9 Comments

Your dad's era is/were my eras. Still alive and hobbling.

I was never interested in sports to the point of following a team or remembering stats.

I did sell pogey bait at the wooden baseball stadium near Fresno State's Ratcliffe stadium around sometime in 1944. What sticks in my memories of those games was how the audience would demonstrate irritation to a ump's call. Seat cushions and beer bottles would rain on to the field.

I also watched inter service boxing matches at Ratcliffe. We would sneak in and walk right down to ringside. A memory of that was of a one punch fight.

We have one tiny connection to the SF Giants because the son of one of the syndicate owners owns the next door cabin to ours at Donner Lake.

You are lucky to have those great memories of your dad. Not me. Mom and dad divorced in 1940.

My dad went off during the war to construction jobs around the world. My older brother went off to Europe in the 8th Air Force.

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Sep 29, 2023Liked by Ross Barkan

Wonderful article, thank you. My dad, a Cincinnati native and lifelong Reds fan, passed away in July, 3 months shy of his 97th birthday. He used to regale me with stories of the 1940 World Series champion Reds, including a few years ago, when he casually rattled off the starting rotation and their respective uniform numbers. During my teenage years in the 1970’s, we had a rather fraught and contentious relationship (largely my doing) and one of our few “safe” topics was the venerable Big Red Machine. I was extremely fortunate to have him for as long as I did, but like you, there are moments when I want to share something and am hit with the gut punch realization of no longer being able to. Thank you again

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You don't hear enough about those NY Giants anymore. Your dad was right, Irvin is probably one of the most forgotten, as well as a guy who was unable to showcase his stardom to the fullest.

My gym teacher in the 1980's stayed with the Giants - he was all pumped up in 89 when they had a good year. My history teacher stopped following baseball when the Dodgers moved in 57. He didn't care anymore. These were old NYC natives, teaching at Brooklyn Tech. Your father and those old guys would have gotten along great.

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Lovely tribute to your dad and your relationship bonded by the love of baseball. My Grandpa Jim, born in 1894 and a lefty AAA pitcher from Amsterdam NY also loved baseball and his beloved NY Giants. When I was a kid he would religiously watch games of TV and sometimes be listening to another game on the radio at the same time. One thing that I knew as a kid though was he didn't like the NY Yankees. My sister and I would wait for that dreaded moment when the Yankees would win and we would go to the kitchen and get a dish towel which he called the "crying towel" as he would make a big deal out of pretending to cry over the loss. He took us to opening day at Shea Stadium. It's amazing to see how many families have had the game of baseball as such as important part of their lives. May his memory be a blessing.

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My dad lived in the Bronx til he was 13 and was also a Giants fan. As the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, I think rooting for the Giants for him was aspirational, as Manhattan represented something better, more sophisticated than the Bronx. Unlike your dad though, my dad’s family moved to Boston around the same time as the Giants moved to SF and he became a lifelong Red Sox fan. 1986 was brutal for him as ecstatic as it prob was for your dad :-). I’m glad mine lived to see the Sox finally win a Series, kicking the Yankees in the teeth in the process. I feel your loss though, and have enjoyed your reflections of your dad. They mirror some of my own, and recall warm memories. Grieving is not an easy process but it does get easier over time.

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Sorry for your loss, but you certainly had many gains in your relationship with your dad. Hold on to those.

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