Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dads and Baseball

Much news in the world of baseball today. We grieve over the loss of American icon Bob Feller and in Boston we wonder if the Red Sox have just righted the ship as far as their bullpen is concerned. An article on each subject seemed to overlap and seemed worthy of note.

There have been many touching tributes to Bob Feller but the best I've read was done by Joe Posnanski. Bob Feller would often say that the best man he ever knew was his dad. An Iowa farmer who carved out a baseball field for his son because he wanted nothing but the best for Rapid Robert. Feller understood what his dad had done for him which was underscored by his questioning of Posnanski:
And then Bob Feller asked me about my father. Direct questions. Did he play catch with me when I was young? I said yes. Did he take me to baseball games? I said yes. Did he believe in me deeply? I said yes.
If asked I am guessing that new Red Sox reliever - Bobby Jenks - would answer "No" if Rapid Robert had asked him those questions.

I say that because of an old Bob Nightengale article that was reposted on (with permission?). The article tells of a different Iowa boy with a firebolt for an arm but whose father wasn't quite so caring as Bill Feller. The juxtaposition of the two stories just struck me. In particular it seemed strange that two Iowa fireballers would be making the news in the same day. But the message of the two pitchers may be lost on most. The message is to be grateful for loving parents if you have them, be a loving parent if you have kids and if you weren't so lucky - don't give up on your dreams.

For the record - I like the signing of Jenks. It doesn't cost a lot in terms of money (2-years / $12 million) and best of all since Jenks was non-tendered by the White Sox - it doesn't even cost the Red Sox a draft pick.

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