More Than a Game, Baseball Brought My Family Together
The game of baseball has always held a special place in my heart, but it's more than just a game to me. It is what brought me closer to my son.
I can't even begin to describe how much I love the game of baseball. I was a decent player when I played the game as a kid, but I never had delusions of grandeur. I knew that there was never going to be any college scouts coming to my watch 'my game'. It was just me doing something I loved. Little did I know that my baseball obsession would be my biggest reward in life.
It was during my last two years of my playing career that I realized that there was something more to this game. The bonds and memories I have from those final few years I still cherish to this day! Those years have helped me deal with several things that life has dealt me over the last 25-plus years.
But the true reward came two decades later.
After my divorce from Chase's mother, things were weird for me. Not bad; just weird. It took a year of so for both of us to come to terms with being a segregated family. We agreed to always be on the same page when it came to raising our son. All though things were finally calm between the two newly created households, there was no real chemistry. That's when baseball entered the equation.
As Chase started his youth baseball career, I traveled to watch his first couple of games. It was VERY, VERY hard for me. I can't even being to describe how stressed out I was. I love this game, maybe too much. I wanted to play it FOREVER, but I knew I could not. I didn't want to become a 'typical baseball dad'.
I will admit that I did have to bit my lip during those first few games, but it wasn't because of the reason I thought it would be. During his second game, it became all to obvious to me that his coach was more interested in showcasing his own son than trying to help teach the game to the other 10 kids on his roster. Something needed to change, and it did.
I convinced his mother and his step-father that we needed to get Chase into a different program. That change was more than a positive for his playing career. In the end, it created a bond for Chase, his mother, his new step-father, and me as a solid family unit.
A year later, I found myself sitting on a bench with Chase's step-father as coaches for a new team. In fact, we made it work for five years. The final two years, I ended up as Chase's head coach, and Tony (Chase's step-father) was my biggest asset on that coaching staff. Michelle (Chase's mother) served as the team's mom.
What a strange path baseball took us down. How many segregated families find a way to make things work that well? I can't speak for the other three members of my segregated family, but for me, it was a very rewarding adventure that I will remember for ever thanks to the the three of them.
I'll probably return to coaching some day soon, but right now it's time to sit back and watch my son do what he loves. #PlayBall