Dear Baby Eric…

July 14, 2012


You’re asleep right now while I’m writing this and you’re making some noises, so I like to think you’re dreaming. I hope you never stop…dreaming, that is.

Some of your dad’s earliest and fondest memories are of baseball. I vaugely remember being at Game 5 of the 1985 Royals ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Royals won to cut Toronto’s series lead to 3-2, and I remember looking at the old Crown scoreboard with my mom and dad. It said something like “Bring us back a championship from Toronto.” Two games later, they did just that.

I remember Game 6 of the 1985 World Series. I sat on your Uncle Greg’s shoulders and watched the Royals come back from 1-0 down to the Cardinals in the 9th inning of an elimination game. They had been down 3-1 to both Toronto and St. Louis, and came back to win the ALCS and World Series 4-3. That’s the first time I remember seeing someone’s dreams come true. It was a feeling I’ll never forget…well, as much as a 6-year-old can remember.

Few things encourage dreams to me like baseball does. Each day, there’s a new game. No matter what happened the day before. No matter how badly you lost. Each year there are stories of kids who went to big games with their families and rooted for their heroes now becoming the heroes to a new group of kids in the stands.

Your mom would tell you she wasn’t surprised you came four weeks early. This way you get to see the All-Star Game in your hometown — because who knows when it will be back in KC again, Wimbledon (yep, mom and dad like tennis too) and the Olympics. Truly your father’s son :) . And getting an early start on watching dreams come true.

Baseball has always been about hope. Hope that your team will win that night. And hope that you might be able to one day play the game you played with friends in the backyard for a living. That’s why I went around the city collecting All-Star Game memories for you last week. You probably won’t remember the game or how baseball made the city come alive for the five days surrounding it.

You won’t remember how we called you the Royals good luck charm because they won four straight games starting the day you were born. And that Eric Hosmer homered on the night you were born and we said he hit it for you because you both share the same first name.

You won’t remember any of these things firsthand. But I want you to have the memories. And I want you to remember that it’s always ok to dream. To be a baseball player. To be an artist. To have an amazing son. One that might ask you to play catch someday.

That was one of my most recent dreams. Actually your mom and I had that dream for the last two years. A dream that you made come true.

I bought you an official All-Star Game ball last week. I got Hal McCrae to sign it for you on the last day of FanFest. Pretty soon, we’ll put it away with your other All-Star memories. And you’ll always have it to help you remember the most important lesson your dad has learned from baseball…

You can be anything you want to be.

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