Sunday, June 21, 2015
PLAYING CATCH WITH DAD
California Dreaming with Dad, Pacific Ocean, CA
FATHER'S DAY, 2015
As a young man playing baseball, my father was scouted by the St. Louis Cardinals and offered a low paying position at shortstop on their farm club. He decided to abandon the dream and stay at home to help the family. That major decision in my father’s life quite probably resulted in our family’s creation. It’s good to have goals and dreams in life, but when life throws you a curve ball, it just might not be strike three. It could be ball four and a pass to begin a new path around the bases that leads to a new home. Only later after his too early death did I begin to also understand the time and patience he spent to teach me the baseball skills he had acquired. I didn’t become a professional baseball player either, but I learned that we’ve got to work hard at something to be really good at it, sportsmanship, a love for athletics, how to be a team player, developing lasting friendships with teammates, the thrill of competition, how to be a good winner as well as a good loser, and the love of a father to impart his passion to his child so that the dream remains alive.
And like the movie Field of Dreams, some of the best times involved the simple act of playing catch in the backyard. It’s a very human act of I-give-to-you and you-give-back connectedness, many times discussing something about life and many times in serene silence, with just the sound of the rawhide ball hitting the leather glove. The final act of redemption in the movie unfortunately doesn’t happen all too often in real life. The prodigal son gets a second chance to say, “Hey dad, you wanna have a catch”? And his dad replies, “I’d like that”.
The good news is that I’m confident they play baseball in heaven.