For most of my son’s baseball game, the man in the red folding chair sitting behind me had been just a voice on the hill. Now he was my enemy. His son was pitching. Mine was batting.
When my son fouled off the first pitch, the father was gleeful. When the second pitch was called a ball, he questioned the umpire. After a called strike, he roared: “He can’t hit you.” Impressive — he was trying to intimidate a 10-year-old batter.
I wanted my son to get a hit to shut him up, or maybe a line drive foul to do so more directly.
In the end, my son lined out to the shortstop.
In the heat of competition, I was ready to make that guy’s folding chair into a bow tie for him. But on the drive for the traditional post-game Slurpee, I had a creeping revelation. What if I was that guy? Was I becoming the dreaded Baseball Dad?
See Wednesday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more.