Category Archives: Father’s Day

Tribe Game No. 2 of 2018/Father’s Day 2018

The Indians were back at home on Father’s Day after a brief 1-year hiatus, and Alan and I celebrated with the Indians for the 4th time in the last 6 years.  We made the day even more memorable by playing baseball on all three sites where professional baseball has been played in Cleveland — thus hitting our baseball trifecta for the first time since August 2014.

The day began for us at League Park, where about 400 people (according to the League Park Twitter account) gathered to play catch between 11am and 1pm (before first pitch of a semi-pro game).  Alan and I parked on Lexington Ave right near the 290′ sign in the right field corner.  We saw there was quite a bit of open space in the expansive outfield, so Alan asked if he could bring his bat and hit.  I only had two balls in the car — one Rawlings “C” ball that I had just bought at Target that morning and a neon, rubberized “C” ball that was in Alan’s equipment bag — but we made it work anyway.

Note:  We actually had a third baseball – an “All-Star Dad” gold ball that Alan had just given me for Father’s Day, but I didn’t want to get that one dirty!

I ended up pitching to Alan in medium deep right-center field, with him hitting towards the wall.  The rubberized ball had some nice roll to it, so Alan was able to reach the outfield wall on his best hit.  We also played catch in addition to hitting.  In all, we played for about 15-20 minutes before heading to Progressive Field — which was no easy task in the record-breaking heat (the high of 94 degrees at Hopkins airport was a record for June 17).  Alan described it as though we were “muffins being cooked in the oven.”

Despite the heat, we still had fun and plan to return to League Park next Father’s Day, when the organizers of the Baseball Heritage Museum hope to set a world record for the largest game of catch!  As original League Park petition-signers back in 2010 and 2012 (to rehab the grounds for baseball purposes), Alan and I definitely want to be a part of that event!

   

When we arrived at Progressive Field, we headed straight for the air-conditioned team shop.  After cooling down from our walk to the ballpark, we went up to the Kids Clubhouse.  The line was long due to the number of families at the ballpark, but Alan wanted to wait it out for the train table.  We spent about three innings in line and four innings inside.

Afterwards, we made our way to Heritage Park to meet with other season ticket holders who had used their points to play Catch on the Field.  We watched Cody Allen work a quick 9th to cap the Indians 4-1 win over the Twins (the first MLB win of Shane Bieber’s career) from the Frank Robinson statue.

When it was time to enter the field, we dodged the sprinklers and set up to play catch in right field.  The rubberized ball skipped pretty well along the outfield grass, so we played from a pretty good distance.  The Indians gave us a ball to play catch with as well.  We made it for approximately 15 minutes before Alan sought out one of the sprinklers to cool off.

After we finished playing catch, Alan got in line to run the bases for the first time this season.  Following a photograph by the dugout, we sat in the stands and drank water before trekking back to our car.

  

But of course we weren’t done just yet.  After the Tribe game, we headed to the grounds of Old Municipal and played catch outside the same University Hospitals gate where we played 3 years ago.  This time, though, there was a Jim Brown statue at the gate, and Alan got to read about Brown’s career accomplishments.  Alan commented Jim Brown must’ve been the “LeBron James of the Browns.”

   

So in summary, Alan go to hit, run, and throw where the Indians have played baseball for the past 127 years.  And I got to have another ideal Father’s Day with my buddy!

Fun ‘N’ Stuff

As part of what’s now become tradition, I took off work the Friday of Father’s Day Weekend to spend the day at Fun ‘N’ Stuff with Alan.  We spent the day enjoying four rounds of mini golf, an inflatable basketball court (perfect for Tristan Thompson), and of course the arcade — featuring skee-ball, lots of air hockey, and other ticket-dispensing games!  Alan decided to save up his tickets (475) for a bigger prize when we return again at the end of summer.

Note:  We decided Alan’s favorite hole on the course is #9 and mine is #7 (pictured above).

 

Fun ‘N’ Stuff

  

Today I took the day off work and went with Alan to Fun ‘N’ Stuff in Macedonia.  It’s a place I enjoyed going to as a kid, so I thought Alan might enjoy it as well.  It was also a great opportunity to get a head start on celebrating Father’s Day weekend together!

Alan loved the arcade.  He hit the jackpot on one of the ticket-gathering games, and racked up about 200 of his 490 tickets overall on that one turn.  His favorite games in the arcade were definitely skee-ball and air hockey.  We must’ve played 5-6 games of air hockey in all.  🙂

  

Alan’s favorite physical activities were the rock climbing wall (a legit wall, with a harness), go-karts (we rode together in one car), bounce house (pictured at the top of this post) and miniature golf.  Alan decided we should play both 18-hole courses — perhaps as a warm-up for our upcoming Chicago trip!

  

Alan is already asking when we can go back!  I enjoyed it too, so I think we’ll certainly be back again before summer is over.

Tribe Game No. 4 of 2016 / Father’s Day 2016

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Father’s Day 2016 was simply perfect.  It featured great moments with Alan and it may very well go down as the best day in Cleveland sports history.

The day started with Alan giving me a card and making me coffee, and it continued with Alan accompanying me to an Indians game.  As we approached the ballpark with other Indians fans, we passed Browns Backers who were tailgating on surface lots (just because). We also saw Cavaliers fans already claiming their Watch Party seats for Cavaliers-Warriors Game 7 in the parking garage across from the Q.  There was definitely a festive Cleveland sports atmosphere that encompassed all of our teams.  I had to stop and take a picture of Alan in the Cavaliers fan zone outside the Q (pictured below).

On the way into the ballpark, I took a picture of Alan next to the Jim Thome statue (pictured below).  Once in the Kids Clubhouse, Alan played with his usual favorite red car, the trains, and the roller coaster toy — which he rode approximately 15 times. But he also added a new green tractor to the playing rotation (pictured below).

We had some extra time to play because not only did we arrive early, but also the game went into extra innings.  So Alan ventured back to the big kids area of the Family Deck, after getting his feet wet there last time.  Alan took swings in the caged mini-field and hit a double in his only at-bat (pictured below).  He also ran a simulated race four times.  The fourth run came immediately after the ballpark erupted on Jose Ramirez’s GW single in the bottom of the 10th, which gave the Indians a 3-2 win.

After the exciting finish to the game – and the customary playing of “Cleveland Rocks” – Alan ran the bases on his own.  Afterwards, we stopped for our annual Father’s Day photo/seflie (pictured above). Alan was his happy and silly self as usual.  🙂

On the way home we made a quick stop to see Robbie, Tata, and Papa so that Alan could play his rescue game. After exchanging some well wishes for the Cavaliers, Alan and I went back home to watch our team in Game 7 of the NBA Finals (How awesome is that to write!).  With Alan watching and cheering by my side, of course the Cavaliers delivered a long-awaited World Championship back to Cleveland!

What a day and night with Alan – the best kid a dad could ever ask for and the true reason I got to celebrate today. Father’s Day is my favorite day of the year, and this one may very well go down as the best I’ll ever have.

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Tribe Game No. 2 of 2015 / Father’s Day 2015

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The Indians were playing at home today, so Alan and I spent a perfect Father’s Day together at the ballpark!  The weather was spectacular (despite a forecast of rain) and we got to play catch together on the field as part of the Indians Father’s Day tradition.

The MVP pictured above [admiring a blimp overhead] got a new “Block C” hat as a giveaway, played in the Kids Clubhouse (video), ran not-one-but-TWO laps around the bases (video), and showed-off his arm in the outfield.  Alan and I played catch from a pretty good distance because the ball scooted so well along the finely-cut outfield grass.

Today it hit me all of a sudden that Alan is almost five now, and he really looks and acts like it.  He ran the bases today by himself for the first time, while I waited for him at the end.  That was a big step for him!

Today was such a nice day for us both.

P.S.  Special thanks to David Murphy, whose game-winning sac fly in the 9th gave the Indians a 1-0 victory over the Rays and kept Alan’s wait time for going on the field at a minimum!  Sure helped all the parents out right there.

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