Baseball fans, today marks the time of a new day a new season. A day of hope and promise, today is Opening Day!
It is the only day of the season, that everyone is in first place.

Normally, the day before the baseball season starts, I sit down and watch the classic, Field Of Dreams.
This year, due to Easter and family commitments, I was tied up, but I could not stop thinking about this one clip from the movie.

And I love this part:

And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.

Having played baseball the majority of childhood growing up, I love the game. The smell of the grass. The anticipating of a pitch. Do they bunt or swing away with runners in scoring position and a 3-0 count? The game of baseball brings back memories to all of us that played and as a Dad, I get to share this love with my boys and it makes be beyond giddy.

Today, we are all kids. Today we all have memories of when we were kids walking up to home plate in Yankee Stadium and thinking about what it would be like, to face a pitcher and hitting a fastball that was coming down the pike, right over home plate. You rock back and as you shift your weight forward, you connect and hit the ball over the left field wall and into the bleachers.

Today is opening day and today is going to be one of the best days of the year, because baseball is back!

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I really believe that baseball is a metaphor for life. If you have ever played baseball, then you know that hitting a curve ball requires you to either jump all over the ball or you have to sit back and wait for the break.

Think about it:

1) Disciplining your children – You can either sit back and wait and talk through the correction or you can jump all over them. Which way does a child respond better too?
2) Teaching moments – Do you sit back and let your child figure things out on their own or do you jump in and help them? Which way helps a child learn more?
3) Career – Do you sit back and let jobs/offers come to you or do you jump all over the market and make things happen? Which will get you further?

As we get closer to baseball season and my thoughts drift back to a simpler time when I loved grabbing my glove and throwing catch. But I got thinking this morning, as I was reading up on the Astros upcoming season, baseball taught me a lot about life. It taught me to rely on others, as 1 person was not going to completely win a game. Play hard. Put everything into the game and preparation and whether you win or lose the game, it really doesn’t matter. Give it your all. Watch what your opponent is doing and sometimes, you have to lay down the sacrifice bunt for the good of the team.

I remember growing up and playing with a lot of good players. Some went on and played Division I college baseball, others like me, faded into the sunset, but the life lessons that we learned on the field, have stayed with us for life. Because sometimes, life really is like hitting a curve ball, as it forces you to sit back and wait for the perfect moment. And in a split second, you are off and running after making contact.

Opening day is 6 days away!

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I would like to start this post that I am NOT a Baltimore Orioles fan. But, I would like to say, that for a few moments, I was able to smile as they did the right thing.

Baltimore County Police Officer Jason Schneider was shot in the line of duty last week and he left behind a family and more importantly, a young son.  The Baltimore Orioles stepped up this week and Officer Schneider’s son threw out the first pitch and got to spend a few moments with some of the Orioles players.  But what the Orioles really did, was give this young boy a few minutes/hours to be a kid again. They did the right thing. The Orioles allowed a young boy, that had to be grieving and confused, the chance to forget about his life and the fact that he just lost his dad.

In life, we are faced with difficulties and we are faced with struggles. But, we also have to do the right thing and I give the Orioles a lot of credit, they gave this young boy memories that will last a life time and a chance to be a kid again.

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All-Star Outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Kemp did something the other night, that was not meant to be caught on camera, but I think that we are all glad that it was.  Matt Kemp thought of someone else first. He found out about a young man that has cancer and what happens next, well if it doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you should seek medical attention.

Matt Kemp gave the young fan his hat, jersey, cleats and a signed baseball and more importantly, a memory for the rest of his life.

I hope that more athletes step away from the lime light and do more random acts of kindness like this.

Great job Matt.  And I’m really glad that someone recorded this moment.  Please take a moment to read more about Matt Kemp and this hero type kindness.

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Opening Day for Major League Baseball is just around the corner and I can not wait. Last year, I was excited for the baseball season, but this year, I am really looking forward to the season.  As a Houston Astros fan, I am looking forward to being able to see how the ‘Stros handle the move to the AL West.

Should be a great year for Major League Baseball.  There is a new excitement, especially with teams that have not been as successful in the past. The Baltimore Orioles has a crop of young players that could really change their future for the next several years.  The New York Yankees have finally taken the appropriate steps to rebuild, so I think that this is going to be a down year for them.

Baseball, a game that even as an adult, I can get excited about watching.

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This… is a simple game. You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball.

I don’t know what it is about the movie Bull Durham, but for whatever reason, the writers explained the game in such a way, that it makes sense. Playing baseball as a kid, I had the chance to be coached by some men that had played in the minors, worked out with guys that made it to the majors and talk with men that are now in the Hall of Fame about how to improve. But at the end of the day, baseball is really a simple game.

Baseball is a metaphor for life for me. Some days, you can hit everything that is thrown at you. Other days, you can not hit a beach ball if it was lobbed right over the plate and then there are other days, you just want a rain out. Today is one of those days. Today is a day that I would love a rain out. A day to sit in the club house, laugh with the kids, roll the ball on the floor and just be kids.  Nothing really bad has happened today, but neither has anything great. But I was reminded a few minutes ago, that we should be happy for today and the chances that we get today.

Every little boy in America that has ever picked up a baseball has dreamed about one day, stepping into the batters box at Yankee Stadium. Facing down a veteran pitcher and taking their fastball over the left field bleachers. Why? Because we are guys. But more importantly, because is a simple game. It does require some knowledge, but thinking ahead of players and where they hit the ball and being in the best position to get them out. Which is a lot like being a parent. Think about it, you have to be thinking 3 moves ahead of your kids. Are they getting ready to pull down a pot off the stove? Are they going to tackle their brother? Where are they going to school? Can we start saving for their college now?

At the end of the day, baseball really is a simple game. And baseball really is like life. Baseball has a team, your family is your team. There is a manager of the team and at home, the parents run the house. So in some strange ways, life is really like baseball.


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Last night, the National League destroyed the American League by a score of 8-0.  As a die hard Yankee fan and knowing the home series for the World Series is on the line, that one hurt.  The National League started out strong and their pitching kept the American League batters at bay, but that this what the All-Start game is all about. The best of the best. But I wanted to point out a few quick highlights/observations:

  • The Yankees were well represented.
  • The started 2nd basement for the National League, Dan Uggla, his uncle is a good friend.
  • The boys were able to watch their 1st MLB All-Star Game

Baseball is America’s favorite past time. And there is a reason why we sit and watch 9 very long innings every night and that we endure a schedule of 182 games.  But let’s be honest, we love it. The boys are now 15 months old and are starting to pay closer attention to what is on tv and especially sports that we watch. This is just the first of many All-Star games that we will watch. I just hope that they love them as much as I do.

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Growing up as a child, I remember sitting around an open room with friends and trading cards that we had duplicates of, all to build the complete set Topps Baseball Cards. There was a sense of accomplishment when the set was completed and then you could help your friends complete there sets as well. Hours, countless number of hours were spent look through, at, talking about, baseball cards.  Because I have not looked at baseball cards since I was much younger, I contacted a good friend who runs a great blog dedicated to collecting baseball cards: Stats On The Back. He suggested to go with the 2011 Complete Set that included Series 1 & 2, which lost me, because growing up, we just collected cards, there were not all of the different series. But we did have the options of collecting Topps, Upper Deck, Fleer, Score and Donruss, but now, my buddy said to just stick with Topps.

So this year, I decided that I would buy each of the boys their first Topps Baseball Cards sets, so that when they are older, their collection would have already been started. And my hope, is that as they grow up, we start building the sets together, in stead of me just purchasing a completed set for them. I hope that they too enjoy the hours that we will spend together, talking about the different players, helping each other build their sets, and just having a lot of fun doing it together.

2011 Topps Baseball Card Set

2011 Topps Baseball Card Set

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I am finding it increasingly harder to think of ways to teach my sons good sportsmanship, when you have pitchers like Cole Hamel who intentionally hits Nationals player, Bryce Harper in the back.  See for yourself in this Youtube clip from ESPN.

I respect the fact that Cole Hamels admitted that he hit him on purpose. I don’t however respect his reasoning which was to

I was trying to hit him,” the two-time All-Star lefty said Sunday night. “I’m not going to deny it. I’m not trying to injure the guy. They’re probably not going to like me for it, but I’m not going to say I wasn’t trying to do it. I think they understood the message, and they threw it right back. That’s the way, and I respect it.

You can read the rest of the article here from ESPN.  I have been thinking about this a lot lately, because when I was growing up, yes there was an understanding that the older guys would welcome the rookies, but they would not try to hurt them. And I am not saying that Cole Hamels was trying to hurt him, but he was not offering to buy him a steak dinner and teach him the way a Major League Baseball player should conduct themselves either. Fortunately, in this particular case, Harper was not hurt and honestly, neither was Hamels, because he got a 5 day suspension and does not even miss a start. Yes, a 5 DAY, not 5 start suspension, which is what they should be doing. Major League Baseball missed a real opportunity here to set an example and to do the right thing and they did not. do it.

If my kids were to hit another player on purpose, do you think that I would just sit them out for 5 days? Nope. That would be it for them for the year. Now, in saying that, they would have run after the game, done pick ups, etc. and they would still go to ever practice, but they would never step foot on the field for the remainder of the year. Why? Because it is not good sportsmanship to throw at another player and then get off with a slap on the wrist. We have to teach our children that there are consequences for their actions. Throw a baseball at another player, you are done for the year. Hit a kid in the arm, you are going to be punished.

Maybe Major League Baseball should ask some parents what they would do with their children in a situation like this?


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homeplateGrowing up as a kid in North Carolina, I lived for 2 things, Basketball and Baseball Season. And year round, I had either a basketball or baseball nearby and when it was too cold to be outside playing basketball, I was at the gym working on my fielding by throwing a ball against the wall. But more than just throwing a baseball against the wall, was watching games and following box scores.

Baseball season started around February and usually ended around December. I watched Cal Ripken, Jr. religiously to study how he watched the pitches and positioned himself for the hitter, planning where the ball would be hit.  I watched Don Mattingly, not only because I was a die hard Yankees fan, but because I loved the way that he hustled and approached the game as a leader. I also loved his swing, which inspired me to learn how to switch hit.

But something happened around high school. But I lost interest. I couldn’t watch ESPN Baseball Tonight anymore. I didn’t care to go to minor league games anymore. I even passed on going to major league baseball games, even when we had great seats.

But this year, this year is different. This year, for the first time in years, I have been excited about baseball season. This year, I’ll be able to watch games with my sons. This year, I will be able to take my sons to their first game, granted, it will more than likely be a minor league game, but it will be their first baseball game.  I have been waiting for this season, baseball season.


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