What Was Your Best Day in Baseball?

Many wonderful memories in this game...as a fan, 1st trip to Yankee Stadium. ME and my dad, got to see Don Mattingly, Bernie Williams, Jesse Barfiled, Kevin Maas...and Monument Park.

As a Dad, every day I see my kids (son and daughter) look at me when they dig in at the plate, see them smile with their teammates, and see them enjoy the game that has been such a part of me.

As a coach, having a senior at a school I left the prior year come to my house, and ask if he could borrow a pen to sign his letter of intent. He signed it at my dinner table.

As a player, my last game my junior year of college...I did not play as a senior for personal reasons, so that day was the last one with the "guys."
Fan: Game 7 of the 1968 World Series, followed closely by All-Star Games in Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park. Celebration outside of Wrigley Field that night in 1984 when the Cubs clinched the division to go to the post-season for the first time in 39 years was fun too, as was game 1 of the NLCS that year. I've wiped from my memory everything that happened thereafter.

Coach--Winning 11-12 year old championship with older son.

Parent--Seeing both sons play together on the same team for the first time (they are four years apart) and watching them both go deep in the same game in the Dominican Republic.
Like most Dad's that post, I coached little league when my son was young. I am the mildly compulsive type; if you are going to do something do it well.

The first year I coached, I had a group of 8 & 9 year olds. Very little experience and who knows if there was any talent. I had the kids for about 3 weeks before they every played their first game.

From the beginning, all the kids wanted to do was to hit. I really believed that if they were going to enjoy the game they needed to learn to catch, throw and play defense. We worked the same drills for weeks, catching, body position, throwing. I created drills and games that made the task somewhat fun and bearable.

What I remember the most occured towards the end of the season. After countless drills, I watch this group of very young kids turn a perfect 6-4-3 double play. The kids never realized it, the parents didn't realize it, but I sure did; it was really cool to see these kids embrace what they were taught and succeed.
As a moment, last year my son recorded a K as the final out as a freshman in the game that clinched a share of the Patriot League title.

As a day, the day he got his first college victory as a pitcher over Navy.

I just don't have any baseball memories that come close to touching those.
As a Player:

Getting that first grey blue flannel uniform, blue hat and blue and white stirrups.....A $1000 hand made suit never could feel so good...

Batting in a meaningless game and seeing my father on the hill watching...you see taking time off work meant less money for the family and wasnt something that could be done very often...

The last homerun I ever hit came in an adult softball game, which ended the game...and I was able to scoop up my 6 month old son and walk off the field...

As a Parent...

Seeing my son sleeping in his uniform...

Seeing the joy and smiles on my sons face through out his youth career...

Walking out on Senior Day with my wife and son...

Seeing my sons first and last College ball game...

Seeing my sons first college ball game as a coach.

As an Umpire...

The worst day....the one I run over and over again in my mind.. the day I realized that child abuse was real and I had to do something....

The day I heard from the stands, Hey, Mr. Umpire!...you dont remember me, but you umpired my games...and thats my son playing now....O Yes I remember you...and everyone of you...

The day I turned a corner in Wal Mart, and a kid said........hey arent you MY UMPIRE???.......Yes, I am...
As a player...I did not have the drive to improve as I got older...but in LL I tossed a one-hitter on my Mom's birthday.

As a fan...maybe watching my son's games in the Coastal Plains League at the end of the summer. That is a brand of baseball us D3 parents don't get to see on a regular basis. The fact that my son did well was a plus.

As a parent...two stick in my mind:
1. No hitter with 17 K's as a 10 year old in LL
2. Junior year in HS...team came back from a 3 run deficit off a big-time pitcher to win the regionals in a 9-inning thriller.

As a son...going to Astros class A games with my dad most every night in the Florida State League in the early 70's...

As just a kid...getting to be BATBOY for a Spring Training for the Reds (1971) and the Cardinals (1972).
As a player it was my first game in a new town, tripling on the first pitch against the best pitcher in the league after my best friend the catcher told the pitcher.."He's all yours Tim"..

As a coach it was watching my son throw 14 k's in a 5 inning ten run defeat of "the best hitting team in the state" in a Babe Ruth District Championship.

As a dad Sr Day was a biggie...I think more was his 3rd shut out of the year in his teams only District playoff win..which solidified his 0.89 era for the year and lowest and only sub 1 era in his schools 57 year history.

As a fan it was seeing Ernie Banks and Henry Aaron bounce one across the street on the same day at Wrigley(A), watching Gaylord Perry beat the entire Oakland A's staff..starting with Vida Blue and ending with Rollie Fingers (B) and having my son and my dad sit with me and all of my sons friends at a July 4th game at Turner Filed to watch Kerry Wood in his prime (C)
Wow!...Not very good at this...

Just made a quick list of 16 of those favorite moments...I'll list the first and last...

1. Moment of recognition of son's "hand/eye coordination" as a 4-year-old. We were walking through a harvested corn field in my home town, not long after my father's passing. We both had "walking sticks"...his was a shortened broom stick. I began to pick up the occasional rock, toss it up and swing at it...making sporadic contact. The kid soon followed, successful in about 3 out of every 4 times. Roll Eyes

2. Recent report where son gives indication to me over the phone that it seems he has a decent chance to compete for a starting position as a freshman for his D-1 college team. Smile

What a long wild ride it has been...

I guess the favorite moment would have to be...tomorrow. Wink

(Can you tell I'm a little bit excited, Chip?)
Being just a mom, I can only speak as a fan and as a parent.
As a fan, absolutely first day in Omaha, a great experience for everyone.

We've had a lot of best day's as parent of a player, but for me, the best day and always will be the first time I saw son in his college uni at fall practice. Smile
Well, one of the worst turned into one of the best, as I've aged.

When 1Bson was about 4, we were starting to play with the kiddie baseball set. And we were almost ready to graduate to a real glove. Well, my loving Father in law bought him his first glove before I got to. I was so ticked off...boy was I mad. Now, some 15 years later, grandpa is pretty sick and that glove is still in 1Bsons room...Now it's a big deal the other way. I'm glad grandpa was able to do it. I've also informed all my children that I will be purchasing 1st gloves for all the grandkids that I better have some day.

The best day so far, was 1Bsons junior year. Finally worked his way into a starting spot on the varsity and was doing well. Had an 11 pitch at bat against a conference rival. I was standing next to the press box where the radio announcer was announcing the game. The announcer was talking about the Double and triple earlier in the game and that 1Bson had 3 RBI's already. Then he said..."He appears to be getting the timing down on this pitcher and is fouling off alot of pitches, I wouldn't be surprised to see him hit one out if he gets one he likes." Next pitch....a no doubter to left, 340 feet or so. Talk about busting the seams on your shirt!! That ball is still in the curio cabinet, properly signed!!

Hopefully we have more bests coming!!
quote:
Originally posted by Corky9999:
Tell us about your best baseball experience as a fan, a player or parent.
I have to mix in some softball as a parent and coach.

Playing: Pitching a no-hitter and going 5-5 in high school game
As part of a team: Any district, state, regional or conference title from LL through college. Winning never gets tiresome.
Parent: Watching my daughter sign on the line.
Coaching: Anytime one of the players received an offer.
Fan: "Swing and a ground ball, stabbed by Foulke. He has it. He underhands to first. And the Boston Red Sox are the World Champions. For the first time in 86 years, the Red Sox have won baseball's world championship. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?"
A few "best moments":

* Witnessing my son's first double play (at about age 8) and trying not to act too smug at dinner afterwards as all the parents marveled over his athleticism

* Two "almost" games: (1) the first was when son was 14-years-old and his Jr. League team came within one game of winning the Texas West Jr. League championships (we followed the career of the winning pitcher and he was drafted out of high school and is now playing D1 ball; even then, we knew he was something special! Wink ) (2) the second was this past May, when son's high school team (ranked 6th in the country) was only one pitch away from making the state tourney

* Our son's absolutely outstanding performance - both defensively and offensively - that followed an incredibly dismal performance during the previous game at the Jr. Olympics

* Signing day for my son and his high school teammate, whom he had played with for 8 years, which was covered by the newspaper and 2 TV stations

* Getting to see son make his first defensive play and get his first hit in college ball last month during Parents' Weekend

Lots of fun memories!
Fun thread!

As I was reflecting on the past, I was thinking about the "joy" felt as a parent at these "best moments" at the little league level is the same "joy" felt as a parent at the high school or college level!

In my son's junior year of high school, he hit a grand slam against his rival high school. I was ready for him to retire his baseball jersey at that point - I didn't think it could get any better than that!

I did have tears when I saw my son for the first time in his D2 college uniform at his fall scrimmage games. But also seeing my freshman son pitch in relief (and hold his own) for the first time in the spring - was a thrill! I was so nervous but I made myself take a "mental picture" of the moment. I'm glad he didn't take my advice and hang it up after his junior year of high school...
Probably my "best day in baseball" story has to be relayed from my dad. It happened when I was about 2 Wink

My parents have told me more than once about our trip to the Field of Dreams in Iowa. Like I said, I was about 2 years old at the time, but baseball was old-hat by then for me. It always has been #1. So we're up at the Field of Dreams and there are some guys out there playing ball on the field. We end up down by the field and somehow I end up at homeplate. I've got one of those big fat plastic whiffle ball bats and one of the older kids tosses me a tennis ball. I hit it and run like crazy!

Now I vaguely remember this of course, but they told me (and knowing me, I believe it Wink) that my face was just lit up. I "got to play with the big boys."

I think that memory led to another experience that I had this summer at my cousin's birthday party. His sister and her husband have a kid who is 3 maybe.. well we ended up in the backyard with a whiffle ball and bat. I don't think he had really played with a ball much, but I could tell that he was loving it. And he was making contact some. I don't know what it was, but I just could not stop playing with him and my cousins.

Something about "baseball is for kids; adults just screw it all up"
As a player: 3 run homer in bottom of 7th to give our team a 1 run win for the conference championship. This coming right after my almost worst, when I popped the first pitch straight up, but thank goodness for rain as the catcher couldn't get a bead on it and it fell foul.

As a parent: Everyday is a great day, but the feeling I got when my son took the mound in his college uniform, didn't matter that it was their fall world series. I thought my heart would beat out of my chest.

As a coach: I coached a corp of 9 young men during summers and falls. The last day I got to coach them and realized how lucky I was to have shared in their experiences and growth was my best day in baseball.
Watching both sons leap upon the dog pile following their winning their conference tournament, clinching a ring and a spot in the NCAA's. It was my older son's senior year and he had wanted badly to "get that ring" since he started his high school baseball days. After 5 years of college ball, and hanging in there despite very few AB's, he was able to get the ring and his 'lil brother was right there with him. His college ball days are now over but he proudly wears that huge ring every day.

Their dog pile is now a poster on their walls.
Great Topic! With some great comments above ...

As a Fan/Coach -- Serving as bench coach for a team of 14's & 15's at the 2008 USA Baseball 16U Championships in Jupiter, and getting the opportunity to observe these kids up close as they took one of the tournament favorites to 9 innings, losing 2-1. Probably the greatest youth baseball game I have ever witnessed.

As A Dad -- Many "best days", with more most certainly to come. First game pitched; 1st LL Home Run; First Tournament Championship; First High School pitching appearance (and Win); watching him play with national travel teams; scoreless season on the mound (6-0, 30+ IP, 0 R). Can't wait to see what comes next!

As a Player -- Has to be a High School no-hitter (7 IP, 16 K, 0 H -- also 4 for 4 at the plate). What makes the day more special is that 28 years to the day later, my son took the mound for the first time in LL ... which we only figured out after the fact.
Great topic!

As a parent: Regarding my son, wathcing him smile on a diamond knowing that he thinks that's his home away from home. Knowing that he has now taken that warrior attitude to the classroom and really focusing on grades.

Daughter: Knowing that she has the courage to take on Arhtritis day in and day out, and win. Watching her take top honors in a belt test for martial arts is certainly up there too.

As a fan: watching them both grow up.
For me, my fondest memories as a mom are the earlier years. My thoughts always go back to both of my son's " firsts ".
Playing Nerf baseball in the familyroom when the bat was almost taller than they were.
Velcro mits and their first Tiny Tyke Tee sitting under the Christmas tree.
Snow covered the ground outside, but inside it was the World Series in our home, with books for bases, lots of clapping, and little hand high fives.
Too many to count. With my son, was it him catching his first pop fly during a game as a 6 year old or his face when he hit his first home run, or his birthday when we surprised him with tickets near the Braves dugout and when Frency hit a foul ball that landed 3 rows behind us and he turns to me and says "Wow...my heart's pounding!!!". Which is the best?

Is it my four year old girly girl daughter who stands out in the yard with her dress, mary janes and pink bat saying : "squish the bug and turn" and hitting tennis balls into the neighbor's yard?


Or is it just being able to spend time with the family outside doing something we all love?
quote:
For me, my fondest memories as a mom are the earlier years. My thoughts always go back to both of my son's " firsts ".
Playing Nerf baseball in the familyroom when the bat was almost taller than they were.
Velcro mits and their first Tiny Tyke Tee sitting under the Christmas tree.
Snow covered the ground outside, but inside it was the World Series in our home, with books for bases, lots of clapping, and little hand high fives.



I think we were playin' ya'll that day................
There are just so many...for all of us I'm sure. Thats why we love this game.

First-best memory? Hitting a bases loaded triple off the best pitcher on the best team ("Michael's Conkrete") in our youth baseball league in Cincinnati. Big Grin

Best MLB memory? The night the Reds beat the Red Sox in Game 7 of the WS (1975). Geez that felt good! Cool

Best sons' memory? Very seriously, just about any day out at the ballpark with any of them. Our kids have played lots of other sports, but none have given my wife and me the enjoyment that baseball has...LOONNNNNGGGG before college. But the most satisfying was when our son got back on the mound 2 months after his injury. Smile
As a player it was coming together with my legion team every summer, two rival towns 1 legion team. We wanted to kill each other all school year and then we were like brothers all summer. I still love seeing those guys 18 years later.

As a parent, calling from Iraq when my son was clinching his district in LL. Having her tell me every pitch he threw and then him K'ing the last guy and running off the mound past his team to my wife's cell to tell me he did it and he wished I was there, I was son, believe me.
That question is almost like someone asking you, "So which one of your children is your favorite one?"

One great memory of mine though is that first time I got a real uniform. We wore jeans and t-shirts until we were 13. At 13 the heavens opened up and we got the complete uni.
I nominate Jimnev's post for one of the best ever.

As a player playing in the county championship and was lead off batter, hitting 3 doubles, to help the team win.

As a parent, watching son come in to pitch with bases loaded getting two strike outs and 1 grounder to get the team out of the inning.

Coaching, I was coaching first base and signled to have son bunt the ball , boy was he mad , his bunt scored the tying run, when he got thrown out at first he did not even look at me, and he told me he hated bunting, when he got back to the dugout on the thirdbase side parents were going wild, teammates swarmed him, he then turned and yelled at me. "I am glad I bunted now"
Warming up a kid on our PONY Mustang level team, I sensed that he needed more confidence in himself and his pitches. He was about 2/3 the size of infidel_son and about half as fast. I convinced him to pitch to me with his eyes closed; just seeing in his mind the path of the ball into the mitt. It didn't take him long to find the strike zone with his eyes closed. I remember a few times I didn't have to move the glove at all. He was amazed. He came in against the #1 team and shut them down 1-2-3. His grandfather often reminded me of that game and the change that occurred that evening. I said it was nothing. I was just having fun.
I have a few:
My first major league game at Candlestick Park in 1964. Ray Sadecki threw a 3 hitter for St Louis and looked unhittable, which he was. Sat in the right field bleachers and had never been so cold in my life, including the day it was -59 degrees in Butte, Mt.
In 2000, when one of our son's high school teammates, who was left with a severe impairment in his right arm from a childhood heart attack, got his first, and only, high school hit, a single to right field. It wasn't quite Rudy, but sure came close. Smile
In 2004, in the SCAC championship game,with his team down 5-2 in the 8th, our son hit a dramatic two strike, two out homer that absolutely energized his team to a 7-6 victory and the automatic berth in the DIII regionals.
In 2005, talking on the same day with our son when he learned he would not get an assignment out of Spring Training, talking to him about 2 hours later when he was on the AAA team bus heading to Legends Field to play the Yankees, and then about 6 hours later letting him describe his starting at short, getting 3AB's off Randy Johnson, and learning he had "earned" his assignment with the Lansing Lugnuts in the MWL.
June 22, 2005: Peoria, Ill. watching Jason interact with AJ Shappi amongst others, in the MWL All Star game and listening to a number of players talk about the DIII kid who made the game when he wasn't even a starter on his own team in April.
June 19, 2008, watching the Stanford/Miami game on TV and seeing justbaseball "politely" clap after ED struck out 2 hitters in the 8th with runners on 1st and 3rd, and knowing he was just bursting with pride and in need of oxygen. Big Grin
October 17, 2008, reading on BA minor league transactions that our son has been released. The playing part of his journey is complete. Reading it with a tear on my cheek and a heart full of pride. Smile
For me there have been too many to list, but here are a few:

Watching oldest son tell mom that he was going to hit a home run against the #1 ranked Juco in country......then he did it........hit a tape measure shot to win game in 2002. Meramec CC 1, Forest Park CC O. That was for you mom....

Watching daughter throw out every runner attempting to steal during HS fastpitch district championships in 2003 from behind the plate. 3 games 8 for 8, she went 9 for 11 at plate hitting as well.

Watching young son hit dramatic 2 out, 3 run BOMB in 2008 as a sophomore against Columbia Rock Bridge to tie game in bottom of 7th at Liberty Stadium in Sedalia Mo.

Watching oldest son work with youngest son to teach him every aspect of the game and prepare him for college and hopefully beyond. Watching oldest son and daughter beam with pride cheering and supporting youngest son at the ball park.

Best Baseball Day? TODAY..As I write this post, the absolute pleasure it gives me to review all the memories over the years of my children, players and teams success and failures over the past 25 years of baseball.
quote:
As a parent, calling from Iraq when my son was clinching his district in LL. Having her tell me every pitch he threw and then him K'ing the last guy and running off the mound past his team to my wife's cell to tell me he did it and he wished I was there, I was son, believe me.

There have been wonderful posts in this thread. A golden thread imho.

Jimnev's is an instant classic. My eternal thanks and gratitude Jimnev!
I almost forgot this one. Bum's wife was at Bum's other son's game while Bum was watching Bum, Jr. play. It was a dreadful day, windy and rainy, and I was bored. I called my wife and pulled a prank on her..

"Hey!" I exclaimed, "guess what? Bum, Jr. just hit a home run." She was very excited and absolutely beside herself until I informed her.. just kidding. She was disappointed, but knowing my nature, forgiving.

The next inning, you guessed it, Bum, Jr. hit his first (and only) high school homerun. I called my wife and it took a good half-hour convincing her that, yes, this time was for real.
For my younger son:

In LLMajors pitching in a rain shower.
It was the strangest thing in nature, we had been experiencing rain showers all over, son takes the mound and the rain just comes down on him, the pitcher, weirdest thing you ever saw for about three innings, rained on the pitchers mound, that's it, no where else, rest of the field was sunny and dry.
He threw strikes, for a one hitter.


For my older son: When he as nicknamed "The Kid"
in Little League, and later on seeing him on his first day in full Uni as a college player -- that was cool!
Two stories. First, 1998, we were in the state championship game and one of our players, Matt Evers, came up to the plate. Matt hit a grand slam that put us ahead. What most people didn't see, but of which I watch about once ever couple of months on video, is Matt touching home plate and pointing at me. You see, Matt had been told from early on that he could not pull the ball. We worked with Matt on pitch location, being able to load and drive his hips... Well, our pratices would end, many of the players would go AND THEN, THEY'D ALL RETURN. Yup, we'd have 2 practices. Matt would get extra bp and I'd throw balls he was to try to drive out of the park to left. He would get frustrated and we'd work and work for hours. That big fly was 2 years of work. We won a state title and went 40-0. I look at the video and him pointing and am so proud of him!

The second is as a parent and is about softball. My daughter was pitching in a huge tournament against a team that was 32-0 at the time. She battled and they were very good. At one point, the coach for the other team started yelling insults at her and it got nasty. I'm not one to sit and let an adult verbally abuse a child - any child. We were in the top of the 7th inning and visiting. It was 0-0. BB came to the plate with 2 outs and hit a ball way out of the park. She now had to pitch the bottom of the 7th. K, K, K! On the last K, she was crying. Her team rushed her and she was calling for me and Mom. For all parents, to see your child cry happy tears like this... well... We won the tournament!
For me anytime I can be out coaching my boys. I've really learned to appreciate their efforts and hard work at becoming the best players they can be.It must be paying off, my youngest threw 2 no-nos this fall and my oldest threw one the end of this summer.

My own best baseball moment is winning a 40 & over world series game six years ago in Arizona. a bunch of over the hill northerners took it to one of the local teams that everyone was sure was gonna be the winners. Shouldn't have sized 'em up for the rings before the game.I go 7 1/3 give up 4, 2 er, we win 6-4! I'll never forget that week!

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