Like many men and their fathers, my father and I don’t necessarily talk about a lot. Even though we work across the hall daily, we’re not the kind to discuss deep topics or go do things after work. My father is a wonderful man and an excellent accountant and if I were half of either I’d be in good shape. Neither one of us, though, is a real outgoing person. Which maybe why we are both accountants, who knows.
One thing we do tend to talk about is baseball, particularly the Cardinals. Dad usually will watch the game, at least until it gets late, and often we’ll talk about it some the next day. I remember he really thought Randal Grichuk would be something and often will complain about the pitching, which is pretty standard baseball fandom. While he doesn’t follow all the ins and outs (and grumps enough about his computer that there’s no way he’d figure out social media), he’s a large part of the reason I follow the Cardinals.
If there was ever to be a day for baseball, you’d think Father’s Day would be it. I know that there are many mothers who have encouraged and supported their sons in the game–all you have to do is look at Eileen Flaherty for that–but baseball is traditionally that bond between fathers and sons. It’s playing catch in the backyard. It’s working on a swing. It’s sitting down to watch a game together.
Baseball, at times, can be shorthand for a relationship, a way of showing you care without having to articulate it. Baseball has not only marked the time, as Terrance Mann would say, but has marked the bonds of family.
Today, though, there will be no baseball. That’s mostly due to the virus, because even in the best case scenario it seems unlikely games would be going on today. Hopefully soon things will clear and we’ll have baseball, in some form, back. To watch, to discuss, and to help us connect.
If your father is still with you, be sure to check in on him. Even if it’s to complain about the owners and players!