I've mentioned my son a number of times on this blog. He's 9 years old. Until last August, he never showed any interest in playing baseball. He has participated in organized leagues for basketball, flag football and once even played soccer. He never even gave baseball a second thought. Of course, as a baseball loving dad, I bought both my boys gloves, but they never even wanted to play catch. I was a little sad by their lack of enthusiasm for the game, but they were involved in those other sports so I was ok with it.
All that changed last August when the oldest asked one day if he could use his own money to buy a pack of cards. I assumed he meant Pokemon (Mom said NO WAY to that) or some other gaming type card. He surprised me by picking out two packs of 2009 Topps cards.
"Are you sure that's what you want?", I asked. He replied it was what he wanted so I chipped in enough for him to get a couple of extra packs and off we went. Anytime he gets an action figure or video game, usually purchased with his own money by the way, he wants to open it in the car. This time was no exception. I had to show him how to tear the package at the seam and off we went. This was the top card in his first pack:
He knew who the Rangers were and that I rooted for them. As soon as that card came out of the pack, a Rangers fan was born. He just loved the close-up, dirt flying photo. I like that card too, but it has special importance to me now. He started asking questions about baseball and wanted to look through my cards for other Rangers. I have to tell you, I was feeling pretty happy that ONE card could have that kind of impact on him. He even dug his new, 2 year old glove out of the closet and asked if we could play catch. That was one of those unforgettable moments too. The first time playing catch with my son. My dad worked on the road all the time and I don't have one memory of playing catch with him. I played T-Ball and Little League baseball from the time I was 5 years old, but never one game of catch with my dad.
A couple of months ago, he said he wanted to try Little League baseball this year. I hesitantly agreed due to the fact that most kids have been playing 4 years already and he's so far behind them. Well, after several weeks of practice his first game is today. As a matter of fact, I scheduled this post to hit at the time his game starts. So right now, I'm sitting in the stands, a proud dad, watching my son's very first Little League game.
He may not get a hit. He may not catch the ball. But he's out there trying his best and that's enough for me.
And to think, it's all because of a pack of Topps cards. Thanks Topps!