“Do you have plans for the 4th of July?” Matt (Day #177) asked. “It’s my dad’s birthday.”
I was beyond grateful that Matt volunteered to fill in the gap in my catch-playing calendar.
“My dad and I are both Johnny Cash fans,” Matt said wearing a shirt referencing the man in black. “When my son was born, we thought about naming him Cash, and then considered naming him Owen Cash. But that didn’t sound right.”
Three years ago, Matt and his family were getting ready to move into a new house by a new park. Shortly after they moved in, the park was named “Owen Park.”
Three years ago, I was nursing a broken ankle and cheering on the Royals every single inning in their epic World Championship season. How quickly time changes. The ankle, now, is in great shape. The Royals, however…
World Series flags fly forever.
Matt’s dad is Owen, a writer and southpaw celebrating his 73rd birthday. We shared stories about the writing life and our projects.
“I really do love to write, to pass along the wisdom and what God has taught me through story,” Owen said. Immediately I knew I had met a kindred spirit.
Matt’s son is Owen Fisher, but he goes by Fisher. Fisher is 7 years old and entering the second grade. His favorite movie is Incredibles 2 and he is learning to play catch at Owen Park. Fisher is the same age I was when Dad taught me how to play catch. Like writing, like chasing dreams, like learning new pieces on the violin, learning to play catch is an exercise in perseverance — Never give up.
The four of us went to Owen Park and I played catch with three generations. There is no judgment in catch playing, whether bad throws or dropped balls. Underhand tosses at twenty feet are on par with long-toss; using a Miracle League ball the same as using a Major League ball. We recognize the joyful endowment of our Creator, pursuing happiness through play and celebrating life and freedom and friendship.
Baseball and family, July 4th and birthdays.
Baseball really does bring people together.