There's something about the combination of Father's Day and baseball that just feels right.
Maybe it's because it's usually Dad who gets you your first mitt and plays catch with you as a youngster.
Maybe it's because it's Dad who tells you which team to root for before you're capable of deciding for yourself.
Maybe it's because it's Dad who brings you to your first Fenway game
and keeps quiet as you cross the threshold into the park, allowing the
greenness of the grass and the brightness of the lights above to wash
over you for the first time.
Maybe it's because of more recent telephone conversations with Dad
— even now that you're an adult — that still revolve around your
team's recent wins or losses.
Father's Day is a time to think of Dad, and Major League players didn't disappoint, honoring fathers everywhere by wearing powder blue wristbands as a reminder of the fight against prostate cancer. Minor league umpires did the same.
Players, coaches and officials around the Majors told their poignant Dad stories as well.
Jason Bay described how his dad — a longtime Red Sox fan, even in Trail, British Columbia — constantly kept him on an even keel.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi still calls to check in on his 77-year-old father in Illinois even though he suffers from advanced Alzheimer's disease.
Prostate cancer survivor Dodgers manager Joe Torre explains the importance of Father's Day in raising awareness for the disease and how dealing with it has also made him a better father.
It's also fun to remember the great father-son duos in sports. We get a reminder from RealClearSports.
But not every Father's Day is a happy one.
On his Facebook status Sunday morning, a childhood friend of mine
made mention of the fact that this was his 11th Father's Day without
his dad, who died of cancer at the age of 49. Way, way too young.
I remember distinctly what a sports nut his dad was. How he turned
him, basically from birth, into the biggest Syracuse sports fan I've
ever met. How they used to take an annual trip to New York City to
watch the Orange hoopsters in the Big East tournament. How his dad
would cheer him on at Little League games. How he turned him on to the
Yankees, like Don Mattingly and the others from those less-than-stellar Bombers squads. And more.
And I remember his funeral. It's hard to imagine someone your age
losing a Dad, a hero, someone so critical to his growth as a person,
such a fundamental piece of his life. But my buddy had to deal with it.
His Facebook status Sunday morning hit me like a slap in the face.
Thinking about what my friend would give for one more Father's Day with
his dad made me realize that I should do more to appreciate the time I
continue to have with mine.
Still, always the optimist, my friend mentioned that he's grateful for all that he does have, especially his two boys.
I guess the point is that whether your memories of Dad are good or
bad, whether they make you happy or sad, it's important to think of
them on this day. Be grateful for the time you have together and
appreciate those good moments. At the ballpark, watching TV at home,
But don’t stop there. Take the good things you've learned — about sports and any other facets of life — and pass them on to your kids.
Even if you're a Yankees fan.