Today, please allow me to make a non-1980 related blog entry.
As you may have read, this blog has been inspired by my own father, who in 1980 bought me my first pack of cards. This set has special memories for me as they are cardboard reminders of my childhood, the kids I grew up with and most importantly my Dad. In some ways, it is like looking through an old photo album. I am currently sharing them with my son, who is about the same age as I was in 1980, although understandably he is more interested in today's stars.
I am fortunate to still have my Dad with us, although the past six months has been rough for him. In December, he had a cancerous tumor removed from his lung - the byproduct of 50 years of smoking. If any of you out there smoke or have a relative who does, I implore you to do all that you can to get them to quit. It's simply not worth it.
Luckily, at the moment, it appears that the removal surgery was successful and the cancer has not spread to any of his organs. However, this week he will have prostate surgery. He has kept his spirits and humor throughout this entire ordeal and is determined to be as healthy as he can for as long as he can. One of his goals in fact, revolved around baseball as in February he wanted to attend the Tigers-Pirates series in Pittsburgh with me and my son (alas the prostate issue didn't allow him to make the trip). So even in his most trying time, baseball has been a focus.
This is my first Father's Day where I fully realize that he is not going to be around forever. I bought him a subscription to the USA Today since the local papers do not carry all the box scores as they used to, something I have heard my father lament since the start of the season. Today, more than ever, certainly has made me reflect and appreciate.
Part of the mix has been this great game. Through it, and by extension these cards, we don't grow old. We don't get sick. We don't have bills and wonder where the money will come from. For a moment or three, we are the eight year old boys holding our Dad's by the hand and seeing a ball game. And for that moment or three, we feel good. We feel safe. And all is well. Thanks Dad for giving me that gift. Hopefully a few box scores can somehow repay the debt.
GIMMIE A DO-OVER: 1970 LOU PINIELLA
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