If you’re a Colorado Rockies fan, when you think of Father’s Day, you probably think of Nolan Arenado, the San Francisco Giants, a cycle, and a bloody jersey.
But here’s the truth, there have been a lot of “Father’s Days” happen at Coors Field in April and October, and every month in between. There have been a lot of bonding moments for dads and their sons or daughters at 20th and Blake, and it could happen on a warm June day as much as a chilly September night.
With Father’s Day coming up on Sunday, my mind started flashing back to some of the baseball memories I have had with my dad and grandpas through the years. My paternal grandpa was a New York Yankees fan and my maternal grandpa was a St. Louis Cardinals fan. My dad, a diehard Cardinals fan as well, listened to St. Louis in the 1967 World Series while he was deployed to Vietnam. When he was injured and in an Army hospital and Pete Rose came to visit the troops, my dad told him he wasn’t a big fan of his since he didn’t play for the Cardinals.
You’ve rarely had to wonder what my dad was thinking through the years, and Pete Rose found that out first-hand that day.
While I was growing up, I decided to rebel and become anything but a Cardinals fan. I cheered for Gary Carter, Tim Raines, and the Montreal Expos. I then decided to go for the ultimate rebellion and become a Cubs fan. I swore I’d name my first child after Ryne Sandberg.
But during all of that, my dad, grandpas, and I would still look at the box scores in the paper together and watch baseball when we could, both in person and on television. We didn’t agree on the teams we cheered for, but we agreed on the game and what it meant to all of us.
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Here’s the truth. I didn’t realize growing up how lucky I was to have grandparents and parents who were part of my daily life. I know now, looking back, that so many of my friends didn’t have that luxury. Many of who you may be reading this didn’t have a father figure in your life. Maybe you celebrate your mom on Father’s Day as well because she was a single parent. Maybe you never knew your parents. Maybe this is your first Father’s Day without your dad. I don’t know your story, but I know we all have a common bond no matter the back story, and that’s baseball and what it has meant to us through the years.
I don’t mean for this article to be hurtful for anyone reading it, because I know not every family memory is pleasant. However, I also know there are plenty of you out there who have had a dad in your life and there is some kind of baseball memory involved with him.
Dads and baseball, somehow, seem to go together. I think I’m reminded of that a little more deeply this week as Father’s Day approaches and we’re still waiting to see when and if baseball returns in 2020.
I shared a picture of my dad and a memory from last season at Coors Field yesterday on Twitter. He was there last season (which seems like a lifetime ago) when the Padres finished off a brutal series in Denver with a 14-13 win over the Rockies.
By the way, I’m still convinced that series wiped Colorado out for the rest of the season, but that’s a whole other story for a whole other time.
Speaking of stories, I asked Rockies Twitter to share some of the moments surrounding baseball they had with their dads. In a world where we need some smiles, these brought some to my face. I hope they do to yours as well.