Baseball and fathers and sons. A timeless tradition that permeates clubhouses around the world. The sanctuary at McCoy Stadium is no different. We have fathers and sons and some guys who are both. As the guys laced ’em up on Sunday, no doubt, thoughts and memories were overflowing.
Tug Hulett is the son of a former Major Leaguer. His dad, Tim, played for the Orioles, White Sox and Cardinals from 1983-1995. Tug does not take his dad or their relationship for granted. “Any time you have a dad who wants to be around you and makes it easier…dad could have cared less if I played baseball or not. But his influence…that’s what he did. When dad went to work, he was going to the park. As I grew up, I watched what my dad did. He loved it. I loved it. It definitely had a big impact on my life and what I wanted to do.” Tug himself, is not yet a father, but he does look forward to passing along what he has learned from his own dad someday. “Definitely. I’d love to have a kid that grows up in a clubhouse, or a locker room. To be around guys who know the game and love the game. I’m looking forward to that, big time.”
Catcher Dusty Brown is celebrating his first fathers Day as a dad, himself. His son Jude was born last July and that has changed a lot of things for the 28 year old Brown. “I get a little less sleep at home. Seriolusly, it’s great. I love my son. He’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. He has definitely improved my quality of life sine we had him.” Brown appreciates all his dad did for him “from the time I played T-ball until the time I signed with Boston”. He won’t force Jude into baseball, but he will support him in any endeavor. “He will do whatever he wants to do and I would be there for him. I’m not going to insist he plays baseball, but if he wants to play, he’ll have all the resources to do so. If he doesn’t, it will be totally fine with me.”
Manager Torey Lovullo got all the love and support he needed from his father, Sam. Torey, in turn tries to emulate the patriarch of his family both at home with his three kids, Nicky, Taylor and Connor and at the park, too. “My dad is my hero. That’s a no-brainer for me. Growing up he ran the household, worked very hard, gave nothing but love, Italian -Style.” Torey describes his father as a “warm, fun-loving, roly-poly Italian man who always wants to be near his family.” Lovullo says he is the same way. He laments the lifestyle of baseball on days like this. “In this job, you don’t get to spend Mothers Days and Fathers Days with your parents. Luckily, they’re just a phone call away. They know they mean the world to me.”
Torey is responsible for 24 players at a time. he realizes that there are paternal aspects that come into play on a daily basis. “Oh I know. To a lot of the younger guys, I am a father figure. We talk and when I meet the parents of the younger players, I let them know that I have their back. I won’t let their kid run off and do anything stupid. I’ll take care of them, let them have fun, let them grow up in this environment, but I’m watching ove them, just like my dad used to watch over me.”
Whether you have sons or daughters or no kids at all. I wish you a Happy Fathers Day !!