Our once troubled asset who we “gave away” to the Nationals for since-released Glenn Gibson is now unemployed himself after the Nationals released him this morning. I only bring this up because it reminds me of one of my all-time favorite father-son stories from a baseball game. My good long-time friend, Bob, took his son to a baseball game in Virginia early in the 2008 season – I will let him tell the rest of the story:
So, I took my 4 year old, Marcus, to the High-A ball Potomac Nats v. Winston-Salem Warthogs game last night. We grabbed a couple of dogs before the game, watched Elijah Dukes in the batting cage behind the stands (him & LoDuca are doing their injury rehab games with the P-Nats), played with some of the stuff they have there. Being a coolish school night, the stadium was empty– probably about 300 people, so everything yelled from the stands could be heard by the whole “crowd”, the press box, the players, etc.
Well, Marcus was really into the game and screaming his head off– “Let’s Go Nats!”, “Good pitching Zim!”, “Strike him out!”, “Hit a homerun!”. Since he was just about the only kid at the game, all the older folks in the stands were in love with him, the announcer was playing the “Charge!” call just so he would scream it out, etc. Everything he did was met with approval from everyone around him, which of course made him do it more.
Well, about the fifth inning he asks if he should be rooting for both teams, and I tell him that we’re rooting for the home team, just like in the song. He asked me how to tell which was the home team, so I told him the home team are the guys in white. Mistake. Big, serious mistake.
Elijah Dukes steps up to the plate next. Well, as Dukes gets set, Marcus screams out, as loud as he can, “We’re only rooting for the white guys!”. The entire Stadium froze and looked over at us– and I mean the players on the field, the base coaches, the umpires, everyone. Dukes steps away from the plate and glares at us– we’re two rows up just on the 1B side of the plate, so about 20 feet from him and I’m screaming “No, Marco, the guys with the white uniforms, we’re only rooting for the guys in the white uniforms!” Well, after a moment of shock the crowd starts laughing thank god, and even Dukes cracked a smile and shook his head while John Ely cracked up on the mound.
And I have a few more gray hairs this morning.
Ah, the innocence of children.