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Hey Dad, Wanna Have A Catch?

Lucky son of a pro takes infield at Dodger Stadium/ William Coppola, Latino Sports

Los Angeles, California. I find it very interesting that every day somewhere in this land, there is a dad playing catch and teaching his son how to field and swing a bat. I may not see that in the neighborhood but I will see it every day that I am at a major league ballpark .

How lucky are these kids who have fathers that are big league players. I will see them being taught by other players and coaches as well. Even taking infield when they get older. Sideline drills with infield or outfield coaches is also quite common to see. All of this takes place about three to four hours before the game starts when there are no fans in the park.

I will watch one of these big league dads show their 7 year old kid how to hold the ball and see the smile on that kids face when it all works. I remember that feeling when my dad taught me. Those of us that didn’t have a dad who was a pro had those catches but we were basically self taught.

Talking to Oral Hershiser about who taught him, he told me, “It was my dad who would come home after work, take off his tie and have a catch with me. I would draw a strike zone on a handball wall and throw to that over and over again.” I have had this same conversation with HOF pitcher Bert Blyleven who told me he would throw a rubber ball over and over again at a tiny dot on a cement block wall. Trying to hit that dot consistently. Self taught. These lucky kids I see on the field will have a great start in this game. Like being put on third base to start the inning. If they have a gift like their dads, they have a good shot.

As we have seen so often in this game, the sons of great players are not a sure shot to be like their dads. Yet there are the exceptions. Some will be just like their dads and others will never be as good on the pro level. But then there are those who far exceeded what their dads did at this level. Like Barry Bonds, and Ken Griffey JR. and right now Vladimir Guerrero Jr. could be on his way to being just as good or even better than his HOF father.

But it all starts with that catch with your dad. If you are lucky enough to have a professional ball player for a dad, good for you. But remember this, the vast majority of all those who became professional ballplayers started with a catch with his dad.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Julio

    August 22, 2022 at 10:16 am

    Heartfelt article The behind the scene things that occur r sometimes more interesting.

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