Monday, September 7, 2015


It's amazing to me how much the love of sports, and particularly baseball is so much a part of the fabric of our daily living. My family and I recently enjoyed a week away from home and work, spending a short vacation at the Delaware shore. As I was able to let the mind relax and I talked with my kids and with those I ran into, it was interesting how often baseball came up.

Yup - that's me in my "right-handed Reggie" batting
stance. My little brother Steve is telling me I need to put
more weight on my back leg. :) Circa 1978

When I was a kid back in the 70s and 80s, summers were about baseball and having fun with a lot of free time. When we had daylight, someone had a Whiffle bat and some chalk to outline makeshift bases on the sidewalk. At night, we watched games, talked baseball, and compared baseball cards with friends. Good times.

The world is different today, but some things never change. During our vacation, we took the kids to the bookstore and as a treat we let them pick out three books each. Katheryn picked out her three when I noticed something.  "Hey, Katheryn. Check this out." It was Derek Jeter's children's book - The Contract. She looked at it  "Oh wow! ..... umm .... can I get four?" I let her negotiate with me before she decided that one of her prior three was not that important to her and put it back to get the Jeter book. It was something I totally would have done at her age if I had a chance to snag a Reggie Jackson book. Since then, she has shown the book off to her Auntie (the one who loves the Red Sox), taken it out to read at bedtime, and brought it to church to read while sitting waiting for service to start. It's like looking in the mirror for me.

I see so many people in beach towns wearing baseball caps and t-shirts. It's rare that you see anyone doing that doesn't have a sense of allegiance to their team. In Rehoboth Beach, there is incredible breakfast and ice cream shop called The Royal Treat. If you're ever there, you must have the French Toast. We went one night for ice cream to cap off a beautiful day. One of the co-proprietors serving ice cream was wearing a Boston Red Sox cap. "Are you a fan?" "Absolutely!" I lift up the back of my phone to show him my Bleeding Yankee Blue phone case. "I'm with the other guys," I laughed. "So what happened to you guys? You were supposed to win the division with Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval." We got to talking about how things can go so differently than planned in baseball. Two guys talking baseball that started with a cap and a phone case and a love for the game.

Baseball has this effect on us. Even when you're not watching the game, you're experiencing it. We sat down to grab a bite at a Greene Turtle and the kids had this activity sheet with a crossword puzzle.  Katheryn decided to give it a try. "Who is the Baltimore baseball team's mascot? Six letters. How am I supposed to know?" I tried to put it in perspective. "I'll bet that kids growing up around here know the answer. What if it asked for the Yankees' first baseman? You would know that."

Speaking of which, Katheryn is a Mark Teixeira fan. She has been since I got her a shirt with Tex's name and number on the back. Tex comes up to bat, Katheryn stops what she's doing to watch the at-bat. She wears Tex, Jeter, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Brian McCann. Anastasia, on the other hand, wears Brett Gardner, Masahiro Tanaka, and Mickey Mantle. She used to wear Robinson Cano, but ... well ... you know what happened. It was a tearful day in our house. She's still upset about it.

Baseball is like that. You feel it, it becomes a part of your life. With the Yankees' storied history, it's a lot of fun teaching the game to the kids and some of the Yankees history that I learned from the adults in my life when I was their age. It's fun talking baseball with pretty much anyone. We talk about it at work, we gather around it with family, it just has that effect. So I got to kick back for a week and see this all happen and appreciate how life goes. I am helping write the history that my kids will look back on when they're older and have their own lives. That includes baseball and the Yankees.

--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row

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