Sunday, June 18, 2017 was the day we all celebrated our fathers. This day, and this weekend, was also a day in which the St. Louis Cardinals adorned their uniforms with special blues to commemorate the day.
The St. Louis Cardinals spent this year’s Father’s Day in the American League-East facing the Baltimore Orioles. Sunday’s game, the rubber game of the match, had the Cardinals dropping yet another game and losing yet another series.
That said, I had a great father’s day and shared my joy with my father (as was shown in my recent post commemorating my wonderful memories of my father) and with my sons. As I mentioned in yesterday’s part one, my intent this year for celebrating the holiday was to pen a piece to my father and to pen this piece to my sons.
I am the father to two sons, one 14 and one 16. My 14-year-old plays baseball currently and my 16-year-old played baseball in the past. I pride myself on passing on the baseball tradition that is the Miles family. Oh, and our long lost cousin, Aaron Miles, is included in the Miles family tradition.
Looking first at my 16-year-old, he is a natural athlete and hails from the country of Ethiopia. Soccer comes naturally to him but baseball did not. He is also a perfectionist and works so hard to be the best in all sports. He worked and worked and became a nice outfielder/2B.
My 14-year-old is playing ball as we speak. In fact, his team- the Cubs (I vomit each time I have to say that)- finished the season in first place and now will play two games this week in the tournament including the championship game. He is an outfielder/short stop/first baseman/pitcher. He is a left-handed hurler and has the makings of being an outstanding closer.
I have clearly done a great job as a father in relation to baseball inheritance.
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I have also shared games with my sons as my father has shared them with me. My sons and I have gone to Memphis Redbirds games but I have yet to take either to a St. Louis Cardinals game. That day will come. In the meantime, my sons watch baseball with me.
When both played baseball, the three of us would stand in the yard and throw the ball together. This is a fond memory of mine and I hope it is a fond one for them too. We would often throw the ball as quickly as we could and I love the pop of the glove getting louder as my boys get older and their arm strength improves too.
So why do I instill in them the love of baseball? As I mentioned yesterday, my father taught me a great deal about how to behave in life from baseball and I hope to be doing the same thing.
I want my sons to know that life has people in higher positions who know more than they do and that they need to remain respectful. Baseball teaches this in how they approach their managers.
I want my sons to know that the outcome of one trial (one at-bat) does not (or should not) affect the next trial (or at-bat). Baseball teaches this for sure.
I want my sons to know that losses are just a part of life. Baseball teaches this. And baseball also teaches that a loss today does not mean an instant loss tomorrow; there are still twenty-seven outs to get the next game.
If my sons can take with them the lessons of life from baseball, then I have improved the world by two great young men. Isn’t my job as their father to teach them in ways to succeed without me?
I’m hopeful too that my sons will remember me in the way that I remember my father. By his guidance, I work daily to make myself a great man and my sons great men of tomorrow. Perhaps in many years to come, my sons will write a piece to me and a piece to their own sons.