GROWING UP SHEFFIELD
BY GARY SHEFFIELD JR.
Many people think that being the son or daughter of a professional athlete would change their lives all for the better, but I am here to tell you how wrong that could be. I am Gary Sheffield Jr., son of 9X baseball all-star, Gary Sheffield. The average American teenager growing up spends their days in sports emulating players they will never have the opportunity of meeting, but when you are raised in a locker room, these players are available to fully understand what it takes to play among them. These things are all positives, but most people fail to realize the consequences that come when raised in a single household away from a professional athlete.
Growing up in Chandler, Arizona, I have met great people throughout my childhood and had the opportunity to meet their families, mostly occupied with a mother and father present. The most important thing player’s children are missing isn’t missing out on how to become a man or how to play catch; it’s the fact that you never develop a bond when you see them so little. I am tremendously thankful I was able to do all of the things and meet all the people I have been able to so far, but I would trade it all for a bond with a parent who spends their time around me. Being raised in-house of a player would be a completely different dynamic than the situation I was in because no matter how much you discuss issues between your father and yourself, you find yourselves separating when times get tough. Any son or daughter raised with a parent who is away from home either traveling for work or by choice, doesn’t connect the same way an average kid would. So when you wish you could trade lives with us or even our fathers, don’t hesitate to realize that sometimes we’re wishing we were you.
Follow him at @GarySheffieldJr