Columns & Blogs

Here's to you, Dad

I'm starting this a few minutes before the stroke of midnight, so it's technically not Father's Day yet, but I wanted to give a shout out to all the fathers out there.

I know that there are several among the Dust Devils coaches and staff. General manager Derrell Ebert became a new daddy this year.

Manager Freddie Ocasio has two sons, hitting coach Anthony Sanders has three sons, and pitching coach Dave Burba has two sons and a daughter. I'm sure they've all received their share of Brut aftershave and/or neckties over the years.

Speaking of which, did you hear about the guy who got 14 ties one year for Father's Day?

His kids bought him MLS season tickets.

Bear with me, though, while I share a few thoughts and memories about my dad, Steve Millikin, who helped make me who I am today.

It goes without saying that I love the man, but that's so hard to quantify. My sister Erin and my brother Matt and I presented him with a 'memory jar' a few years ago. That's where kids will write out a bunch of memories on pieces of paper and put them in a jar so parents can look at them later.

I know that gift really meant a lot to him — he tells me he keeps them close so he can look at one any time he needs to — but it was meaningful to me as well to contemplate all the ways he has touched my life and helped shape me.

His playful, and sometimes risque, sense of humor would always catch me off guard, but I'll never forget it. My mom didn't always approve of it, but that's kind of what made it fun. If you could make him laugh, that was the best part of your day.

He taught me the importance of fairness and showed me what it means to be a good man. And he is.

I couldn't imagine my life without baseball, but many of my greatest memories around baseball are because of him. Every kid remembers the first time they stepped into a major league baseball stadium. It's a magic moment for any child, and I'd be willing to bet that 9 out of 10 of those times it's Dad that brings you there.

So again, thank you Dad. For everything you've taught me and wanted for me.

And have a great Father's Day!