Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Letter from a Great Man


To my Grandson Dale:

Thank you for being such a fine man and upholding good standards. It has been such a joy for Grandma and I to have shared so much of your growth.

I thank God that we were able to follow you around on the baseball circuit.

The time is coming in your life that you will have to make big decisions, so make sure that you make good ones. If you're not sure it's right, just slap yourself. (haha)

Just want you to know that Grandma and I love you dearly.


Grandpa and Grandma

As you can tell by the date, this letter came to me a while ago--my senior year in HS. Those of you who went to Catholic high school know all about why and where this comes from, so I will divulge no further details on that.

The important part, though, is the focus on decisions, and this is a topic near and dear to me as I just attended the going away party of one of my former players who leaves for college this week. Another leaves next week, and the rest will be on their way too. Clearly as my knuckleheads take off for college, they will be faced with many decisions, and while I certainly had my share of shortcomings as a coach/mentor for my boys, the overarching point I always tried to drive home was that there are two ways to do things.

The right way and the wrong way.

What do you know? That point extends to more than baseball. I hope and pray that my boys always continue to work to do things the right way. It's not always going to work out perfectly for them, as it certainly hasn't always for me since I received the above letter eight years ago when I was their age. But as I told my grandpa in the response I wrote him, I know that in the big picture I've gotten more right than I've gotten wrong.

To me, it's a testament to the strong principles and family values he helped instill in me. While I could never measure up to the example he set for me with respect to impacting future generations, I hope that someday (maybe in eight years), my boys can look back and think that the lunatic freshman coach from 2006 taught them a thing or two about how to do things.

Live life with a passion for others and see God in them, because you never know when you'll lose them. Play to win, because playing not to lose is for...well...losers. Have each other's back always because you better believe I have all of yours. That's doing things the right way.

1 comment:

  1. A poignant piece full of love and respect for a wonderful man. Larger than life in the minds and hearts of all those who love him.