My dad is a big baseball fan. His favorite team has always been the San Francisco Giants, and so, by birth I am a Giants fan. My very first baseball game was when I was only two weeks old. I couldn't sleep and my mom was tired, so Dad took me out to the couch. He lay on the couch and laid me on his stomach, and we listened to the Giants game on the radio. I slept great after that game.
I always fell asleep after the games. When you're a little kid, staying up until ten to finish a baseball game was a big deal. During the car ride home I'd always fall asleep. It usually took a long time to get home, too; Candlestick Park wasn't terribly far from where we lived, but the traffic after the games was awful. I remember sitting in the car in the parking garage and being so tired, but not wanting to fall asleep and leave Dad all by himself. It was so hard to stay awake in the dark with a stomach full of drumsticks. Inevitably, I would fall asleep while Dad listened to the radio in the parking garage, waiting to go home.
As a graduation gift my dad took me to a Giants game against the Seattle Mariners. Safeco Field was amazing, although I still had a nostalgic fondness for the cold, windy Candlestick Park. We took a tour of the field before the game, and we were able to sit in the press box and in the visitors' dugout (Dad took a picture of me sitting where the Giants would sit a few hours later), and we watched them open the retractable roof. It was a great game; they even had the dancing hats during the seventh inning stretch. There was a group sitting in front of us that had a little boy with them, he was probably a year old. He was a lot of fun to watch, but they only stayed through the fifth inning. My dad commented that they weren't true baseball fans if they didn't stay for the whole game; I sat through an entire game when I was only a year old. And just like at my first baseball game, I fell asleep during the car ride after the game. Seattle to Portland was a bit longer than our old San Francisco drives, but I still felt bad that I left my dad all by himself to listen to the radio while we drove home.
The Giants won the World Series last week. Both my dad and I were thrilled, but I would have been more thrilled if I could have been there with him. Watching the games, and perhaps eating a drumstick.
I love you, Dad. Happy birthday!