When I was a kid my dad used to take me to the ball fields and we’d play baseball for an afternoon every couple weeks or so. We also played basketball together but I could play that anytime I wanted because I had a hoop in my back yard and my best friend who lived across the street and an even better basketball hoop in her back yard. Baseball was special because we had to drive somewhere to play it and I loved baseball with Dad because I knew I made him proud. I know he loved it when other dads stood by with their sons and watched this guy pitch to his daughter and she’d crack it out to the trees. In high school we kind of stopped playing ball and I started throwing shotput for my high school and he was really proud of me then too but it wasn’t something we shared together. I was successful and he stood by and watched me at my meets, sometimes still dressed in his mailman uniform….
Today my dad, Jody, and I went to the park. I hadn’t been there in maybe…twelve years. We brought the old mitts and bat and played ball and there was a moment when I was standing at bat and my dad was getting ready to pitch it “fast and out” like I used to always ask him too, and I made eye contact with him just before I focused solely on the ball because I was determined to hit it in the trees again…I saw my dads face. I saw a few more grey hairs on the side of his face that weren’t there the last time we played, not many, he’s still handsome as hell with good hair but there were a few changes and I’m sure he saw more in me than I did him. It was just great though when I did smack it out of there and he cheered me on. He said it was one of the best days he’s had in a while and I can agree with him on that. We had a great time. Then I went home and watched The 99’s on espn *about the US Womans soccer team and World Cup of ’99* and that just brought me back because they were the first team I ever loved and I’ve never loved another even half as much. Dad watched it with me because he got invested in them too because we only had one tv in 1999 and that World Cup was the only thing I cared about that summer. We enjoyed it. I really don’t follow sports anymore, but it was cool.
We still got it Dad.