Posted by: SJS | April 3, 2012

At the old ball game with Red

Among my happiest memories of my father were the times that we spent together attending major league baseball games.  As a very young child, I went with him and my grandfather to see the Philadelphia Athletics at Connie Mack Stadium in the days before the A’s departed Philly for Kansas City.  After that, it was decades with the long-suffering Phillies.  For my father and grandfather, adjusting to the National League was like learning to accept a new religion.  And adjusting to the Phillies in the 1950s was even tougher for those American League stalwarts.

Learning to score a game, appreciating the beauty of a well executed bunt, and applauding a pitcher’s pick-off move to first were among the nuances of the game that I inherited from my father.  Red was a true student of the game.  What he learned from his father, he passed on to me.  Baseball became a real bond between us.  When the Phillies took the Series in 1980, we thoroughly savored the reward for all those years of heartbreak.

Steve & Red in '92

Steve & Red in Baltimore 1992

By the mid-1990s, we had established an annual tradition of seeing the Orioles play in Baltimore.  In 1992, when Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened for its inaugural season, we took in a game and enjoyed watching the Birds play  ball in their new home.  My wife, Lisa, snapped this photo as we got ready to make our way to downtown Baltimore.

Some of our best discussions about his Navy days occurred as my father and I ate hot dogs and watched baseball in stadiums in Philadelphia and Baltimore.  In those relaxed settings, the stories flowed as easily as the beer.  What treasured moments we shared on those summer nights.

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Responses

  1. My grandfather bought me my first pair of cleats for baseball. I remember that moment like it was yesterday. I also remember one time after a little league game, he went down on the field, picked up a bat and told our pitcher to pitch it to him. The pitcher wound up and threw the ball, hitting my grandpa square in the back. My grandpa just laughed but I remember being so mad at that kid for hitting my grandpa! I have many memories of going to see the OAKLAND Athletics with my grandpa in the 1980’s. Thanks for your post.


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