There’s no doubt that I have always been daddy’s girl. My mom and I never had a very good relationship, but my dad was pretty much my best friend all throughout my childhood, and that didn’t stop when I reached adulthood. When he passed away in January of 2014, I took it hard. It took a long time for me to regain a sense of normalcy after his passing, and I still miss him every day.
Most of the quality time I had with my dad when I was growing up centered around baseball–particularly Atlanta Braves baseball. Anytime there was a game on TNT or TBS, we were watching. I learned the ins and outs of the game at a very young age, knew a home run just by the crack of the bat, and could list every player on the roster and the position he played. I don’t know how many of you remember the Braves during the 1990s, but it was absolutely one of the most exciting times to be a fan.
I never had a chance to go to a professional baseball game with my daddy before he passed away, even though I always wanted to. I had opportunities to go from time to time–especially since we lived within driving distance of the Pittsburgh Pirates–but I vowed that my first MLB experience would involve cheering on the Braves. This past August I finally got the opportunity to do so.
A few months prior to the game, I had committed to attending the DragonCon convention in Atlanta, Georgia. One of the first things I did was look at the Braves’ baseball schedule to see if they were playing any home games that weekend, and luckily, they were! AND they were playing the Pirates! I knew there was no way I could miss such an opportunity, so I purchased a pair of tickets and found a friend to attend the game with me.
I don’t want to bore you with all the little details of the game, but I will say that it was an emotional experience for me. Even though my dad wasn’t there by my side, I felt his presence through the memories I recalled of the two of us watching baseball together all those times in the past. I cried a few times (though I tried to hide it so my friend didn’t see), but most of the game was spent in joyous celebration (even though the Braves lost to the crummy Pirates).
Now that I’ve finally attended my first professional baseball game and feel that I’ve properly honored my father in doing so, I foresee many more games in the future. The atmosphere can’t be beaten and the stadium food is tastier than I’m willing to admit, but most of all the memories I recall make me feel like I’m back in my daddy’s lap watching the game unfold.