Sports have always been a big interest for me...and lots of my favorite memories growing up were with my dad doing something sports-related.

These were pictures I found from my childhood of sports things that I did with my dad  ... all bring back such great memories.

- Baseball Cards & Autographs. I collected baseball cards as a kid and we went to lots of baseball card shows, waited in long lines, and collected autographs.  I noticed in the pictures that I had different team shirts on everytime...I think my whole wardrobe was sports shirts as a kid.  Dad would always bring me back a team sweatshirt or t-shirt from his trips.

- Field Day.  I'm sure I was in all the relays and stuff, but I was so glad to find a picture of the one event I remember the most.  Dad had me practice the "broad jump" in the back yard where he had a pile of mulch for the garden.  I remember running and jumping into that mulch pile to practice while he worked in the garden.  I'm sure I stunk from jumping in mulch, but I got 3rd place on field day!

- Braves game on way to RCC. One summer we made the trip from our home in Louisiana to Ridgecrest Conference Center...and planned to stop in Atlanta for a Braves game. Just outside Atlanta, we had car trouble, and I was crying because we weren't gonna make it to the game. Dad was probably ready to get a hotel and crash, but he figured out how to get to the game using public transportation. We walked in during the 2nd inning. Dale Murphy, one of my favorite players hit a home run just as we walked in. We sat in our cheap seats and moved down closer at the end of the game. This was my first ever MLB game.

- High School basketball.  Dad made it to all my high school games when I was just warming the bench. He always encouraged me, took me to pra

ctices, showed up for games, and made me feel better about my situation on the bench.  Notice the picture of the styling shorts!

- Backyard Basketball.  I remember playing hoops in the yard for hours by myself...but my favorite times were in the afternoon when dad got home. We shot baskets, played horse, played one-on-one, and worked on low post moves. Too many times I was a punk and got mad because I couldn't win...but I always wanted to play, win or lose.  I'm so much more appreciative now because I know the yard was destroyed on around that basketball goal (if anybody in West Monroe could go by that house, I would love to see a picture of that place now...).  I also know that it was a big sacrifice to come home and play ball after a long day of work.  In hindsight, I know that's probably why we played "loser hauls firewood" and I also realize that's why he worked so hard to make sure I always lost!

-NBA Finals. In the '80's the Celtics and Lakers had some epic battles in the Finals. We were huge Celtics fans, and I remember watching all those games on the floor with dad...we would turn over our chairs so they sat like recliners propped up on the floor...and dad would bake an apple pie. I have no idea why...but it became our tradition....watching the Celtics and eating apple pie.

Sometimes I regret that I don't have pictures of everything, but I'm thankful for the ones I have, and truthfully I don't even need them because I'll never forget these moments.

I've learned so much about life and faith from my dad...through sports and object lessons. Notice the level of detail I can remember about all these stories....  Note to dads out there (and to my future self with Madison) all the "little things" matter...they make fun memories...and your kids remember. It's an investment of a few moments that will last a lifetime.

Thanks Dad. I love you.

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