Wulf: A father, a son, and a 700-game career

From Steve Wulf at ESPN.com on June 15, 2012, with mention of SABR member Richard D. Hunt:

The game meant nothing. Williams had already clinched a spot in the New England Small College Athletic Conference playoffs, and Hamilton was playing to see if it would finish 7-25 or 6-26. The Ephs had trounced the Continentals, 8-0 and 11-2, the day before, so it’s fair to say that the spectators braving the chill wind of the Berkshires on this late April day were fully expecting another beating.

For John, though, the game meant everything. As the teams lined up along the foul lines for the national anthem — a lovely rendition by a Williams sophomore — my wife, Bambi, and I could see through our own tears that he was crying. This was to be his last appearance as a player. “Batting fifth, playing shortstop, No. 7, John Wulf.”

After 16 seasons of organized baseball, roughly 700 games of T-ball, Little League, travel, Babe Ruth, high school, college and summer ball, the end was here, on Bobby Coombs Field in Williamstown, Mass.


Not only does the game lend itself to snapshots, but it also provides the frames: dates, scores, innings, situations, counts, plays, stats. Blessed with four marvelous, athletic kids, our mental scrapbooks spilled over with field hockey, soccer, football, ice hockey, basketball, squash, equestrian, lacrosse and softball memories. But baseball was always foremost. It’s why we have a home plate welcome mat and a sign over the kitchen sink that reads We Interrupt This Family For Baseball Season.

Baseball was also my business, or at least part of it since most of the stories I’ve written since graduating from Hamilton College in 1972 have been about the game and its people. So there I was, a father seeing my son play the game I love for my alma mater for the last time.

Read the full article here: http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/8055440/roughly-700-games-son-career-comes-end

Originally published: June 15, 2012. Last Updated: June 15, 2012.