“When I was younger we’d have this little chalkboard. I don’t even know how big it was, no bigger than [a piece of paper], and he’d draw a little diamond and we’d go over plays and situations. It was kind of funny.
“Like, ‘Hey, if there was a person on first and you’re at shortstop and a ball gets hit to left, where do you go and what happens? What do you do?’ That’s kind of what we’d do. I was probably 9 or 10 years old. It helped me out a lot. It’s funny how I remembered that. We’d do it every now and then. It was when I was first learning the game and trying to figure out, ‘All right, what do I do?’ I was starting to take it seriously and I would go up to him and ask him to do it because I hated looking lost out there.”
Drew Storen; Dad: Mark
“When he’d come home from doing the 6 o’clock news, he’d play catch with me in the shirt and tie right after dinner. We just had a regimen we’d do. Play basketball, shoot around a little, he’d hit some grounders. That was always our dessert: catch.
“We’d always eat at the same time and it just became automatic. I think one of the funny things with him when I was like 12 or so, we were throwing at an indoor baseball facility and there was a dad there catching his [high school-aged son] in catcher’s gear and my dad was like, ‘Oh, I’ll never have to do that.’ And gave the guy a hard time. So by the time I was in high school and I was that kid’s age, I’d blow him up [with how hard I was throwing]. I played catch with him a couple years ago, he was like: ‘I don’t know how anybody ever gets a hit.’
“But that was probably my favorite thing, just when he’d come home and play catch with me. Knowing now how uncomfortable suits are, I can’t believe he did it in his. Very impressive.”
Steve Lombardozzi; Dad: Steve (former MLB infielder)
“We’ve spent hours on the baseball field training. As I grew up, he coached me. We’ve got a real good relationship. He’s like a best friend to me. But one thing he would do is he’d bring me to big league games or bring me in a big league locker room when he was done playing, if he knew some of the coaches on one of the teams or whatever.
“He’d bring me around and let me ask questions to the big leaguers or pick their brains about something. To be able to do that, that made a big impact on me. That started when I was in elementary school and then as I grew up, we’d do it.
“When it was my first big league camp, first game of spring training — I think it was against the Braves — he flew down. I didn’t know. I was stretching out on the field and he hollered at me down the line. That was really cool, since it was my first big league spring training.”
Kurt Suzuki; Dad: Warren
“He used to catch my, I guess you could say, bullpens. When I was younger, I was a pitcher and I’d always go in the front yard and practice pitching to him and I used to throw as hard as I could. Now I think, ‘God. I could’ve killed him!’ But when I was younger, I was just trying to throw it as hard as I could, trying to hurt his hand, you know? He would always catch back there. Now I’m thinking, ‘Holy smokes.’ No gear, nothing, no cup, nothing, just out there catching. I used to do it all the time.
“We used to go on trips in the summer and I’d miss practice, so we’d bring our gloves and find a grassy area and we’d play catch. Find a batting cage and go hit and stuff. … I’m sure I got him a couple times. I don’t remember a good one but I remember trying to hurt his hand all the time.”
Jayson Werth; Stepdad: Dennis (former MLB infielder)
“My stepdad coached all of our teams growing up. So from when we were 8 to 17, we’d travel around the country and kick everybody’s [butts]. We’d just roll around the country and just bang on people. He was the manager or the head coach or whatever. We had a lot of fun. Our teams were really good and it was epic.