My father would never admit it, but I think there was probably a second of disappointment in his mind when he found out his first child was going to be a girl. He'd dreamed forever of being able to share all the father/son activities that every future dad dreams about, and finding out a little girl was on the way changed those plans a little, at least for the time being. Even though he traded in playing catch for dance recitals, my dad shared his favorite hobby with me anyway, and that was baseball.
Living hours away from a Major League Baseball stadium, our trips to the park when I was young had to be of the minor league variety. We were lucky enough to be one city over from one of the Yankees' minor league affiliates when my dad first started taking me to games and everyone was all abuzz over the kid named Derek Jeter. My dad never pressured me into becoming a Yankee fan like he was, but the progression into as big of a fan as he was happened naturally. It became our thing to do together since he could only nod and smile when I tried to explain to him how to act at a tea party with my dolls and what part I wanted to play in Swan Lake.
As I've gotten older and moved away for college, baseball has been the thing that kept my dad and I close. He still calls me to ask my opinions on this play or that rumor, and occasionally tells me he read something I wrote and that he's proud of me. Even though my dad eventually got a son that couldn't wait to play catch with him, baseball has sort of always remained "our thing". I have my dad to thank for more things than I could ever count, but sharing baseball with me is the one that made us not just father and daughter, but friends.
Happy Father's Day to all the Pinstripe Alley dads. Hope your day is full of time with the ones you love, and maybe some baseball too.