For the Love of the Game

Monday, July 28, 2008 ·

As a die hard sports fan, I want to be able to share my passion with my sons one day. I want to buy them plastic Phillies gloves, Brian Westbrook jerseys, or that plastic Flyers hockey kit. I want them to play with the Phanatic doll, wear their favorite Philly tee shirt, and get dirty playing football in the yard. But there is one thing I want the most and I'm sure every father who loves their Philly sports will want to do this for their son.

It's taking them to their first Phillies game. I remember my father taking me to Veterans Stadium when I was 5 to see the classic '93 Phillies team. He made the mistake of getting me cotton candy and soon watch that sugar is the crack of a 5-year old.

I would stand on my seat and yell for "Inky," "Kruker," "Dutch," "Dude," and "Eisy." I loved Pete Incaviglia, John Kruk, Lenny Dykstra and Darren Daulton. I remember Mariano Duncan, Curt Schilling, Kevin Stocker, and Kim Batiste. These were the players that stood out most to me.

I didn't know it at the time but it's safe to say that Joe Carter ruined my childhood.

I was hooked. When baseball season was winding down, I was putting on my starter Randall Cunningham jersey. Later when they went to midnight green, I would rock my Ricky Waters and Mike Mamula jersey religiously.

I also remember growing up watching the Legion of Doom and one of my Philly heroes in Ron Hextall.

But what's the point in my nostalgic moment? I can't wait until I can pass down the tradition my father passed to me that was passed down to him from his father, who I sadly never met. I want to be able to catch a foul ball for my son, spend $30 bucks on a hot dog, peanuts, cracker jacks, cotton candy, ice cream in the souvenir helmet, and 2 sodas. I want to buy him a mini-bat, baseball cards, and anything that will leave a lasting impression on him.

I want to hear him one day yell out Chase Utley's, Ryan Howard's, or Cole Hamels' name. I want to take a picture of him hugging the Phillie Phanatic, who then sticks his tongue out at him, making him either laugh or cry because I don't know how a 6 year old mind can comprehend that green fur ball (hell I can't either).

This experience will open up new doors for his love. It has for me. Growing up I was a huge baseball card collector. I still have them in the shoe boxes, cigar boxers, wine boxes, binders, or anything that can keep them safe. I have game used balls, bats, and sticks. I have signed photos and other things. I want to be able to one day give that him.

But I also want to take his hand as I'm walking around Lincoln Financial Field during the Eagles Carnival so he gets autographs of some scrub player who he will portray as a super hero. When I was little I didn't care if you were the 3rd string QB or the back up kicker or some guy that won't even make practice squad. If you were wearing a jersey, you were the man.

They say you shouldn't relive your childhood through your son. Well that's not what this is. This is sharing a piece of your heart with your son, your future best friend. This passing of tradition is what keeps the love of the game alive.


Bill P said...
July 28, 2008 at 11:05 AM  

Wipe your cunt Rooooooooose.

I took my kid to a double header between the Phillies and A's back in June of 2002. First Flyers game(reg. season) last year against the Bruins, and Jets vs Eagles preseason game in 05.

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