Another year, another Phillies season.
On the surface, everything seems normal. The weather is getting nicer, everyone is gearing up for Opening Day, Ruben Amaro Jr. is making horrible decisions… but this year will be very different for me. This is the first baseball season since losing my Dad in January.
I wanted to kick this season off writing about my dad, but I’m finding it harder than I expected. I keep writing, deleting, writing, deleting. In fact, I’ve been writing this same post for over a week. To perfectly put into words what my dad means to me… it’s, well, impossible.
Without him and his love for baseball, this blog wouldn’t exist. The Phillies Girl wouldn’t exist. MY love for baseball wouldn’t exist. And without a doubt, a ton of memories wouldn’t exist. While we grew up going to baseball games as a family, my intense love for baseball developed as I got older. My dad taught me everything I know today, including who to hate, which is obviously the most important part of being a sports fan (looking at you, Scott Rolen).
During the season, our texts mainly centered around the Phillies…
or just baseball in general.
Baseball wasn’t the only thing that made my dad great, however. You know how kids give their mugs ‘Best Dad in the World’ and ‘#1 Dad!’ coffee mugs? Well, my dad’s coffee mugs were mostly covered in Phillies logos, but he didn’t need a one to tell him that he really was the best dad in the world. He taught me how to love sports, how to gamble, how to vacation like a boss, and that everything in life should be laughed at. So sorry if this sounds biased, but nobody could have ever asked for a better dad.
Not that we needed reminding, but my family and I have been able to re-live what made my dad such a great person over these past few months, and it’s made me incredibly proud of my father. Everyone has a story or special memory that will always remind them of him. It sounds cliche, but it’s true. Everyone has a story (probably hilarious) about Dave, a nickname he never particularly liked, but tolerated 😉 From the post office workers in our town to childhood friends we haven’t seen in years, my dad was able to touch countless people’s lives effortlessly, by just being himself, something that we should all strive to do.
If you didn’t already know, and haven’t figured it out, my dad was full of personality. His ringtone was California Love, he splurged on concert tickets ranging from Aerosmith (for him) to Britney Spears (for us), and was a pretty kick-ass poker player. He was funny, got giddy about surprises, and never kept his opinions to himself. And while watching baseball without him seems too hard to even think about, if he ever thought I’d miss a game, he’d call me a weenie, tell me to suck it up, and ‘watch some baseball, dammit!’
His love for sports, especially baseball, is his legacy to my family. It’s a special gift that he has given to us, forever to be remembered. He passed the Phillies, what he loved most, onto us, who he loved most. And for that, I will be forever grateful.
No, I won’t be able to text him when the Phillies win (or more likely lose), and that’s going to be really hard. Life will never be the same without him, but as long as we continue to love the things he held so dearly to his heart, he’ll be with us. And aside from giving us baseball, he will be remembered so strongly for so many reasons, like making people laugh, how much he loved his family, and his in-depth knowledge of East/West coast gangster rap.
We love you, Phillies Dad.