Some fathers dream about a boy to carry on their legacy, to live vicariously through as they push him into becoming a lefty specialist who switch hits.
At the very least, they want a chip off the old block to take to the ballpark or spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with watching the boys of summer.
Me, I have two girls, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.
The eldest (seen in the video around the age of 2 during the home stretch of the MLB 2010 season), knows that Sundays are daddy’s for football and that we root for the Phillies in the summer (although this past week in the lead-up to Father’s Day, school had her asking me about my favorite things. When I asked her about hers, she responded that her favorite sport was gymnastics and that her favorite sport to watch is “the Trenton Thunder”).
When I received a copy of Jon Lindenblatt’s Trolley Dodgers, Pinstriped Yankees, and Wearing Red Sox: How MLB Teams Got Their Names, it was the perfect companion for us.
While the factoids (which went well beyond how the teams got their names) kept me entertained, the abundance of mascots alone was enough to keep her glued.
The Phillie Phanatic was easily recognizable to her (she’s known him as the “Natic” for abut 3 years), but she insisted on peppering me with questions about the other costumed sideshows, and even - God help me - started choosing which teams she would root for based upon those she deemed most awesome. For some reason, Orbit of Houston Astros was a big hit. Though this IS the same girl that told me this week the two of us should head to outer space when she’s a “little bit older.”
She’s at the stage where she’s been read to most nights for her entire life and it’s tough to get her excited over anything not princess related.
But we found this book - while not telling a story - both entertained her and feed her thirst for knowledge. It makes her ask a lot of questions, and not just about the sport, but about the relevant history, geography and culture that it touches.
More importantly, it’s another way for us to connect. And baseball, like it was with me and my father, is something I can spend years enjoying with my pride and joy.