Do It For Dad

Often times in baseball, we get so caught up in the hooplah of the game that we forget those players on the field are real people.

Although we might not often hear about them, those players have parents, wives, kids, and other family members.

All we see is the baseball player on the field, and we expect them to be focused on the game 100 percent of the time, and expect nothing less.


Well, you know what … those players are real people too.

They have bad days at work just like we do, except their bad days are on display for everyone to see. They have good days at the office as well, which are played over and over again on the highlight reel.

But what you don’t see, is the other half of baseball players lives where they do things just like you and me.

That’s why it was so amazing to see John McDonald hit a two run home run yesterday. Whether the Blue Jays were winning or not, the box score was irrelevant. It was the symbolism of that home run that made John McDonald a winner on Father’s Day.

Having lost his father Jack just a few days ago and having attended his funeral this past Friday, John McDonald returned to the lineup and went back to work even though the emotional effects were still weighing heavy on his heart and mind.

I’m not trying to get all religious here, but what are the odds those circumstances came to be where John McDonald gets a chance to hit in the 9th inning? Maybe it was divine intervention, or maybe it was just coincidence.

The Blue Jays would have to be losing by a significant margin for Cito to make a late-game substitution, yet it happened and John McDonald accomplished what his late father wanted him to do: hit a home run.

Honestly, it was one of the most touching moments I’ve ever seen, and it really makes you realize that the game of baseball itself is irrelevant if your family can’t be right there with you.

John McDonald may not be the most prolific home run hitter or all time, but that home run will live on as one of the greatest in Toronto Blue Jays history. Congratulations Johnny Mac – I’m sure your father would be extremely proud.


Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

2 thoughts on “Do It For Dad

  • June 21, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    McDonald's homerun sure was a special thing to watch. I was actually watching the game with my dad at the time (he's a huge Johnny Mac fan) and as soon as he stepped up to bat my dad turned to me and said, "You watch, homerun." Unreal.

  • June 21, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Unbelievable, I mean you couldn't have written a better ending to that game (aside from the Jays winning), but that really didn't matter when all was said and done.

    It just goes to show you how John McDonald is not only a complete professional, but a great man too.

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