My father is the greatest ball player in the world and he is throwing the ball to me. He makes my glove pop with every throw. I am small and have not mastered aim or range, but he still wants to play catch with me. The Yankees were getting ready for Opening Day.
He would tell me as we played catch how much he had always wanted to play catch with me. He was looking forward to this day. I am worried I will disappoint him but he is more concerned about enjoying the game. Just have fun, he says.
Reggie Jackson is like a superhero. I am not even ten years old.
A yellow cab backfires as I come up out of the subway. I am in New York for the first time and standing in front of Yankee Stadium. I am in my twenties now. I have never seen a live MLB game before. Beyond overwhelmed, I hardly know how to react.
Derek would soon lead the Yankees to historic heights. New York celebrates. I howl along with everyone else. I have never seen anything like this before. I never want it to end.
My father's aim is still true after all these years. I have brought the woman I love home to meet him. There, I will ask her to marry me and we will return to New York. Before we leave, my father and I have a game of catch. We don't say much. It is spring of 2012. The Yankees are getting ready for Opening Day.
Now I have a son of my own.
That last sentence stopped me writing for a long time. A flood of emotion washed over. Hopes. Dreams. Love. Fear. But I take a breath. The Yankees are getting ready for Opening Day.
I feel lucky to have had the childhood that I did. Because I had to wait until my twenties to see my first live game means I will never take one for granted. I am lucky to live in the city where the Yankees play. I will share this gift with my son.
I look forward to the new season. Hope is brighter now. Things seem more... Real. The love of baseball was passed down from my father to me. He was able to do this a million miles away from Yankee Stadium. I can do it now no less ten miles away.
And soon, I will play catch with my son. He already has Yankee clothes.
Chad R. MacDonald
Facebook: New York Yankees the Home of Champions
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