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Happy Birthday to My Dad

Chaloner Woods, Getty Images

March 11 has always brought memories and good times for me.  My father was born on March 11 and every year we would celebrate his birthday and every year he would get the same birthday gift from me. That gift was two tickets to opening day of the baseball season. I haven’t been able to give him tickets for 29 years now. He passed away in 1985 from Alzheimer’s or dementia as it was known then.

I love opening day of the baseball season, but I miss him not sitting next to me having a beer and eating a hotdog. My love for baseball is directly related to his love for the same game. He was a really good ball player in his youth. So good, that he played baseball in the Pacific Coast League for a short while. I credit him for my baseball talent. So when I now watch my grandsons “step and throw” a baseball, I know they have his blood in them for sure.

He was born in the Bronx, New York. He lived in a house just one block behind the old Yankee Stadium which is exactly where the new Yankee Stadium is now. Now you know why I am a Yankee fan.

I was on the air at WTAD Radio when he died in Kansas City in October of ’85. I was told of his passing when my show ended and drove to Kansas City. I still don’t remember driving to Kansas City that day. I was numb and in many ways when I watch a ballgame, I am still numb thinking about him.

I wonder what he would say about his granddaughter, who was only 3 when he passed away, and his 5 great “step and throw” grandchildren? And I wonder what he would look like today on this his 100th birthday. Miss you Dad! Happy Birthday!

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