Life Compass
Keeping You Pointed in the Right Direction

PLAY BALL!

I wondered what to write on this April Fool’s Day installment of the Life Compass. Well, considering that today marks the beginning of the MLB season for my team … The NY Mets … I guess I should write about us fools or me fool for getting my (our) hopes up that the team(s) I (we) support will not break our hearts and not cause us to pace the floor, talk to ourselves, or become miserable for other family members to be around during game time.

I am taking my family on a mini-cation to Miami to see the Mets fillet the Florida Marlins.

I love baseball. I love the Mets. Good or bad. Thick or thin (lot’s of thin these past few seasons). Win or Lose (shhhhh). The Mets are my team. Why? My dad. Some of my earliest memories are of my dad and grandfather watching Sunday afternoon baseball on TV. For several years the only day we could a Mets broadcast was on Sunday until we got cable TV in the mid 70’s. Dave Kingman, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Player-Manager Joe Torre were our Sunday  company via WOR out of New Jersey. The Mets were a home for fading baseball stars like Willie Mays who were long past their prime.

In between the commercials for Schaefer Beer and the play by play with Bob Murphy (my first broadcasting mentor) it was time with my dad. To me my dad knew more about baseball than anyone else. Shoot … in my world my dad knew more about everything than anyone else. I loved being with him. Even though he tried to manage the Mets from our living room at 26 Collingwood Avenue and half the block could hear him manage when they made an error, I was with my hero … my dad!

As I got older we watched less games together. Then came the day when he and I argued over a play and I told him he didn’t know what he was talking about. It was like a scene from The Wonder Years where both Kevin and his dad realize that Kevin is growing up and some of the wonder of their relationship as father and son has lost its innocence. My dad simply became quiet and we watched the rest of the game in silence.

Now that I am older I wish I could go back to THAT day. That day when I challenged his knowledge. That day when I lost the wonder of him being my dad because I was more interested in being right. I wish I could redo it. I wish I could tell that young teen, “shut up” or you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.

When my dad and I do watch a game together now I listen as the Mets most knowledgeable manager does his running commentary through the entire game. I just smile and think, “that’s my dad!”

Having some defining moments in life centered around a shared loved and interest together is not so foolish. It’s a block in the foundation of your life and character. It keeps you anchored in a life that wants to set you adrift.

In a few hours I will relive that tradition with my boys. Gotta run. We need chips for the game.

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