Jon Manuel

Jon Manuel

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A good reminder of what baseball is really all about

As another A's season comes to an end, it's a good time to reflect on America's favorite pastime.

While it would be easy to wallow in the disappointment of losing a make-or-break post-season game, that accomplishes nothing.

Instead, I'd like to share the short story of something that happened during the A's last regular season game this past Sunday. I popped my three-and-a-half year-old, Jackson, into the truck and made a little road trip out to Anaheim.

Here's Jackson, repping in his A's gear:

As Jackson is chowing down on a concession stand cheese pizza lunch, an older gentlemen sitting at the table next to us pulls out his phone and shows me a picture of him with his son. The man's son in the picture is just about Jackson's age, and he's sitting in his dad's lap watching baseball.

"That was twenty-some years ago," the man tells me. "Today, that boy is General Manager of the Beloit Snappers (which I recognize as a Wisconsin-based farm team for the A's)." Apparently, the love of the game has turned into a successful career in sports for the young man. More importantly, though, his dad tells me that spending time together watching baseball games decades ago formed a bond between father and son that remains incredibly strong today. "My son still calls me 4 or 5 times a day," the man bragged.

Which really brings us back to what baseball is all about. I'll readily admit most of an average game isn't action-packed... But I'm learning that taking your kid to the ballpark and talking about the game for a couple of hours is a great way to turn down the distractions of our normal lives and stumble upon special moments we are likely missing out on during our non-stop schedules.

If you didn't make it out to see the A's (or Giants, or San Jose Giants, or Modesto Nuts, or Sacramento Rivercats, or any of the awesome [and surprisingly affordable!] Bay Area college baseball teams) this season, make plans to head to a ballpark near you in 2019. :)