Since my mother passed away back in 1988, my father and I have been able to strengthen an already strong relationship. For as long as I can remember, my father has also been a dear friend.
Even though he worked as a sportswriter for the Hartford Courant and occasionally had to travel to cover certain games or events, dad always made sure he spent some time with me. The times that I remember the best were the times that dad and I would go to either Bristol(Muzzy Field) or Waterbury(Municipal Stadium) to see minor league baseball games. During the years that dad and I went to these games, it was the Red Sox Double A team playing in Bristol and the Cincinnati Reds’ Double A team in Waterbury. Dad even recalled a Central Connecticut State University football game that he was covering that he took me to when I was about 10 years old. Though I don’t recall doing that game, I can’t say that I am surprised. We always had a great time when we would go to games.
Up through about my freshman year in high school, we went to a hand full of games each season. One of the best things about these two parks was that they were not very big, so there wasn’t a bad seat in either stadium. The game was up close so, while we had to be sure that we were paying attention in case of errant throws or foul balls flew our way, (my prayers go out to that kid hit by that foul ball in Yankee Stadium yesterday) the rest of these experiences were something that every sports fan should do at least once in their lives.
In addition to seeing some pretty good baseball, my memories of Bristol are a little bit brighter because of the prize, a brand new bicycle, that I won at a game for guessing the closest number to that games’ actual attendance.Now, I can’t recall what the bike looked like but I was so excited that I figured that I would be given the bike, say, after the game had ended. I was wrong.
” On the way home from that game, you asked, ‘Are we near the (bike) store,’?” said my dad a few days ago. “You believed that we were going right to the bike store after the game. I explained that we would be picking up the bike the next day.” Despite being real young, I was told that I took having to wait for my prize an extra day like a man.
Yes, I was lucky to have been able see all those games because I was(and am) fortunate to have the kind of dad who loves and cherishes his kids. In addition to seeing baseball games, there were the many drives to and from each game in which dad and I had many conversations about a number of things while sharing many laughs as well.
Even though it was minor league baseball, spending time with dad at all those games was priceless, a true classic American experience.