It started with a dad and a baseball…

The kid is usually around 2 or 3 years old when dads usually start thinking about what sport he wants them to play when they get old enough to do anything remotely athletic. He debates other sports but finally realizes he wants to choose baseball to teach his son.

Photo: 9u NTX Rampage

That’s how it started with me, but the exception is I’m the dad, and baseball chose me when I was younger. Baseball is in my family, and the old cliché “it runs in your blood” always pops into my head. I played my whole life, watched the Rangers lose more times than I can remember, but it didn’t matter because I did it with my dad. He instilled the value of family into my brother and me, spending time together, growing, and preparing us to be men.

See, my dad passed away in 2018 from brain cancer, but because he’s gone doesn’t mean he’s gone. He left life lessons and memories with me to teach to my kids now. We hit up Ranger games; we laughed, we cried, we celebrated over the little things. I have a son (9) and a daughter (7), and they turned my world upside down when they first came around.

Of course, I wanted my son to play baseball, but I couldn’t make him just cause I loved the game. I let the game come to him, and he loves it for now. Kids change their minds like they change their underwear, and one day they’ll leave the game behind. But as a dad, we love this stuff. The time at the fields playing catch, the times when you see them grow as a little person, developing their own personality.

My son is somewhat a goofy kid, but he meets no strangers. He makes friends almost immediately and finds a way to make you laugh. And as he gets older, our bond grows stronger, and I see the same relationship I had with my dad building, and it’s a feeling like no other. We try to teach them right; we do what we think is best for them until we realize they’re old enough to do certain things without us. He doesn’t always need me to play catch anymore, and he won’t always need me there to hold his hand. You watch this little mirror of yourself and realize that you’ll throw your arm out if it means an extra 5 minutes outside with each other.

Now my daughter is the crazy one. She chose baseball, not the other way around. She’s younger, so obviously, she was around the game longer while the older ones played games, and she loves the game a lot more than him. She plays catcher on an all-boy team, and it’s scary because one day, she’ll be tough enough to take me on by herself, and I won’t stand a chance. Now, this girl is something special; she chooses to play on 2 different baseball teams. 1 is an all-boy team, the NTX Yankees, and the other is an ALL GIRL baseball team, EAB, and she loves every minute of it.

People ask me, “why doesn’t she play softball,” or even “just let her be a girl.” I usually have a quick-witted response ready for them all, but the truth is, she chooses what she wants to play, and I do what I can to let her do that and have fun. I teach her not to be held back by other people’s limits; I teach her to keep pushing further, to keep trying to be the best, and that no matter what, she can do anything she sets her mind to.

They’re at this age where everything is fun. We laugh, we crack jokes left and right, and the memories will be there forever as they continue to grow up. The most we can do is hold on and enjoy the ride because no matter what, they will grow up, and we will grow old, and we’ll have all these memories to look back on.

Dads aren’t perfect, but we try, right?

One day, these kids will be grown, and our kids won’t remember the times we failed, but rather the times we were there for them when it really counted. It’s different for everyone, but this is my story.

It’s fun to be around this game, but it’s even better when you get to share it with the little ones that you love so much. Imagine, all of this started with a dad and a baseball.

Happy Father’s Day, Ranger Nation.

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