The agonizing and amazing feeling of watching my son, Drew Storen
Mark Patrick StorenDrew Storen closed out the win that clinched the Nationals' first postseason appearance.
On the hospital room TV, I was watching the Cubs struggle in Philadelphia. Jamie Moyer was not pitching particularly well, and my thought was that he wasn't going to be a big leaguer for long. It was Aug. 10, 1987. My wife, Pam, wasn't into the game. She didn't particularly like baseball. The fact that she had been in labor for over eight hours might have also played a role. I felt guilt in my soul. It was I who had urged her to delay the delivery of our baby past the first due date of July 25 if she could. She hadn't exactly adored my explanation that the Little League age deadline fell on Aug. 1.
The morning of Aug. 11 came. After an induced labor, allergic reactions to medications, a ton of tears shed (mostly by me) and stunning forceps work by a female obstetrician with biceps the size of Jose Canseco, our 8 pound, 10 ouncer inked a long term deal with the bottom of his feet. We waited to see him to judge if the name we picked would fit. It did. He would never be booed in his life. He would always be able to say the fans weren't booing, they were "Dreeewwwwing." Drew Patrick Storen made his first career appearance.
And now, the radio voice of the Dodgers, Charlie Steiner, is explaining to his audience that the 30,000 fans in Nationals Park on Sept. 20 aren't booing, they're chanting "Drew, Drew." Charlie mentions that Drew Storen's dad is me, Mark Patrick, a radio and television sportscaster (my full name is Mark Patrick Storen). That acknowledgement only heightens my overwhelming feelings of nausea. While being the father of a major league closer is a joyful experience, it is also terrifying. The Nationals are three outs away from clinching their first ever playoff appearance. And it will fall upon the right arm of my son to get the job done.
Steiner, an old friend of mine, declares that in order to get the save, Storen will have to retire Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez. My wife has retreated to her watching spot in our bedroom. I am overseeing my usual media setup in the hearth room: the radio broadcast from MLB.com on my computer, the MLB Extra Innings package on the TV and fear in my heart. Pam learned long ago that we did better watching separately, and seemingly, so does our boy.
It was a raw Indiana evening in April of 1993. As the sports director of the CBS television affiliate in Indianapolis, I anchored the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts, then usually headed home to eat dinner before returning to deliver the 11 p.m. scores and highlights. After dinner, Drew and I would head outside to play baseball. Drew would usually be wearing one of the 30 authentic MLB jerseys that Santa had delivered for Christmas, and I would be in my shirt and tie, hitting fungoes, playing catch and throwing batting practice with my TV hair refusing to billow in the breeze.
On this night, though, I was headed to a small elementary school. My five year- old had just finished his first organized T-Ball practice! As I spotted Drew, he was trudging toward me with drooping shoulders. What could have possibly gone wrong? "Dad, I'm the only switch-hitter on my team, so the coach said I could only take BP from one side of the plate, or I would get to hit twice as much as the other kids." He was disgusted. His dad was beaming.
Matt Kemp dug in from the right side batters box. He had put up MVP numbers in 2011, and his early production in 2012 had him trending toward the award, until injuries derailed his season. On the mound, the low, flat-brimmed hat of Drew Storen covered steel blue eyes that pierced the night with a ferocity meant for situations like these. Drew had also dealt with injury. After never missing a game in his life because of injury, he was forced to sit the first three months of this season after surgery to remove bone spurs in his elbow. No one cared that he had been one of baseball's elite closers in 2011, finishing with 43 saves. It is a game of now. And at this moment, 60-feet, 6-inches away, one of the best power hitters alive was waggling his bat.
Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/baseball/mlb/09/27/drew-storen-mark-patrick-nationals/index.html
WASHINGTON NATIONALS....with the best W-L record in the majors.....so far!