I wanted to write you a note for you to read before you head to the big game. I know seeing the Royals in the World Series is a dream come true for you. It’s not often we get to see this happen and, to be lucky enough to score a couple of tickets is even more special. I know I was probably the first person you thought about taking to the game and I want you to know that my decision not to come, was not an easy one. The past 72 hours I have had very little sleep, stressing out about my decision and even coming to the point of shedding a few tears because I was actually considering missing this with you. Especially since you and Mom always taught me to go after my dreams and supported me along the way, it is even harder for me to miss this dream come true with you.
I want you to know that my decision didn’t come easily. As you know I am working on a dream of my own now, here in Spain. Because, I am here working on that dream, I cannot make it to the game.
I know how important this is to you. I know how much it would mean to have me along at the game. I know this because I remember. I remember going to the Royals games with you when I was a small boy. I remember your friend Jack, the ticket taker, who would let us in for free. I remember sitting in Right Field and watching the players in the bullpen. I remember getting autographs from the players and feeling like the luckiest kid in the world to have real ball players take the time to sign my ball. I remember looking up to them……but not nearly as much as I looked up to you. I remember playing ball in the backyard with Poppy and Uncle Chuck. My first memories of life were with baseball and I learned quickly how much you loved it, and I began to love it too. I remember when you would buy me a new glove. I remember you teaching me how to weather it, break it in, and make it fit my small hand. I remember you teaching me how to catch pop-flys, grounders and line drives, teaching me how to throw the ball, pitch, and swing a bat. I remember you helping me find my batting stance, and reminding me to keep my elbow up. And I remember you coaching every team I played on and riding to games in ‘Old Yeller’ your old yellow Chevy pick-up truck. I remember all of it.
I don’t believe in coincidences, and I have been asking myself what I could gain from the experience of missing the World Series with you. I think it has given me the opportunity to think back to all those special times we played ball together. All the games we attended and all the memories we made around baseball. It has given me the opportunity to remember one of our favorite pastimes, when we would just sit in a field and play catch. We may not communicate that well, but when we play catch there is nothing we need to say to each other. In a way it is a dance of perfect communication when a father and a son spending time throwing a baseball back and forth. There are no words that need to be spoken, just a perfect peace.
Knowing that I will be missing the World Series has given me the opportunity to remember all the wonderful memories of us and baseball. It has also shown me that, God willing, when I have a son, all those things I remember, I hope to pass on to him. I hope to get the chance to buy him his first baseball glove. I hope I get to show him how to weather it, break it in, and shape it to his small hand. I hope I can show him how to swing a bat, choke up, and keep his eye on the ball. I hope I get the chance to show him how to catch pop-flys, grounders and line drives. I hope I get to be his baseball coach, and God willing, I hope to spend endless afternoons playing catch with him. And when we are tossing the ball back and forth, I will tell him stories of when I was young, and played catch with my dad, and how we went to Royals games together and sat together in right field.
I had to chose one dream over another and sadly, as difficult as it is for me, I will have to miss watching the World Series with you. But, I want you to know that every second, every minute that you are there, I will be thinking of you, and of all the warm baseball memories that we have had together. And we will make one more baseball memory. A memory of a father and son watching the Royals win the Series on opposite sides of the planet.
I will be with you in spirit every second of the Series. I will be texting Mom, and reminding her to take a few pictures during the game. I hope she gets one of you both. I will be reminding her to let you cheer at the top of your lungs and to do some cheering herself. I will be looking for you guys in the crowd, cussing the umpires for any bad calls and adding my voice to the crowd of Royals fans all the way from Spain.
I want you to know that I love you very much and am so very honored that you wanted me there for this. Also, I want to thank you for making baseball a part of my childhood, and a part of my life. I would not be the man I am today if you had not done that. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Your Bambino, Chris
*All photo credits go to their rightful owners