Wednesday, March 25, 2015


My dad and I have our traditions and I look forward to them every year. One of the most important events would have to be Spring Training. Every year, we try to squeeze two games in and usually I pick one game and he picks the other. This year though, we are only able to see one game together. My dad is recovering from shoulder surgery and as uncomfortable as I know he has been lately, he really has handled it well. This year, I am just thankful that he was feeling well enough to go at all.

It amazes me just how different yet alike my dad and I are. When it comes to baseball, we are very different. We like opposite teams and he likes the National League more and I am an American League girl all the way. We are lucky enough to be so close to five teams here that practice within a short 20 minute drive from where we live so we both get to see what we want.

One of my dad's favorite Spring Training facilities is Hohokam Stadium. Up until last year, it was home to the Chicago Cubs. Now they have moved into a new stadium, and the A's have traveled across town, and renovated the Park. It is an older stadium, but my dad seems to like it the most.

When we were trying to figure out which game to see this year, it was a no-brainer for me. My dad loved Hohokam Stadium and he thinks Billy Beane is a genius. So naturally, we went to go see the Oakland A's play at home against the Cincinnati Reds. My dad and I can talk about baseball all the time, but it's amazing to me that he knows sometimes what I am thinking without even saying a word....

As I was driving to Hohokam it got a little quiet in the car. My mind was wandering to not only how happy I was that baseball was finally back, but I feel like this is the world I fit in more than my job that I refer to as "the money making job." It's literally the job that pays my bills and keeps a roof over my head, but doesn't really challenge or satisfy me. My dad knows how much my writing means to me and how much I get out of it. It must've been that fatherly fifth sense that kicked in.

Next thing I knew, I am listening to my dad talk about how he has done well for himself in his life but he has some regrets because he didn't chase after his dreams. My dad's love of cars is my love of baseball and writing. I listened to him tell me how he went the safer route because it was more secure. He wishes he could be one of the classic car gurus, or someone who is the master at restoring cars but he didn't take the risk. He didn't chase after his dream.....and my heart broke a little. I can't imagine living life feeling that way and wondering what might have been. Then I heard him say "please don't be like your dad" and I think the hair on my body stood on end.

Am I taking the safe route?
Am I thinking like my dad was at my age?

I remember when I was younger, one time I told my dad I wanted to be a chef when I grew up. This was way before I realized just how much of a picky eater I was and I changed my mind every 10 minutes so obviously, that would never have worked. I remember him telling me that he wanted me to make sure I got the best education possible, and do something more stable and steady with my life. I remember I was at first disappointed with his reaction, but thought that this was a very "parent like" answer because they only want what is best for their kids. That seems like a very different version of my dad compared to now.

In my dad's eyes, I should have packed up, relocated everything back to Long Island, New York where we are originally from and I should have been a personal assistant to Derek Jeter or a famous beat writer.

My dad really was stuck on me working for Derek Jeter though. All kidding aside, he says I am missing my calling. My dad is a very smart man, and in my heart I know that he is right.

So dad, thank you for everything this weekend. Thank you for the company, wearing a Yankee shirt (for once) the Spring Training game I always look forward to every year, and the advice. I want you to know that I hear you loud and clear, and I love you.

 --Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer and Editor
Twitter: @NyPrincessJ  

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