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Bull City Summer

Baseball a timeless tie between fathers and sons

Posted June 15, 2013
Updated June 16, 2013

Do fathers still play catch with their kids? Do they come home from a long day at the office or factory, loosen their ties or trade their work boots for tennis shoes, and grab their gloves? It’s an iconic American scene, seemingly out of an era that predates smart phones and the 24-hour workday. Who has time for a game of catch anymore?

But take in a game at DBAP and you’ll have your suspicions that the father-son backyard toss has not yet gone the way of all things analog. Throughout the stands, you see dads and their kids pounding gloves in anticipation of cascading fouls, dads delineating the finer points of the game—bat speed, follow-through, the difference between a passed ball and a wild pitch. Look how he keeps his glove down, just like I told you. Photo by Ivan Weiss Baseball bonds fathers, children

The beautiful thing about baseball is that you can come to it in your own time, in your own way. Not every dad at the ballpark carries memories of tossing a ball with his old man in the backyard. But maybe he had a Little League coach who lit a fire in him, or a baseball-loving aunt who taught him how to keep a scorecard. Maybe it was Game Six of the 1986 World Series that hooked him, and the next day he went out and bought his first glove at the age of 19.

The memory of playing catch with his father, the sun lining the trees in gold – if it doesn’t belong to him, it’ll belong to his own kid, the one waiting for him in the driveway when he gets home from work, glove ready. The first time that happened, he pulled off his tie and called, “All right, buddy, let me see your stuff.” Next time it happened, he knew the game would go on forever.

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  • carrboroyouth Jun 16, 9:09 p.m.

    I liked this article, except for the title. I played catch with my father all the time and he even found a lefty glove for me so that I could play better.

    However, I am not his son... I think a lot of daughters would agree with me on my sentiment. Love you, Dad.

  • missk Jun 16, 10:58 p.m.

    agree with previous comment as I am also a daughter who enjoys baseball with her dad, in fact for Father's Day I took him to the Bulls game today and saw lots of little girls there with their fathers.

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