Major League Baseball has its first tiff of the season, but it’s not among players. It’s not because someone got hit by a pitch, or because someone slid into second base with their cleats too high. What happened was much more sinister: Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy missed his second game of the season Wednesday night while on paternity leave.
Oh sure. You don’t think that it’s a big deal. But according to professional meathead WFAN radio hosts Craig Carton and (former NFL quarterback) Boomer Esiason, Murphy’s time home with his newborn is nothing short of a waste of time. One of these sweethearts would actually rather see his wife undergo surgery than miss Opening Day.
On September 16, minutes before the Detroit Tigers, the current American League Central division champions, took the field against the Seattle Mariners, I found myself standing on the deep outfield grass of Comerica Park, waiting for my almost-seven-year-old daughter to throw me her best approximation of a fastball.
It was a heady, surreal moment, a moment where – thanks to my surroundings, my daughter’s determined scowl, and the scuffed Major League baseball in her tiny hands – all I could think about was how wonderful it was to be a father.
Very father-aware brand Dove Men+Care recently teamed up with Major League Baseball to produce a video series called “Big League Dads”, where players talk about their most important position – fatherhood.
The best part about this series is that it really cements the idea that the MLB is an organization embracing fatherhood, and not in the cheap “baseball is a father-son sport” way. This is real, emotional fatherhood.
It’s not a rare thing to see athletes father-up and put family ahead of their careers. But some athletes are also having very private battles in very public arenas concerning their kids. This is the intersection of dad and athlete: where work-life balance is always in the spotlight.
Recently, there have been a lot of interesting sports stories including the likes of golfer Hunter Mahan, the NBA’s Dwayne Wade, the MLB’s Joe Mauer and the NFL’s Adrian Peterson – and, of course many more than we could cover.
Who’s taking official paternity leave? Who’s banned from saying anything about their ex on Twitter? Who left a tournament to be with their wife during labor?
Jay Sokol, who you might know as Dude of the House, says that athletes should be granted paid paternity leave for the births of their kids.
Sokol focused on baseball, pointing out that while players are at home during off-season, many of them are busy swinging their own bats and making babies – so it’s only natural that birth would occur in the middle of the next season. In the past, players would have to take time off from the team at their expense, and probably suffer the gentle ribbing of many teammates. As of 2011, however, the MLB allowed players to get on a “Paternity List” which afforded them 24-72 hours of sweet time with their kids.
Right after the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup, we posted stories about a few of the fatherhood moments that the athletes had. We thought it’d be worth a look at some of the other sports that have been coming and going lately to let you know that even superhero-level athletes can be human fathers – yes, even Lebron James.
It’s only a coincidence that Father’s Day falls (every year!) at a time of year when almost every major sport in the world is in full-swing. Even for sports-uninclined dads, it’s hard not to get swept up in the frenzy while hockey’s inching toward the Stanley Cup, basketball’s heading for a final showdown, and soccer, baseball, tennis and golf are still hitting their stride. This year, we saw all sorts of fatherhood in sports, from basketball to spelling bee. It seemed like no matter what shape balls you like to watch people hold, there was a father in the story.