Dad has been gone now almost five years. God, I miss him. Iíd love to say there were no regrets but Iíd be lying. I regret a lot of stuff that was said as well as stuff that should have been said but wasnít.
You see, we rarely communicated. Oh, there was talk but little listening. I didnít hear him and he wouldnít hear me. We were so different, my Dad and I.
And yet, when we could never discuss the Lord or politics (two of my favorite topics) there was always baseball. This was the one common bond where we could have a meaningful dialogue. I remember meeting Orel Hershizer and buying two of his books for him to autograph, one for me and the other for Dad. Orel has a strong testimony in terms of his faith and this was the best way I could think of communicating spiritual matters with Dad.
When I visited Wrigley for the first time in July of 1970. Dad was right there with me to take in my very first ballgame. We saw a few more after that and he always reminded me of the big lead the Cubs blew and tho I could never recall the details. Dad did.
Dad was a purist. His era was the great players of the 50ís. I donít think he especially liked or followed one team but I often heard him speak of Bob Feller. He hated the modern era with the money and everything. When he died, it was of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Like I said, a purist.
And smart? Dad was phenomenal when it came to his knowledge and memory of the game. A key highlight from my childhood was waiting for our monthly issue of Baseball Digest. The first thing we would do is the quiz. I asked the questions and my Dad usually knew the answers.
He kidded me relentlessly about the Cubs, pretending he didnít like them but Mom told me that even when I wasnít around she would catch him watching them. Would he ever admit it? Not likely. He rolled his eyes when Jack Brickhouse or Harry Carey would make a routine fly sound like a sensational play by a Cub outfielder.
A couple of years ago I realized a lifelong dream by going to Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame. It was a bittersweet day. I loved all of the exhibits and everything but something was missing. Someone to share it all with.