Tuesday, July 15, 2008

All-Star Game, Father and Son Style

The Son is asleep now. His bed time is normally 8:30, but he got a few extra minutes tonight.

It's the All-Star Game. It's baseball. It's time for father and son.

Thankfully, the New York-Penn League takes tonight off, as does most of Minor League Baseball. "The Tailgaters", however, had to work, and Sean Ford and I did a pretty good show. We work a lot better when we're face-to-face, but most times Sean is in the ballpark, and I'm in the studio. We'll be separate tomorrow and Thursday, and together on Friday at Dutchess Stadium.

With the show over at 7:00, I had an offer to grab dinner with Sean but passed, wanting to make good on my own promise to watch some of the Midsummer Classic with Sean (The Son).

Yet I wondered - would he join me? To be honest, Sean is not great at watching games on TV. When I told him though, he surprisingly didn't hesitate and was with me for virtually all of the 45-minute opening ceremonies. I wanted him to understand why this was emotional and important.

I especially enjoyed watching his reactions. Oh he had toys with him (some cars and a car wash) but his focus was largely on the TV. He booed the Red Sox and Mets players, took note of the Braves, Giants and Pirates, and cheered loudly for A-Rod, as well as recognition for Joe Girardi, Derek Jeter, and the Great Mariano Rivera. He seemed intrigued by the older men wearing the suits - especially those with the Yankees hats on.

He was very impressed by seeing the REAL Whitey Ford. My brother has a cat named Whitey Ford, and that's all he's ever known. I've tried to explain that there was indeed a real Whitey Ford. Tonight, he got to see Edward Charles "Whitey" Ford for himself.

He also seemed stunned as Daddy was able to rattle off the names of each Hall of Famer as they were introduced. "How did you know that?", he said.

Sean took note of the moment that George Steinbrenner was driven onto the hallowed turf, allowing me to note there was once a time when pitchers were driven in from the bullpen in a car (the old pinstriped Datsun). He was curious about The Boss handing the first pitch balls to Reggie, Yogi, Whitey, and The Goose. He inquired what that was all about, but for a moment, I had to regain my composure, as the scene had choked me up.

My son was watching the All-Star Game with me. You might not understand that. But I do.

Sean went to bed not too long after the first pitch, but I had to do one more thing.

I liked seeing my players as a kid. So I pulled Sean out of bed so he could see A-Rod hit in his first at-bat.

Sadly, there would be no fairy tale. A-Rod popped out to the catcher. Sean went back to bed.

And I smiled.

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