Monday, June 20, 2011

Twins Memories With My Dad

Game 3 of the 2004 ALDS, Twins vs. Yanks
The cards have been sent, phone calls have been made, and another Father's Day has come and gone. There are always connections that can be made to the sport of baseball and how it has impacted a father and son.

When I was growing up, I would get use to my dad working long hours at a hard job. He didn't always have the opportunity to watch my baseball games. But there would be days I would wait for him in the yard with our gloves ready to play catch as soon as he was done with work. He might have been tired from delivering packages all day but there was always time to throw the ball around as the sunset.

One summer in my younger playing days, there was a day set aside for parents to participate in a game. Dad found time in his busy delivery schedule to come to the game and hit the ball a ton. One of my favorite pictures from that day is me playing catcher and my dad swinging for the fences while wearing his UPS brown.

Looking back on it now, my dad has been present for most of my favorite Twins game memories. That seems fitting considering the eternal connections there is between baseball and father/son relationships. This quote from "Chicken Soup for the Baseball Fan's Soul" sums up the family connection to the game of baseball:
Baseball is continuous like nothing else among American things, an endless game of repeated summers, joining the long generations of all the fathers and all the sons ~~~ Donald Hall
Here's a look at the top Twins games I have been lucky enough to attended with my father:

My First Twins Game
May 30, 1994 
Twins vs. Mariners
The Twins were almost no-hit by Randy Johnson as he pitched a complete game shut-out. The only member of the Twins to get a couple hits was Scott Leius. Kirby Puckett went 0-4 in his role as a DH. The Mariners blew out the Twins by 12 runs but my love for the Twins had already been set in stone.

My First Playoff Game
October 8, 2004
Twins vs. Yankees
The Twins mounted a small comeback in the ninth inning to make the score look better than it was at 8-4. The Twins had almost as many hit as the Yankees, 12 to 14, but it still wasn't enough to dig them out of the six run hole that Carlos Silva put the team in. It was still great to feel the energy in the Metrodome when it was filled with over 54,000 fans waving their Homer Hankies.

Clinching the Division on the Last Day
October 1, 2006
Twins vs. White Sox
Torii Hunter hit a two-run homerun in the fourth to give the Twins the lead for good. Joe Mauer had two hits in the game to win his first batting title. But this game might be more remembered for what occurred after the game than during the game. Thousands of fans waited to see if the Tigers could lose again to the lowly Royals. The Royals came through for the Twins and the team mobbed each other on the field. I still get chills thinking about that game.

Final Game at the Dome
October 11, 2009
Twins vs. Yankees
The Twins had seen so much magic in their last season at the Metrodome. It seemed like that flame could never be extinguished. Even with the losses earlier in New York, the city was still palpitating from the thrilling Game 163 vs. Detroit. The Twins scored the first run of the game in the sixth but that lead was short lived. The Yankees would win the game and end the Twins reign at the Metrodome.

It's interesting to note that the Twins lost three of the four games I featured above. This shows that it doesn't always matter if the team wins or loses. It can just be the experience of going to the game and spending with someone that you love.

Happy Father's Day to all of the fathers out there. I cherish many of the baseball memories I have with my dad.

Leave a comment and tell me a story about a game you attended with your father.


yukonbob7 said...

Hey thats one of the best NDTF posts ever !! Ha ha Thanks son ! it has been fun and we get to do a couple more this summer and yes I look forward to each and every one ,win or lose. How did you remember that father son little league game ( must be the chip ) I remember hitting left handed one time at that game, just for the fun of the game

JimCrikket said...

Great stuff and greater memories, I'm sure. Thanks for sharing. We only made it to one or two Twins games every summer when I was growing up and I remember very few specific details. I remember going to camera days and bat days. But what's important is that I remember being at Met Stadium with my dad... just like most of my memories of games at the Dome are dominated simply by the fact that I was there with my son (though my dad... his grandfather... was able to join us a few times before he passed away). There's just something about baseball that lends itself to reinforcing those bonds.