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Father's Day Thoughts

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Strike zone judgment is important, son. (Getty)
Strike zone judgment is important, son. (Getty)

I'm not working today.

I wouldn't be doing what I am doing today without my father's influence. He was the one who got me interested in minor league baseball in the first place, by taking me to Iowa Oaks/Iowa Cubs Triple-A games very frequently beginning back in 1977.  He was the one who insisted (against my teenage will) that I take both Typing and Advanced Typing in high school, even though they weren't cool classes. He said it was a necessary skill I would need in my future.

He always encouraged me, not just to read and write, but to think and try to understand the world, what made it work the way it did, and what made human beings the strange and broken and wonderful and creative and dangerous and loving creatures they are.

My dad never got to see my professional life in full bloom. He had a massive stroke in 1994, shortly after I started working for Bill James but two years before I started writing for a living. He lived on in a diminished capacity until 2006, but he couldn't talk or communicate effectively, and I never really knew how much he understood about what I was doing in my life.

I wrote the Bob Feller biography for my him. My dad was an Iowa farm boy, and Feller was his favorite player growing up. I wish he had been able to read it.

Things weren't always great between us, but I wouldn't be where I am today without my dad, and I miss him.