By: Stuart Hack

Thank You Dad for Teaching Me What Baseball is All About

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I became a baseball and more importantly a Met fan in 1970 (Believe it or not I was not initially aware of what happened in 1969). My father was a Brooklyn Dodger fan and with our close proximity to Shea Stadium made it an easy choice as to which team I rooted for.

Back then every year, he would tell me to look at the schedule and pick a game that we would go to. 1973 was no different. In July of that year I went through the schedule. At that point the Mets were in last place and the game I picked in September would be more of a Minor League matchup. But as you know things have a funny way of playing out.

I awoke the morning of September 21 with a feeling of excitement. No not because I was going to Ms. Zierler’s fifth grade class at P.S. 196 (although she was one of my all time favorites). It was because that night I was going to see the Mets face the Pirates, winner taking sole possession of first place in the NL East.

Even at the age of 10, I knew the Mets were a lock. Mets ace Tom Seaver was facing off against Steve Blass. Blass, one of Baseball’s best in 1972, inexplicably lost the ability to throw strikes in 1973.
Blass failed to make it out of the first inning and the Mets cruised to an easy 10-2 win behind home runs from Wayne Garrett, Rusty Staub and John Milner. They were now in first place where they would stay.

It took us close to three hours to get out of the parking lot that night. While we were sitting in traffic, a man ran up to our car and screamed ‘I got Dancing Harry’s autograph’ (For those who were born after 1970, Dancing Harry used to perform during timeouts at Knick games). My father looked at him and calmly said ‘That’s nice’ and rolled up the car window.

That day 43 years this week was one of the greatest days I’ve ever had at a baseball game but not because of the importance in the standings. It was because I got to see a baseball game with my dad.
When I was older and working in the late 1980’s I would have my father choose six games from the schedule and take him as a Father’s day present. Unfortunately he died suddenly in 1990 but I have memories of all the games we attended which when you think about it is what Baseball should be all about.

About Stuart A. Hack

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