In honor of Father's Day it is time to honor the sports dad. Many times the first coach an athlete has is their father. An athlete's father can appreciate greater than anyone (except maybe mom) the sacrifice and journey it took to reach that pinnacle sports moment.
The best coach I ever had
My dad was my first coach, and to this day he still says he was "the best coach you ever had." And I am not going to argue with him, at least not in this post. Regardless, I can only imagine how it would feel to celebrate at the highest level in sports with my first coach, my dad.
Below are a list of 10 athletes who had the pleasure of doing so. Here are 10 Memorable Father-Child Moments in Sports (in no particular order).
Derek Redmond and dad the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
No words are needed. Just watch and enjoy. Forewarning: you may need to grab a tissue.
Military Dad and daughter first pitch at the Tampa Rays game.
Watch as Alayna Adams throws out the first pitch, only to find out her father, who was deployed to Afghanistan, is the catcher.
Drew Brees and son celebrating the Saints Super Bowl Championship.
You remember, Drew covered in confetti, carrying is young son around, who happens to be wearing a coaches headset to protect his ears from the noise.
I will admit, as a die hard Colts fan, this one is bitter sweet to me. But it is a pretty cool sports dad moment, so it made the list.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. wins Pepsi 400 on the track his father died from a crash.
At the Daytona 500 in 2001 Dale Jr. finished in second place, and later found out that his father, Dale Sr., died when he crashed during the race. The Pepsi 400 was he first race held at Daytona since Dale Sr's crash.
Michael Jordan celebrating NBA championships with, and without, his dad.
After struggling to win an NBA ring MJ finally cracked through with a three-peat, and celebrated with his father. After retiring, coming back, and winning his fourth ring on Father's Day, but first since his father passed, he was overcome with emotion.
Nastia Luikin winning gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
As an Olympic gymnast, Valeri Luikin failed to win the coveted all-around gymnastics gold medal. However, as an Olympic gymnast coach, coaching his daughter, Nastia, the elusive all-around gymnastics gold medal is now owned by a Luikin gymnast, along with several other medals they have won.
Ken Griffey, Jr. and Ken Griffey, Sr. hit back to back home runs.
Ken Griffey, Jr. was the real life version of the "Natural." Hitting a baseball, and climbing the wall to rob a home run seemed easy to him. The apple didn't fall far from the tree. This was confirmed the time father, and son, hit home runs back to back.
Jack Harbaugh watches his sons coach in the Super Bowl.
The Ravens and 49ers Super Bowl guaranteed one thing. Jack Harbaugh was going to have a son as a Super Bowl Champion
. How amazing, and stressful, that must have been to witness his sons (Jim and John Harbaugh) compete for the super bowl.
Robinson Cano's dad pitching to him the home run derby.
My dad pitched to me at a very early age, just like I am doing my sons now. He knew my sweet spot, just like I know their sweet spots. Apparently Robinson's dad knew his as well. In 2011, Robinson flew his dad, Jose, in from the Dominican Republic to pitch to him in the MLB Home Run Derby. Jose served up some sweet pitches which Robinson sent flying on his way to the derby victory.
Dusty Baker son almost getting ran over at home plate in World Series.
I can totally relate to this as I used to be the little brother who was bat or ball boy. Now my 3-year old son is doing the same. We've had to rescue him from the field and court a time or two. Dusty's son was just doing his job of getting bats, but didn't realize the play wasn't over when he ran to home plate at the time two runners were attempting to score. Fortunately, one of his dad's players avoided him, then rescued him from being smashed at home plate.
Question: What is your most memorable sports moment with your dad, or with your kids? Here is my favorite sports moment with my son.
Jackie Bledsoe, Jr. is a sports parent of three, and writes on sports parenting. He has played sports for over 30 years, including the collegiate level, and coached youth sports for the past eight years.
photo credit: wayneandwax via photopin cc