Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):
1) It's Father's Day in the USA on Sunday, so let's talk about our fathers.
2) What did your father really like to do in his work or spare time? Did he have hobbies, or a workshop, or did he like sports, or reading, or watching TV?
3) Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment on this post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.
My father, Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) loved anything to do with sports. Especially baseball. He grew up in Leominster, Mass., and played baseball at Leominster High School in the mid-1920s. He went to Dartmouth College to play baseball, but hurt his knee and dropped out as the Depression hit in the 1930 time frame. Back in Leominster, he played on several sandlot teams during the 1930s. His favorite major league team was the Boston Red Sox (of course!).
After he moved to San Diego in 1940 and got married in 1942, and came back from world War II in 1946, he was a high average ten pin bowler and was on teams in San Diego's most prestigious leagues. He would listen to San Diego Padres minor league games on the radio when he could, but I don't think he ever went to see a baseball game in San Diego for some reason - probably because they weren't the Red Sox.
When a Little League was formed in our area in 1956, he signed up to coach a team when my brother Stan was 9 years old. Soon, he was managing a major league Little League team. He also volunteered to take care of the two ball fields at Morley Field in Balboa Park, and spent several evenings a week there dragging the fields, cleaning up, watering the sparse grass, etc. He went on to manage Stan's Pony League and Colt League teams, and then my brother Scott started playing in 1964, and my father managed his teams right through Colt League also.
The downside was that my father was very competitive and hated to lose at anything, especially baseball games. He was always trying to get an edge on the opposing manager, which made him fairly unpopular with the other league members. After cutting two fingers off in a garage accident with a rotary saw, he had to sit out at least one year to recuperate.
He continued bowling up until the accident also, but eventually cut back the number of leagues to a Friday night league. Our first vacations in the 1954-1960 time frame were trips to the California State Bowling Tournament sites up and down California, and we did some sightseeing also. He drove the whole way.
We got a television in the living room in the mid-1950s, and they started showing baseball Game of the Week and NFL games, and he watched them all. During the 1950s and 1960s, we watched the Saturday Night fights and even the bullfights in Tijuana on the local Spanish station. He was a San Diego Chargers fan from their coming to San Diego in 1961, but only watched them when they were on television. When the Chargers moved into San Diego Stadium in 1968, he bought season tickets and held them until about 1980. It was a struggle to discuss football strategy and player capabilities with him because my opinion was usually at odds with his. He liked basketball too, and in the 1970s and early 1980s he would watch the L.A. Lakers games and yell at the announcers, Chick Hearn and Hot Rod Hundley, for any reason at all.
On the last night of his life, May 26, 1983, we visited him at the hospital (he had prostate problems), and left him to watch the basketball game at around 6:30 p.m. He had a heart attack while watching the game - I've always figured that he went out yelling at Chick Hearn or berating the Lakers for their sloppy play.
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copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver