The most joyous time of the year is here! And, it’s not Christmas. It’s the start of baseball season. My dad has been a Giants’ fan since the team arrived in San Francisco in 1958. And, baseball is more than 162 games played between April to September and hopefully all the way to the postseason (fingers and toes crossed). For my dad, baseball has been the link to the most wonderful friendship, community, family connections and a lifetime of learning.
- Friendship: My dad met Len, who would become one of his best friends, on July 6th of 2010 at the age of 89. Len lived directly across the hall from my dad’s room. And, as fate would have it, the day my dad moved in I found out that Len was the father of friends of friends. And, even better, he was lifelong Giants fan, a native San Franciscan, funny and kind. They became instant best friends. Len showed my dad the ropes, introduced him to new people and helped him transition to his new life in assisted living after my mother passed away. For more than a year and a half my dad ate breakfast, lunch and dinner with Len. Depending on when the game was, their conversation was either post-game wrap-up or pre-game preparation. The joy they shared watching the Giants’ win the 2010 World Series and seeing the victory parade is priceless. Sadly, Len passed away in Spring of 2012 and at the gathering to celebrate his life everyone sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”.
- Community: Just as baseball fans form a community, my dad’s fellow residents rally around the Giants. Just yesterday, I saw the above notice on their activity bulletin board announcing the schedule for Orange Friday where residents breakout their orange clothes and Giants’ gear to show support!
- Lifetime of Learning: I believe my dad’s passion for baseball keeps his mind sharp. He reads the San Francisco Chronicle including the sports page. He knows what time the game is coming on, what channel it will air on, which team the Giants will play, what city they will play in, who’s pitching, what the score is and other stats of the game. He has his 2013 Media Guide filled with every fact imaginable and reads up on the players.
- Family: My dad has passed on his love of baseball to me. I love watching the game with him. And, to celebrate my dad’s 90th birthday our entire family (my sister, our spouses and kids) all took a tour of AT&T Park where the Giants play. It was a magical day full of memories for everyone. We had the most amazing tour guide who let my dad sit in the dugout, see the visitors’ clubhouse and press room. Over the years, I’ve learned the most important things in life are the experiences we have and the memories we share.
Go Giants! Another World Series would make a great memory. (I couldn’t resist.)