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Blue Jays Infielder John McDonald’s Last Word on Father’s Day

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Posted on June 22 2010 3:00 pm
Divorced Dad of three. Collection A.V.P. by day, humor/political blogger after the evening dishes. Looking for hot/wealthy/uber-lifted Scottsdale Granny for hi-jinks, hiking, and Saturday-morning coffee. Is this e-harmony?
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By the time this post gets published, it’ll be more than 48 hours since the Father’s Day sunrise – a veritable star-year in the world of blogging.

But some things are worth repeating, even when they’re not so shiny new anymore.

AmSpecBlog’s Paul Chesser snags this hot grounder from Boston Globe sports scribe Peter Abraham:

John McDonald, a (Toronto) Blue Jays infielder, lost his father to cancer last week. Before Jack McDonald died, he told his son to hit a home run for him when he went back to the team.

McDonald, who had only 13 homers in his 12-year career, told his father that he would try but it wasn’t that easy.

McDonald rejoined the Blue Jays from bereavement leave on Saturday and played in his first game on Sunday — Father’s Day.

Cito Gaston put him in the game in the ninth inning with Toronto down 9-3 and you can guess what happened next. Yes, McDonald belted a home run. He returned to the dugout and was swarmed by his teammates.

Only in America – and only on a baseball field – can such a miraculous thing happen. The sheer joy of the moment was not lost on McDonald’s teammates:

“We cried on each others’ shoulder for a good 30 seconds,” teammate Vernon Wells told reporters in Toronto. “When it went out, it was instant goosebumps. It kind of puts everything in perspective on whether you had a good day or a bad day at the plate or in the field. Wins and losses don’t really matter at that point.”

Not all of us have been skilled enough to hit a homer for Dad, healthy or ailing, alive or dead. Hopefully we can at least pass on his lessons of hard work and sacrifice to our own kids, and in doing so, make the world a more worthwhile place.

Or as my own late father (who coached many a really bad hockey team) used to say:

“Is there any blood? No? Then why are you bothering me?”

Here’s to ya, Pops!

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