Play hard. Have fun. I love you.

d8, Thank you for your incredible strength in starting this thread as an expression of your love for your son. I can only guess but my impression is that your heart  is hurting so much, but is one so generous that it coupled with  a caring for everyone with a son and allowed you to reach out to them in such a touching,  kind and caring way.

I can only hope the spirit of your son, your love for him and his for you will move you forward to incredible things, all of which reflect your son and your love.

d8,

 

Much respect for your post, and a greater amount of sympathy for your loss.  I know you are a coach, and am confident based on your post, and profession, you have certainly had a huge impact on the lives of many young men.  I know HS coaches take a beating on this site, and hopefully this will serve an example of how HS coaches not only can be great baseball coaches, but also the impact they have on our young sons.

 

I see you have coached at just about every level in the great state of Texas, and succeeded at each level.  From one TX guy to another....God Bless you and your family!

The day of my son's games, I will always say " Just go do your thing." When game is over, I will not mention game to him. I let him bring it up to me.  He has coaches on the field and teammates in teh dugout; I am dad.  If he asks my opinion, I give it. 

What is great is that now he is in college and he calls me after every game to talk about the game.  If game is streamed, I can ask specific questions about what kind of pitch did they get you on when you rolled over or what pitch was that you took yard, etc. I'm not gonna lie, my wife says I am like a little school girl when I see he is calling to talk shop with me after a game.

Sometimes he doesn't want to say much and that is cool too. He will just give basics and I move on.

I was getting ready to share the Roller Coaster ride that my son has had this season.  He's had a few good games and a few bad games, and he's been extremely frustrated.  I had a very positive conversation with him last night, and basically reminded him how much I love him & will always be his Biggest Fan.

D8, I'm so sorry for your loss.  Your post is an important reminder to all of us that baseball is just a game. 

d8 - I lost a brother in an accident at 21 nearly 30 years ago. 

 

If it were not for the good memories the grief would have been insurmountable.  Thankfully you have those.

 

God bless you as you move forward with your life and family.  I believe that living well is the best tribute of all to those that are not here with us.  Do that and remember - it will help.

Guys, thank you for all the thoughts and prayers. I dont have the words to thank you all enough. Today was the first day back at school for me in three weeks. It was hard, but good at the same time. I had kept in touch with the players, and went to their last couple of games and stayed in the dugout. I let my assistants do most of the coaching. The first game back on the field was also bitter sweet. Like many of you the baseball field has always been my sanctuary. It was always a place where the world just seemed right. I have been fortunate enough to have my passion, my hobby, and my work all rolled into one neat package. My son was always at my games unless he had one of his own to go to or a rodeo. He would warm up the left fielder between games or hit with the guys in the cage or take ground balls in pre-game. That first game back I half expected to see him sprint out of the dugout to return the foul balls that came back in to the umpire. 

The community and team have been great. They had jerseys made up with his name on them. The fans have made up t-shirts with his number on the back, and the out pouring of love has been amazing. One of the neatest things the team did was after the first game after Cole's accident. After every game I would talk to the team either behind first or third base depending on which dugout we were in, and Cole would take off sprinting to beat us all there and would slide into the bag... so after the game all the players took turns sliding into the bag in honor of Cole.

One thing I want to say and I will quit rambling.  On the night of visitation, and day of the funeral, literally thousands of people came by telling stories of Cole, and very few talked about how good of a player or cowboy he was (BTW, there were world champions and hall of famers there) they all talked about what kind of person he was. So please remember this is still just a game ( even in the big business of the MLB, the ump still says PLAY ball), and it is much more important the type of men these kids become that we have in our tutelage than how good of a ball player they become.

Thanks for listening and forgive all the fragments/run-ons... I did this from my phone.
Originally Posted by d8:
One of the neatest things the team did was after the first game after Cole's accident. After every game I would talk to the team either behind first or third base depending on which dugout we were in, and Cole would take off sprinting to beat us all there and would slide into the bag... so after the game all the players took turns sliding into the bag in honor of Cole.

There is not a dry eye in this house after reading that.  Coach, I am linking this thread into our memorial forum.  That way, there will be a permanent memorial to Cole here at the hsbbweb to recognize the wonderful impact he had on people for all time.  Know that there are Angels in heaven caring for him now and you indeed will see him again someday.

d8 - thank you for sharing your story. My son is 12 and this is the first season I have "let him go" to another coach. It's been extremely hard for me sitting behind the fence. But now, because of you, I have found some peace. Now....I say "play hard, have fun, I love you" to my son, and I leave it at that. And you know what? He's playing better and more importantly...he's SMILING. And that is all that matter to me now. So, a big thank you for giving me that. God bless you and your family.

My son was hurting Saturday. They made a great run in the conference tourney. They knocked out the #1 and #2 seeds after dropping their first game after leading 5-0. They ended up losing that game 7-6. Then with a chance to play for the championship they lost a heart breaker 5-4. He was hurting for his guys. I have never in all the years he played ever seen him so down. I think he just felt for the first time what a coach feels when you look in the eyes of your Seniors and know they have played their last game. I hurt for him.

 

On the drive home my wife got a text from a good friend of ours. She is the sister of one of my former players. Her 19 year old brother the brother of my former player has cancer. He also has spots of cancer on his lungs. My wife works at Duke Medical Center and treats cancer patients and she wanted some advice on who to make sure they saw. As soon as she told me I thought of d8.

 

Later that night I texted my son and told him about the young man. He was silent on the phone. He is very close with the young man. I didn't have to say a word. He finally said "I guess this puts things into perspective don't it Dad?" All I could say was "Yes it does son. I love you."

 

Baseball is not life. It's a game. Its a way to learn life lesson's. Life is precious. We all need a little perspective now and then. Coach brought that to us. I need that lesson from time to time. We all do.

Cole hitting1

 

 

Thought I would throw in a pic and the first link is to my wife's FB page with a story about Cole. It is just one of the thousands of stories shared with us the last few weeks. We are not sure where my son got the bracelet in the story, but we ordered 900 and have just about given them all away. We are about to order more. I am still amazed at the lives he touched.  The second link is to my page. It was my first post a couple of days after the accident. Hope everyone is having an awesome week. Thanks again to all on here.

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo...p;type=1&theater

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo...p;type=1&theater

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D8,

 

It really hurts to read your story. I'm sure that Cole was a very special young boy because his dad is very special man. As painful as it is to read this story, it is such an important lesson to all of us.  Thank you so much, for sharing.

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