you at the game Dad.

Go Sox! And Happy Father’s Day.

I would love to read stories about your fathers today. Cherished moments. Missed moments. Feel free to share yours if you like.

Welcome to my blog. Lets play ball.


Published in: on June 16, 2012 at 5:36 AM  Comments (9)  
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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What a beautiful memorial for a father. I have often been envious of those who had great relationships with fathers. Mine was a bit harsh. I loved him but must admit I didn’t like him much. Fathers and sons and baseball. Quite lovely!

    • The relationships are complex to be sure. I suspect even the ones that don’t seem to be are quite so. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Ahhh … what a wonderful first post. And poignant too. This line really grabbed me: “There is rareness and regret in this moment.”

    Bravo to you for embarking on this journey. I’ll look forward to more!

    • Thanks so much Beth! It’s been a long time coming and a high jump, but your support makes for a soft landing. Thank you!

  3. Nice hit. I can relate to how one realizes the true magnitude of a father’s impact on their life as time passes. I was blessed to have an opportunity to thank my father for the gifts of wisdom about life he had shared before he died. However, as the years passed I’ve come to appreciate so much more about his strengths and his faults. Thanks for sharing Mark. Write On!

    • Thanks so much for your comment Bryan! I suppose there are gifts in every circumstance. Some are immediate, others are lessons in memory that develop like a stew until they are ready to feed us.

  4. My father was a die-hard baseball fan for as long as I can remember. He’s also a musician, and he used to sing this song sometimes – I thought of it while reading this post. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    • This is great Laura! Thank YOU for sharing. Is this your dad?
      I’m a Red Sox guy, but because of the underdog factor and it was my Dad’s team, I got a real soft spot for the cubbies too!

      • oh, no, this is actually the original artist, Steve Goodman. My dad just used to sing it a lot. 🙂 i always loved the catchy chorus of it – gets stuck in my head.

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