JD’S FIRST BASEBALL GAME
how to keep score or debate over what strategy the managers should employ or whether a given play was executed by the players. That day will inevitably come. For now, it was incredible just to see the entire experience through his eyes. From the “I’m not sure about this” look as we approached our seats to the ever-present smile once we were situated and he was able to look around and interact with those sitting around us — it was pure magic and happiness for this lifelong baseball fan. Seeing him try to make sense of something that he has only seen on television a few times; looking and calling for the ball; dancing whenever music played; spending time with his grandmother (Ama) and my childhood best friend, Casey, and his wife, Christy, made for the best birthday present I could have asked for. Later in the evening, we even walked around the stadium, and JD met some of my friends from my time in baseball. One meeting in particular was extremely special for me because I was able to introduce Joseph to someone I consider to be my biggest influence in the game, aside from my grandfather. His name is Lazaro Llanes. He is currently a scout for a major league team and someone I played for when I was 12–14 years old. Laz even gave me my first coaching job. His approach to the game and how it should be played is second to none. A lot of his life lessons are still present in how I practice law and approach my family life. We even joked that JD is already throwing balls around the house and that he appears to have a pretty good arm. While that evening did not end with Joseph signing a contract to play professional baseball or even a coerced commitment from Laz about getting back into coaching so that JD can
Having grown up around baseball and having shared so many memories with my family in and around the game, it has always been a bit of a daydream to one day share the game with my own children. A few weeks ago, I celebrated my birthday by going to a game with my son, Joseph. Melissa planned a wonderful evening and we took JD to his first baseball game. Now, Joseph was only 10 months old at the time of the game, so it wasn’t like we were able to discuss the intricacies of the game. There was no teaching him
play for him one day, we did have one more victory in what was already a night to remember.
While walking around the concourse to return to our seats, we came across a photo opportunity with Billy the Marlin. Anyone who has taken a youngster to a theme park or ever had to stand face-to-face with a mascot-like character knows that it can be filled with surprises such as happiness, indifference, or downright terror. I’m happy to report that the crisis was averted and Joseph loved meeting Billy the Marlin.
Come to think of it, nothing was going to ruin our night!
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