Patrick Saunders Pens Great Column On Colorado Rockies, Baseball Fandom, Father’s Day
Jun 10, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals shortstop J. Peralta (27) is tagged out stealing by Colorado Rockies second baseman D. LeMahieu (9) in the sixth inning at Coors Field. The Cardinals defeated the Rockies 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Post‘s Patrick Saunders wrote a phenomenal column that ran today on baseball, fandom, Father’s Day, and how it was listening to and growing around the game when he was a child.
Oh, Denver Post. For as many blowhards and half-wits and people you have working there who just don’t know a damn thing about the Colorado Rockies, or really, baseball in general, you’ve got a few good ones. Nick Groke, Ben Hochman, and Troy Renck lead the way, of course, but the Colorado Rockies’ primary beat writer Patrick Saunders does a great job covering the club, too.
On Sunday, he wrote a great piece about Father’s Day, fandom, and nostalgia, surrounding the recent series — and specifically, the Jorge De La Rosa vs. Michael Wacha game — between the Colorado Rockies and the St. Louis Cardinals.
There’s no sense in us blocking out the entire piece; go read it, if you haven’t seen it already this morning in your search for Rockies information. But this particular passage caught my eye:
"Or course, if Steve missed the ball, or if I made an error at short, a runner would be on first base. My dad also tossed us popups that we had to chase down in our outfield at “Saunders Stadium.” Or he threw hot choppers that Steve and I tried to turn into double plays. There were throws to the plate and catches against the wall.The game went on for nine innings — sometimes extra innings if there was still some summer twilight remaining — with my dad creating the scenarios and the drama."
So many of us have been introduced to baseball through fathers (or mothers, or brothers, or uncles, cousins, etc.) with backyard games of baseball. And all those backyard games of baseball have specific, weird, unique rules relative to how many players you’ve got on the field, and, well, the configuration of the field.
In my backyard, my brother and I had to create automatic hits (doubles, homers, etc.) due to trees that got in the way of the natural trajectory of the ball. And we played entire seasons back there, creating teams, players, leagues, literally everything.
Kudos to Patrick for committing that specific (yet ultimately, unique) memory to paper, and for the tie-in to modern-day baseball and the connection generations have forged through the game.
Happy (early) Father’s Day, y’all.