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Here’s To The Boys Of Summer

Our free nation welcomes another great summer of baseball.

Thank goodness for the boys of summer.

One would think that by now I would be worn out for more baseball. Yes, I have seen a lot of baseball lately and yes I am worn out.

I still can’t get enough baseball.

Each year as summer nears and another baseball season comes to a close, the depression creeps in. I may wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, frightened awake by the stark reality that there are no more baseball games to enjoy. I cannot tell you how many nights I have lay huddled in a corner rocking myself and sucking my thumb as I succumbed to baseball fever.

The boys of summer are my cure.

It’s going to be an exciting summer of baseball here in South Florida. We have rosters full of talented and hungry baseball players who are ready to harness those talents for the years to come. We also appreciate that you players and coaches love the game and just want to keep playing.

Baseball never ends. It gets into your bones and into your soul, and most importantly it gets into your heart. It is a love that lasts the rest of your life.

For me that love began as a six-year old little boy sitting on the floor beside my father as he watched his beloved Boston Red Sox play on our “massive” 18-inch tv set. It was 1986, a year that saw the Sox go all the way to the verge of a World Series title, and my first live taste of the game.

Our whole family took in a summer game at historic Fenway Park, where Dwight Evans, Jim Rice and Bruce Hurst led the charge in a 14-4 romp of the Detroit Tigers. I saw a grand slam hit over the Green Monster, and every person in the building on their feet cheering.

What a sight. What a place. What a game.

Having spent the past few weeks at jetBlue Park in Fort Myers for the pinnacle of the high school season, I was reinvigorated by all those memories every time I looked at that field.

The Green Monster in left field at jetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

Loving baseball and loving my family seem almost the same thing to me. It’s something the whole family shares, and it became even better for me after I became the black sheep of the herd by going to the dark side and becoming a New York Yankees fan. Boy the conversations with my father are much more fun now though!

When dad took me to games he knew I would only be able to sit still and relax for so long, maybe half an inning. Early on he learned that if he bought me a game program I would tear through it page by page, marking my place and only looking at it between innings when the game was halted.

If he gave me a pen, I would score the entire game as it went. My future was born, even if neither of us knew that back then. Now I am living my dream; everyday I am living my dream life.

For you boys, the future is wide open. You start to pave that path today. Play the game hard, and play the game well. Most importantly, love every second of it.

Here’s to you boys of summer!

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