Baseball has always provided a special bond between my son and I - we practice baseball, watch baseball, and talk baseball. We talk not only about today’s players and stats, but also about the great achievements of past players.
Father’s Day came a little early, with a trip to Turner Field.
It was the Braves versus the Yankees in a matchup that was extra special to both of us – my favorite boyhood team playing my son’s favorite team.
I like the Yankees and Braves equally now, but I was hoping to see the Yankees win, since I only get to see them win on television. And of course, I would never openly root against the Braves.
We were off to the ballpark nearly four hours ahead of game time, on a trip he had counted down to, and we had planned for a few weeks!
My son wore his Marquis Grissom jersey and was pulling for the Braves. I was wearing a Braves polo shirt, Yankee hat and was pulling for the Yankees.
Batting practice took place, Varsity hotdogs were eaten, lineup cards were exchanged – and the rain came.
We sat through periodic showers throughout most of the game, but our spirits were not dampened.
At one point, we had to take cover as the rain was coming. The Braves were beginning to rally, but the Yankees hung tough and got out of the inning unscathed.
Something happened during that inning, as I watched my son going back and forth between the entrance and safe cover, with an ear-to-ear grin on his face. He filled me in on each pitch with an optimism that got stronger with each pitch – and then the opportunity was snuffed out as quickly as it came.
It was during that inning I decided I no longer wanted the Yankees to win the game.
Granted, I am still a Yankee fan, but the bond my son and I share is as Braves fans.
It was getting late in the game and the rain continued to come down. I used the rain – and Varsity hotdogs (for a second time) as our excuse to leave the game early. In my mind it was easier to have enjoyed the game, without seeing the final out.
While my son didn’t make his decision to leave very quickly, the prospect of enjoying more hotdogs did help.
We made our trek back to the car, discussing baseball the entire way, made our hotdog trip and followed the end of the game on my phone as we enjoyed the rest of the evening.
I will always be a Yankee fan. I will also always be a Braves fan. Both of the teams have filled my life with wonderful memories.
However, I am a much larger fan of father and son time, spent pulling for the same team – at the same time.
Baseball has solidified a strong bond between this father, and his son. I am so very grateful for the love we both have for the game – and for each other.