A few years ago when they were doing some remodeling of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York they pulled back one of the displays and found a dusty old photograph tucked tightly away in one of the corners. Stapled to the picture there was a note. It said, “You were never too tied to play ball. On your days off, you helped build the Little League field. You always came to watch me play. You were a Hall of Fame Dad. I wish I could share this moment with you.”
My wife and I took our five year old daughter to her first Mariner game on Tuesday. Afterwords, My dad emailed me and said, Did she get caught up in the excitement? I replied, Yeah, she followed, with her eyes, the cotton candy vendor the whole game and when he finally got to our row it was really exciting.
We used to have partial season tickets behind the first base dugout in the late eighties and early nineties. The half hour drive from Issaquah and the subsequent hour driving around, listening to his style of music, while looking for parking wasn't always the greatest, but once we got inside the Kingdome it was the best father-son quality time you could have.
My dad has since retired to the Phoenix area. So we don't make it to that many games together anymore, but the Mariners are always our first topic of conversation.
When Felix Hernandez finished pitching his perfect game he was the first person I called. He had already sent me an email to my phone to alert me of what was going on, even though he knew I was already watching. I already knew he was watching too.
Our daughter, just today, out of nowhere, asked me if we could go to the baseball game in five days. I looked at my wife and said, where did that come from? She told me our daughter asked when we could see King Felix again. My wife told her, he pitches every five days. Maybe, she was paying attention after all.
Dad, the best birthday present I ever got was the brick, with my name on it, placed in Safeco Field.
Your yellow, King of Perfection, Supreme Court T-shirt is on the way.
Thank you for taking me to my first Mariner game. You never missed one of my games either. You belong in the Hall of Fame.