I don't remember the exact date that he passed away, but I am positive it is close to this time of year...
Anyway, WAAAAYYYYYY back when, I was a child playing little league baseball. Though I have always been an athlete, baseball was never a sport I was very good at, or cared for, but I played that first year because my father insisted.
I sucked so bad, I was the kid that got stuck out in the outfield for one inning, (just because every kid was obligated to play one inning) and the coaches just prayed nothing was hit my way.
My hitting went like this: Either I walked, or I struck out, and because I was much taller than the other kids, I had a huge strike zone, so the coaches would always yell at me to crouch down, praying I would get a walk.
Anyway, at one of our last games, we were down to our last out, and it was my turn to bat, with a man on third in a tied ball game. I swear, I could hear the evil parents in the stand groan, though my teammates supported me.
First pitch, I actually made contact for only the second time all season, foul ball, straight behind the backstop, and.....
it hits my father in the face and smashes his glasses.
While others attended to him, I had to keep batting.
And lo and behold, I got my only hit of the entire season, the run from third scored, and my teammates mobbed me.
My father never saw it.
A week later, my manager gave me a present. It was a baseball trophy, paid out of his own money that stated, "Jason Riley, winner of the One-won-one" award"
It was one hit, that won the game, by one run.
And he told me, "Show this to your father"
I was by far the worst player on the team that year, yet this kind man went out of his way to make a small child feel better.
Bless you Coach, but most of all....
Who would you like to thank in your life, that years later, you realize how much they did, but at the moment, tunnel vision, or even youth, blinded you to the significance?