Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

June 16, 2012

My dad just keeps getting smarter

No person on earth has been right as many different times as he has. It’s annoying.

What’s even more annoying is the fact that I swear he used to always be wrong. Somehow, the older I get, the smarter he gets, and he’s cooking with gas.

I’m not exactly sure when it happened. I just know that the quality of his advice has improved steadily over the years. Even his dumb ideas from a few years back have become good ideas retrospectively. It’s uncanny.

Of course, I’m speaking of dear ‘ole dad.

When I was 11 years old, my parents bought me my first expensive baseball glove — a 12.5-inch Rawlings Trap-Eze, Ken Griffey Jr. Edition. It was incredible.

It also weighed approximately 43 pounds.

Previous to this acquisition, I always elected to wear my dad’s old mitt — a tired, weathered hunk of leather that was much lighter than my own — when I pitched. I didn’t have a great reason for it. I just felt more balanced and more secure that way.

But from the moment that I pulled the wrapping paper away from that superlative Greek statue of a glove, insignificant details like balance and security went out the window.

“Don’t wear it in a game until it’s broken in,” dad said. “You need to get comfortable with it.”

Did I listen? Of course not.

Two weeks later, my team was leading by one run heading into the final inning. I slipped on the Trap-Eze — which boasted the flexibility of a flower pot at the time — and took the mound.

To this day, I’m really not sure if the weight of the glove was truly an issue, or if I just didn’t have it on that particular day. Whatever the case, a few moments later I was bouncing a pitch off of the dirt and past the catcher, racing a base runner to home plate, and watching helplessly as my teammates return fire skipped off of my shiny new mitt. The run scored, we lost, and it was all the fault of that stupid glove. I expressed my disdain — and deflected the blame — with a Rob Gronkowski-sized spike of said piece of equipment.

Suffice it to say that my father was slightly less than thrilled with my behavior. But, rather than simply chastising my actions and doling out static punishment, he used the moment to teach a lesson.

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