Father’s Day…

Taking in a baseball game with dad is special.

daddTaking in a game with dad on Father’s Day is even more special. Today, I sit here at Knights Stadium thinking about some of the best fathers that I know — wishing they were here with me on this beautiful day for baseball.

I think of my two grandfathers, who were the absolute best. They were the original baseball fans in my family… Mets fans of course. Brooklyn Dodger fans first though.
I’ll never forget my time with them talking baseball and just listening to all of their great advice. I miss it. I really miss it.

I think about some of my best friends who have had the chance to become dads over the years. Happy Father’s Day to Tim, Petro, Ernie, Denis, Matt P & Matt S, and all of the other great dads that I know. Uncle Gary too!

And then, I think about my dad. I think about our first baseball game together and I think about all of the sacrifices he’s made over the years…

Our first baseball game was at Shea Stadium and I still remember the drive from Brooklyn to Flushing. I remember that on our way there we stopped by the local store to pick up some food and drinks before the game (no, not those kind of drinks). We didn’t know we were unable to bring food in and had them taken away from us at the gates…

I remember having amazing seats right behind home plate (5 or 6 rows back I believe) and I remember we had a parking pass and drove right in. It felt really awesome.

Before getting there however, I remember that we got lost. It’s funny, I could still remember asking someone for directions to Shea. We did get there though — and when we did, it was heaven. I was in awe. My first baseball game.

I was a huge Gary Carter fan. I was born on the 8th of a month — like Gary. I wore #8 all through my baseball career (Little League through college) and I may have tried to curl my hair like Gary. I immediately noticed “The Kid” when we got to the game and later I got him to sign my program.

The game was the first of many that my dad and I enjoyed. We went to numerous Mets games over the years — even when we moved to the Poconos. Although it wasn’t as close as it used to be, we still made it there together.

While the Mets games were the most fun with my dad, we also enjoyed going to a lot of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons games. Over the years in SWB, we saw Derek Jeter, Darryl Strawberry, Bernie Williams, and many future stars (and rehabbing stars). I have so many fond memories of baseball games with my dad — too many more to name.

One that sticks out is the Triple-A All-Star Game in 1995 when Jason Isringhausen was pitching. Izzy was warming up and we were in the first row of the bleachers. Izzy let one fly and my dad caught it. He of course, did not want to give it back unless Izzy signed the ball. He of course signed it for us…

Those were the days.

It seems like baseball and dads go hand-and-hand. Even now, while we don’t get to go to games like we once did, we still are able to chat about the “game” over the phone. “How about those Mets… they stink!”

There’s nothing like talking baseball with my dad.

Thank you dad for being the best. For moving the family to a better place, for all of the baseball games, for being there for me during Little League and all of my games that I played in, for the advice, for all of the sacrifices, and for still driving back-and-forth to work all of these years. I hope that someday I can be a great dad just like you.

Happy Father’s Day…

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