Fathers, Daughters and Baseball
July 09, 2012
Yesterday, Kent Babb wrote a great column for the Kansas City Star about fathers and sons and baseball. I recommend reading it, but I’m a daughter, and I love baseball because of my dad.
The love of baseball is very generational in nature. When my two older brothers were too old to play catch with me, Dad was always there. He taught me (mostly successfully) how not to throw like a girl. We played catch until the dusk settled, the fireflies came out, and it was too dark to see the ball. It’s one of those great experiences that doesn’t require words. It’s just tossing a baseball in the lazy heat of summer.
The All-Star Game being back in Kansas City is a completely different experience than any other All-Star Game I can remember. I watched the Futures Game yesterday for the first time. If you don’t already know, the Futures Game is a chance for minor leaguers to play on a big stage. It’s a bit like their All-Star Game. Dad doesn’t live in town anymore, but we talked on the phone during the game. We talked about how big the crowd was, how great the stadium looked, the crown that the field crew had shaped into in the outfield, and laughed when Royals prospect Wil Myers fouled a pitch off to break the camera behind home plate. It was almost like sitting right there with him. Almost.
I’ve gone to a lot of baseball games, but most of them have been without my dad. I still remember those lazy summer days sitting in General Admission when Kauffman Stadium was Royals Stadium. The seats were orange, and Dan Quisenberry hosed down the crowd from the bullpen. I remember my dad pulling me out of school to watch the Royals get their World Series rings at the 1986 home opener. Those memories are still with me every time I go to a game. No matter who I’m with, I still want to turn to Dad and talk about whether the fielder should have thrown to first or third, or the terrible base running choices, or cheer for a base hit.
In a lot of ways, baseball isn't really about winning or losing. It’s sharing experiences with family and fans, and living and dying with your team. And, it’s about the simple things like playing catch in the backyard.
South Independence Branch