When I just began broadcasting for the Cardinals, it was my Dad that I wanted to impress the most. I just didn’t want to screw up. Obviously, that wasn’t the case because I screwed up a lot and continue to do so. He was there when I was little and played catch or hit me grounders. It was in my early 20’s that he passed away and yes, he did see me do a Cardinals baseball game. My mom has always felt that he was my greatest influence in my career because all we did is talk sports or play them. Baseball, the game that truly brings generations together and in many ways, helped forge a relationship with me and my Dad. I loved baseball and so did he. To an extent, baseball brought us together and that’s why I think of him when I walk into Busch Stadium just about every night. Even though I am a father of 4, it still makes me think of being a kid and looking at my Dad as if he was the only person that walked on this planet.
It’s “Father’s Day,” and I get to spend it at Busch Stadium and call a baseball game. What a way to make a living. I know many sports fans say that football has surpassed baseball as America’s sport but, all I can say is, give me baseball. Give me a chance to sit and talk with my kids about how to play, situations, or just have my arm around them, stuff them with food and candy that almost makes them sick as we watch the game. I love it. My oldest son is 5 and I took him to the ballpark last year and it still is one of my favorite moments I have ever spent with him. Yesterday, I played catch with him. I get chills just thinking about it.
Sports has such a unique way to bring us closer with our parents, siblings, and our kids. It will be that way today for many that make their way to Busch Stadium. It will be for those that watch the US Open and decide to go hit a few with their kids. Sports just has a way to bring us together. So, as I sit today and have the privilege to call a baseball game, it will be sports that give me a connection to my kids and to my Dad. I hope you feel the same way. Happy Father’s Day.
Dan McLaughlin, the television voice of the Cardinals, hosts “The Sports Hub” weeknights from 9p-12a on KMOX