I had such a beautiful baseball career. From Little League to the professional ranks.
Orlando, Florida was the birthplace of my playing days.
Lacing them up in Little League with my neighborhood best friends...
Daniel Benitez behind the dish, Owen Fasolas at first base, Jon Ianelli on the bump, & myself at shortstop.
We were a bunch of scrappy kids.
We’d always play Maitland Little League in All-Stars and they would beat the s*** out of us.
Then came high school ball.
That’s where I met Adam Bennett.
He couldn’t catch a pop-fly, but he threw the biggest lollipop curveball that was unhittable.
It made no sense.
Despite his shortcomings on the diamond (sorry, Adam) he is one of the most loyal friends I have.
A decade later, he will be in my wedding in November.
Next up, college ball.
Man, I loved college ball. I was blessed with a coaching staff in Coach B, Merc, and Stanger.
Merc was like an older brother in my college years and helped shape me into who I am today.
I have a lot of gratitude and respect for Merc.
Last stop, pro-ball.
The Toronto Blue Jays signed me after college. Something I always dreamt about.
There I met Chris Peters, my pro-ball roommate.
We lived in the same hotel room for 10 weeks and every night we would tune into the 8 p.m. FX movie.
We’d talk about baseball and life.
On my baseball path, I have met a lot of people.
It has brought me to the conclusion that the people that make up the game of baseball are the best kinds of people. I wholeheartedly believe that.
There are ups and downs in this baseball path, and in the end, the people are what make it worth it and enjoyable.
Despite the countless crossed paths, I can honestly say, no one compares to one person:
I spent 20 years playing and now five years building a baseball business.
It’s not even close.
I think it’s really important for you, the baseball dad, to know how important you are.
A son or daughter will look back on their baseball career someday and they will be filled with memories that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
They will take the lessons you teach them on the baseball diamond and apply them to their real life.
Those lessons will be passed on from one generation to the next.
Ultimately, the time you spend with them, and the lessons you teach will live forever.
With that being said…
Thank you to my baseball dad and Happy Father’s Day to all of the baseball dads in our lives.
- Randall Thompson, Founder of Dugout Mugs
Dugout Mugs is proud to announce that Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez and the Fundación Posada de Moisés are our second Cheers to Charity recipient for the month of June. The foundation helps poverty-stricken youth in his wife Patricia’s native Colombia.