I have faced fire throwing pitchers. I have been run over on the base paths. I have been hit by a pitch where I could count the indention of baseball stitches on my arm for 17 days. I have even survived collisions at the plate that broke my arm and the catcher’s leg. All of this adversity pales to the pain I felt as I watched my daughter go out on her first date. As a father, I was there in the delivery room as Trina gave birth to Ashley and I watched as she took her first breath. I fondly remember her learning to walk and teaching her to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. I worked with her as she grew to swing a bat and not throw like a girl. I watched as she got her first hit and I held her as she lost her first game. None of this prepared me for the moment when she was no longer my little girl. She was now a young lady and one which it appears is quite popular with the young men. Ashley is dating a nice kid. He’s an athlete (although he is not a ball player, he races mountain bikes). They enjoy each other’s company and he is making an effort to understand and appreciate baseball so it could be a lot worse. Even given that, I sit here waiting for her to return home from her date wondering how many more ballgames we will be going to before she outgrows spending time with her father. All of a sudden I am feeling very old. Maybe I can get a job at the ballpark being one of those retired ball boys.


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