Tuesday, August 10, 2004

of baseball and sons

i am firmly convinced that God brought baseball into the world to allow fathers and sons to share something beautiful.

i decided that caleb and i needed to head out to the ballpark for a last crack at summer before school starts next week. i called my friend who works for the redhawks (thanks nancy) and asked if she could hook us up with tickets at the last minute. hook us up she did. two rows back directly behind home plate. it doesn't matter what level of baseball you are watching..that's good stuff.

so we get our tickets and walk past the statue of mickey mantle where i get to explain to caleb how great he was - even though he played for the yankees. we get inside and take full advantage of $1 hot dog night. if you've never seen a seven year old boy put away two hot dogs in about three minutes, it should be on the list of thing you make sure you do before you die. then we sit down to find out that chan ho park is making a rehab start before he goes back to the rangers.
so if you are keeping score at home - doubleheader, seats behind home plate, $1 hot dogs, a major league pitcher, just me and caleb, and o by the way, the home team comes back late in the first game to get the win.
i don't know if i can describe how much fun we had hanging out and eating peanuts (to chase down the hot dogs) and watching baseball and laughing and being stupid. if you are a dad with a son, you might know, if you aren't i'm just not sure you can understand.
of course the night wasn't totally perfect, what is? we had the whiny kids behind us who didn't want to be there and griped all the way through the game. it rained on us for a few minutes (which really added to the fun more than it hurt anything). apparently mercy me is coming in concert to the ballpark before a game in a couple of weeks (august 27 if you must) and so they played the first 30 seconds of i can only imagine so many times that i can't imagine anymore. the capper on that deal was when they played the full video for the song between games. nothing says "play ball" like a bunch of people holding up pictures of dead loved ones....but i digress.
tired and happy (and pretty full) we left the second game early. we stopped to watch for a minute from the parking garage and a guy who used to play for the cubs (manny alexander) hit the first pitch we watched out of the park.
walking to the car, caleb grabs my hand and says "thanks for taking me to the game, dad." i know, it sounds like a commercial that i would make fun of, but it happened.
may i end with what terrance mann (james earl jones) says in field of dreams?
The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.

by the way, on the newly released anniversary dvd i just got (thanks mom and dad), there is a feature about fathers and sons and baseball. i'm telling you, there's just something about it.

thank you God for unexpectedly perfect nights. i can't wait 'til nathan is big enough to join us.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, that was beautiful. - Curt

11:40 AM  

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