Happy Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day to all the Dad’s out there, especially my Dad.

There was a thread on twitter this morning asking people to share their favorite sports memory of their dad. For me it’s easy.

July 24, 1979. I was eight years old and my father took me to Fenway Park for the first time. The Red Sox were playing the A’s. Dennis Eckersley pitched for Boston. The Sox won 7–3. Dwight Evans hit a monster home run over the screen in left (which doesn’t exist anymore). Fred Lynn made a diving catch in center field. The only thing missing from the script was Jerry Remy was injured and didn’t play.

It was the seventh inning. The Sox were up 3–2. There was one runner on base. My father had told me a few weeks before that Yaz had hit his 399th home run. I didn’t really get the significance of that, but he told me that 400 was kind of a big deal. We were sitting behind the Sox dugout. I can’t really remember how far back we were. I don’t remember if we were under the roof or not. I don’t think so, but I know we weren’t that close. We probably were. I was eight years old and it was my first time there so I felt like I was practically on the grass. Everything looked bigger and smaller at the same time.

When Yaz stepped up to the plate the crowd got pretty excited. It had been almost a month since his last home run and everyone was hanging on every at bat. My father yelled out, and I’ll never forget this, “Come on Yaz, I can feel it in my bones!” Yaz hit the first pitch Mike Morgan threw and that was all I saw. The little kid sized me had my view blocked when every single human being in the stadium jumped to their feet. I caught a very brief glimpse of the Oakland right fielder up against the fence in front of the A’s bullpen. I caught a very brief glimpse of Yaz rounding first. That was it. I know he came out for a curtain call before the first pitch to the next batter, but I don’t think I saw it. He came out for another one after the game as the 30,000 or so fans chanted, “We want Yaz!” and just wouldn’t go home. I saw him wave to the stands. I was probably standing on my chair.

So many things about that night are permanently burned into my memory. Nothing about it though compares to my father actually calling the pitch. That was a little extra awesome sauce poured over a perfect night.

Originally published at robj2112.wordpress.com on June 21, 2015.

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