I'd like to take today's post to say Happy Father's Day to my dad Craig. He's a great dad, and I owe a lot of who I am to him (besides the obvious "being born" stuff, although my mom had a bigger role in that whole process than he did).
My dad and I have done lots of cool stuff together. Growing up, I had a pretty good relationship with both of my parents, and my mom would be the one that I would talk to, while my dad would be the one that I did stuff with.
He was my baseball coach for five years (Red Arrows, Blue Jays, Orioles, Red Sox, and Yankees - we were in the Poway American Little League, so there weren't any National League teams, and the Red Arrows were my T-Ball team). My favorite games were the ones where we had the 8:00 Saturday morning game, because then we could get to the field extra early and practice. I remember the cold and the fog (well, it was cold for San Diego standards) and him tossing me batting practice or hitting me grounders). When I was in Minor A (10-11 years old) he would let me help him make the lineup and was pretty fair (at least in my opinion) of not favoring me too much (though I was usually one of the better players on the team.
I played shortstop most of the time my first few years, and then when Jared, our catcher on the Orioles got injured, he made me play catcher. I remember being super upset and even crying, because I was supposed to be the pitcher and the short stop (I even wore number 8 for Cal Ripken Jr.), but I grew to love it more than any other position. My dad taught me how to call the game and manage the infield - it was just really cool.
He was also really involved with my Scout troop. I'd be lying if I said that I enjoyed getting merit badges and getting all the advancements - my mom has told me that getting me to do it was like pulling teeth - but I liked the hikes and the trips and everything else that they did. When I was the youngest in the group (and the slowest), he'd stay back and talk baseball with me to keep me going. The coolest hikes were to Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, which was usually about a week long hike in and out.
My dad is much more of a "man's man" than I am. I'm not very handy around the house or in the garage, but my dad's worked with me to try to get me the basics, so I've got no problem changing my oil or a tire.
As I mentioned a few posts ago, my dad also made going to a baseball game pretty fun, giving nicknames to the lesser known players. The classics were Brian "Throw 'Em A Dinger" Boehringer, Donnie "Over The "Wall, and Stan Spencer "The Home Run Dispenser". I think his favorite chant was set aside for short-time Padre shortstop Andujar Cedeno.
The chant would sound like the intro to The Lion King, only instead of "AHHHHHHHHHHHH SINDENAAAAAAAAAAAA" (or something like that)...
he would say "ANDUJAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRR CEDENOOOOOOOOOO" as loud as he could.
All in all, he is a great guy, I love him, and I'm glad to have him as a dad. Thanks for being great.
Since I'm running off to church, I'll leave with some advice he gave me a long time ago, that I've always followed and never forgotten:
Never wear white socks with dress slacks. Always wear a belt if you're tucking your shirt in. If you're not wearing a tie, don't button your top button. Always wear a tie.