Dads Teaching Life Through Sports

June 10, 2008 |

Did your Dad teach you how to live life through sports? Keep that question in mind as you read on…
I was lucky to have such a great Dad. He taught valuable life lessons by action, more than he may have realized, and he did lots of his teaching through sports. 
Dad had a grasp on the big picture. We watched from my grandparents’ porch as Dad umpired a game for Essex Little League back in 1976. A line drive was hit back to the pitcher and it hit him where no boy or man wants to be hit. Dad immediately yelled “TIME” and ran out to the mound to check on the player, without regard to being “by the book” and allowing play to end. Dad caught lots of flack from some for stopping the game, even though it was the right thing to do.   
Dad volunteered his time – as an umpire, manager, and coach. He actually spent more time in his life managing teams that did not include family members.  
Dad instilled confidence in everyone while coaching and managing. The most amazing example was when he told pitcher Todd Parnell that he could strike out the side on nine pitches, and the next inning, he did just that.         
Dad showed us that we didn’t have to pay admission to see a great sporting event. He took a bunch of neighborhood kids to see the Orioles play their AAA affiliate Rochester Red Wings at Memorial Stadium. Dad would take us to watch Uncle Tom and Uncle Jim play basketball for the Key Club. He took us to watch some of the best softball players in the region, at Patterson Park’s Utz field and Double Rock Park.
This year is the 5th Father’s Day that I will be celebrating without my Dad. It doesn’t seem that long because of the great legacy that he left. I still think of him and miss him every day, while being thankful for all of the great things he taught me just by living his life. 
How did your Dad teach you how to live life through sports?