First, my wife Julie had been given two tickets to the Ryder Cup in Chicago, and so took her father Ted Munoz with her. They spent Saturday following Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker, and others around the 18 holes of Medinah.
If you know Julie at all, you know she lacks neither self-esteem nor professional confidence. The assurance she brings to life stems in large part from Ted’s influence, as he spoke affirmation and life into her from the youngest of ages. And it continues to day.
While Julie was in Chicago, I went down to Atlanta to celebrate Chipper Jones Night with my daughter Taylor. Why would we celebrate Chipper’s big night? Because Taylor has been a fan since she was eight and in fact was able to wear the Chipper Jersey we bought her for her tenth birthday to the game on Friday (she’s now 23!).
While the game itself was forgettable, the ceremony honoring Chipper was not. I am not a baseball fan, hardly share Taylor’s enthusiasm for Mr. Jones, and don’t even care that much about the Braves . . . but I found my throat tightening and my eyes watering throughout.
The best moment involved Henry Aaron, the other “greatest Brave ever.” The announcer introduced Aaron as “the REAL Home Run Leader in Baseball history.” Take that, Barry Bonds and your miraculously enlarged head.
The combination of that moment, Jones’ career highlights, and the presence of long-time manager Bobby Cox made me realize, “there’s no other place I’d rather be than right here, right now.”
Something about dads and daughters will do that to you.