A good day to play • 06.21.10
Several months ago, I got a text message from absolutely the last person on the planet I expected. My father. It wasn’t all that long ago that email left my father absolutely baffled, and the idea of a text message would have been far beyond his grasp. Now my dad seems to love it, and so my first Father’s Day message yesterday was a text.
I’m about to spend five hours in the middle row of a flight to Phoenix. I hope your Father’s Day is much more comfortable.
I called when I landed, and Dad was spending his Father’s Day on the back porch with my mom watching the Cardinals game. I’m sure he went to the farm at some point — Missouri farmers find it pretty hard to take a full day off in the middle of June — but I was glad to know he was spending at least part of the day relaxing with a baseball game. Seemed like the right thing to do.
Obviously the Yankees had a pretty good Father’s Day. Mark Teixeira had already hit his grand slam by the time I was on the ground in Phoenix, and I was able to vaguely follow along for the last few innings. That’s a big start from CC Sabathia, and obviously a huge hit for Teixeira. Before the game, the crew from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition filmed a segment at Yankee Stadium. It seemed like an appropriate day to do it.
If you missed it, baseball’s best Father’s Day story probably came in Toronto, where John McDonald homered in his first at-bat since the death of his father, who fought cancer for eight months before dying on Tuesday.
“We cried on each other’s shoulder for a good 30 seconds,” Vernon Wells told my friend Jordan Bastian. “When it went out, it was instant goosebumps. It kind of puts everything in perspective on whether you had a good day or a bad day at the plate or in the field. Wins and losses don’t really matter at that point.
“That’s one of the most special moments that I’ve gotten to see in this game. It couldn’t happen to a better person. I think that was the happiest loss that any of us have encountered in our professional careers.”
The picture is of the Extreme Makeover group with Nick Swisher, Joe Girardi and Brett Gardner. The photo was passed along by the Yankees.