My dad loved an underdog. He would latch onto a team doing what none of the "talking heads" said they could do, and cheer them on with such fervor that you would have believed he had been a life-long fan. If you're a college basketball follower, think of the run George Mason had to Final Four a couple of years back. That they eliminated our beloved Tarheels from the tournament was only a momentary drawback.
My dad would have loved these Rockies. Their historic run to the World Series would have provided him with more fodder for his crusade against media bias, the money thrown around by the Evil Empire, and the ridiculous starting times for teams not in the eastern time zone.
Better yet, he would have loved them because I love them. Had he lived to see this run, he and I would have spent hours on the phone, swapping emails and IMing each other about the Rox. I'd have filled him in on the physical prowess of Holliday, on the sheer joy of watching Tulo turn yet another spectacular double play. He would have been cheering for Todd to finally get to the promised land. He would have loved that this team is home-grown, not a staff full of hired guns. He had played minor league ball himself back in the 50s for the Thomasville HiToms, in the Carolina League.
I was lucky enough to have been at Coors Field last night. The experience was incredible, inspiring, magical, thrilling and more. I yelled myself hoarse, and didn't get to bed until around 2 am. Still, in the midst of all that joy, I felt such a sadness. I wouldn't be able to call my dad today and tell him about Seth's pinch hit, Matt's towering blow to center field, the noise level that rivaled old Mile High Stadium, or that Mr. Byrnes got what he deserved as the last out of the series. The feeling lasted only a moment, then I was swept up again in the tidal wave of the moment.
But again today, it hit me.
My father died on April 29th, 2006. Pancreatic cancer took him from us quickly. Given the pain he was in, I remain thankful that he didn't linger on, hooked up to IVs and other miscellaneous equipment. He was great dad, but most importantly, he became one my best friends as I grew older.
I post this diary not in search of sympathy or pity. I just wanted to share with my fellow Rockheads that there once lived a guy in Virginia that would have loved this team, and their amazing journey, as much as we do.
I miss him.