Psalm 127:3 (NIV)
Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
While I am not a parent, I know my wife and I one day will be blessed with one or two or three or never mind lets not go there. Hopefully sooner than later, but in the meantime, we know God will have many blessings lined up for us in the future. It’s amazing how when a child is first born parents will always hope for the best for their child. I remember a couple years looking back, I saw my parent’s hope for me as a child. My father wanted me to be something successful, and he mentioned a baseball player in his notes. Well, I may never be playing for the Chicago Cubs, or any sort of professional ball I know I can still be a fan, but still honor God. My mother to put something successful. Well, as things would have it God has called me to ministry, and to serve. While I may never make six figures, that’s fine by me. I know day in and day out I can be a great representation of my parents due to their strong up bringing. When we look at the sports we see quite a few families, some successful, while others not as much. We always seem to look at these families as something special. Why not though, families are something envious and they remind us of what is important. You can see the friendly rivalries which remind you of family moments. Whether that’s of sibling rivalries much like the Manning’s have or a time with a parent like the one we saw from the Griffey’s almost two decades ago. Many athletes have children who follow in the athletic footsteps. Sports seem to have that meaningful bond. Baseball is one of those sports which creates bonds among families for generations. Its a sport which great grand parents, grandparents, parents, and children can discuss universally and have the same level of understanding.
The MLB has seen a number of father son duo’s, and while some have seen success, others have not. It’s a special moment when a father and son can take the field together and play the same sport they love. They are carrying out their father’s legacy and make their own name. The second the child takes the field, there is that moment of awe from the father as they share that special moment. The Raines’, Gywnn’s, Fielder’s, Bonds’, Griffey’s Collins’, Alomar’s, Boone’s, and Alou’s are all example of generational talents. The Griffey’s most have notoriously been able to play together creating this unique family moment.
In 1987, the Seattle Mariners drafted the son of Ken Griffey Sr. who was a member of the of the Atlanta Braves at the time saw his son Ken Griffey Jr. follow in his footsteps. Junior was on the fast track to the major leagues, and the Mariners had the foundation of what was going to be a promising young core of players. April 3, 1989, Griffey Jr. made his debut. Ken Griffey Sr. was nearing the end of his career and had had a solid career competing with a number of championship contending Cincinatti Reds teams. While with the Reds in 1990 Griffey Sr. was released providing him an opportunity to play ball with his son.
Griffey Sr. would sign with the Mariners making the Griffey’s the first father son duo’s to play together in MLB history. Together the Griffey’s were productive while Jr.’s career was taking off quickly, Sr.’s career was gracefully fading away. The day Griffey Sr. signed Griffey Jr. was quoted saying, “It’s really going to be weird tonight, playing with my dad.” Later that afternoon, Griffey Sr. tells the same source, “It’s going to be weird tonight, playing with my son.” As their first game began the two took their spot in the outfield and the camera caugt Junior giving his father a quick wave. In the game both father and son went 1-4. In the post game interview:
“I wanted to cry or something,” Jr. says after going 1-for-4, same as dad. “It just seemed like a father-son game, like we were out playing catch in the backyard. But we were actually playing a real game.
“The weird thing was all the guys are yelling, ‘Let’s go, Ken,’ and I’m yelling, ‘Let’s go, Dad.'” -Aug. 31, 1990 interview per ESPN Classic
While for the Griffey’s it must have been a surreal experience, other may not get this chance to play in the majors with their child. However, God still presents families daily opportunities to enjoy the presence of their family. I recall all the moments I spent with my parents while I never made it to the MLB as I once dreamed I still took value in my parents being at my high school games. I enjoyed being with them at family occasions or simply going to church with them on Sunday’s then rushing home to catch the football games. While I may not be a parent yet there is overwhelming value in spending time with your children, talking to them, and being supportive. At the end of the day I knew no matter what career I chose my parents would have my back. Its that support and love that shapes a child’s life. They are your legacy and truly are a gift from God.
We thank you for the many gifts you have given us. Lord for those seeking children may you bless them with this wonderful gift. May those expecting and those seeking give birth to healthy children who can grow to love you and know you. Lord for the families who may be struggling may their pain be heal. May they work together as a unit to ensure the best options are taken. Lord give the parents out their the patience to be great parents through the good and the bad. May they have the love their children, forgive their children, and always be there for them as you do for all of us. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!