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Wade Boggs said after speaking to the crowd during his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, “Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.”
Last week, I got to have a one-on-one day with my dad by going to see the St. Louis Cardinals play the Cincinnati Reds on what turned out to be a cool day compared to some of the weather we have had here recently.
Times have certainly changed from being my dad’s young son, to now a grown man about to get married in under two months.
Heading to the ballpark, I reminisced another game 19 years ago when my dad and I went to Riverfront Stadium to see the same teams.
I was in the third grade and was in school that morning when my dad came into the classroom and went directly to my teacher, Miss Murray and said he needed to take me out of class. I had no clue what was in store for me. I was getting pulled out of class, which never happened, so I began to feel I was in trouble for something I had done at home.
We got in the car and headed on a different route than what was normal for heading to the ballpark. He had me trying to figure out what was going on.
He parked over in Covington, which still had me confused for why I was pulled out of class.
We began walking over the John Roebling Suspension Bridge to Cincinnati.
That is when I knew we were going to the Reds game.
Flash forward 19 years later, we met at Public Landing and walked to the Banks to grab some lunch, stopping at Johnny Rockets for a couple of beers, a Dusty Burger and Chicago Dog.
We discussed the upcoming wedding and other things a dad and son will talk about.
How times have changed. Where we ate is where second base was at Riverfront Stadium was.
We walked across the street and entered the Joe Nuxhall Way Entrance, where a bronze statue of the Hall of Famer Johnny Bench gearing to throw the base runner out stands.
Heading to our seats, we got situated up in the bleachers in left field, feeling the cold metal sent chills down my spine, but baseball with my dad brought joy back to my heart like I was that third grader again.
With the sun not coming out much, my dad was getting cold, so we left and headed back over the river to Newport to watch the game at Arnie’s On the Levee.
There we enjoyed the last inning of the game, including watching pinch hitter Chris Heisey deliver a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth to avoid a three-game sweep by the Cardinals.
I will cherish that moment with my dad, because, I don’t get as much time with my dad and with a wedding approaching, I will be busy, but I look forward to more times with my dad like this day.
(Matt Birkholtz is the sports writer for the Grant County News. He can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 859-824-3343.)