Every dad is different. Some are quiet. Others are loud. Some invest time in the lives of their children through athletics, while others impart joys of music and art.
Every dad is different, but there is one group of dads who will always share similar characteristics. They are unique as they are caring. Strong as they are kind. And they want nothing more in the world than to see their children succeed. Who are these dads you ask? Softball dads.
Softball dads are a unique breed. They live and breathe dirt and fresh cut grass. They set the alarm at 5a.m. for the travel ball games that start before the sun rises. They sit on buckets and cringe at the words “drop ball workout.” They hit fungo and toss batting practice until it’s too dark to see. They drop anything to play catch in the yard even if they can’t do it without a little bit of coaching in the process.
Their arms are the first place we go after a heartbreaking loss, and those same arms wait with the biggest embrace after every victory. They push and encourage hoping their girls see the potential within themselves that they already see. They sacrifice weekends and summers, gas and Gatorade, money and time just to give their girls the chance to play the game they love.
That is a softball dad, and this weekend we were given the wonderful opportunity to share our in our accomplishment of becoming collegiate athletes with none other than the men who pushed us to be there.
Saturday after our warm up for the third game against Jacksonville, we were joined on the field by our fathers. They piled into the dugout, smiling ear-to-ear commenting on everything from the spaciousness of our dugout to the wall of bricks that represent our team.
From there our team created one giant circle so that they dads could give the team high fives and run onto the field with us as our names were called. One by one the announcer called our names: Number 25, Wayne Gibson’s daughter, Kasey. Number 10, Mike Sanders’s daughter, Tanner. And so on. Even the coaches stood on the line with their fathers, and Brooklyn stood with her dad, JJ.
After the national anthem played, all of the Senior’s dads lined up and threw out the first pitch to start the game. We then hugged our dads, thanked them and told them we loved them, and then headed out on to the field to play the game we love.
Saturday was special for too many reasons to list. We were able to share our day and our accomplishments with each of our own softball dads. As someone on the team said, “Softball dads are caring, encouraging, and they want you to do well in the most aggressive way possible.”
If you have played softball, you know how true (and funny) this is. As we stood with our dads on the field Saturday, I think we all stood a little taller than normal. We stood with the men who made us the young women we are today, and I sure hope we made them proud! Every dad is different, but softball dads are and always will be the best kinds of dads to have.
As I finish writing, I think it goes without saying. Today I’m thankful for my softball dad and everything he has done for me. I love you, dad!
Until next time,