“Somehow Form a Family” – Early
My dad would get home from work and immediately instruct me to put on my baseball glove. His work ethic was no less impressive than Cal Ripken Jr. Sometimes, if I was already outside, he would not even go into the house. He would place his lunch box by the door and come right out to toss with me. His consistency paralleled the hitting of Tony Gwynn. My dad taught me how to play the game of baseball. He instilled within me an understanding of the game that I have not seen from my many teammates over the years. In those days, baseball was known for its speed and defense. Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines, and Willie McGee were demons on the bases, stealing easily. I wanted to hit the ball like Mike Schmidt and play defense like Ozzie Smith. My dad helped me; he gave me the tools I would need to succeed as a baseball player. Unfortunately, my father was a small man and he gave that to me as well. The high school baseball coach was looking for “strength and power,” and could not justify letting a five-foot-nothing, ninety pound kid on his team. I would love to tell you that I overcame size prejudices and became a star, but I cannot. I never played baseball again.