A special day for me and all dads

June 10, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

I know I'm coming up on another year when it is U.S. Open week.

With Thursday's first-round play, another candle gets torched on the imaginary birthday cake. I often wondered if my parents intended me to be a Father's Day kid, but that I screwed it up a few days early. Maybe I was earmarked for the first day of summer, so I could celebrate from dawn to dusk.

When I did come about 52 years ago Thursday, it was the beginning day for my dad as sports editor of the Canton (Ohio) Repository. Talk about hitting a deadline, huh.

My dad even put a baseball glove on my hand when I was something like two months old (I've still got the picture and the glove). No doubt, as do all dads, he had a wish that his first-born would be something big in baseball. That went out the door for sure somewhere along the way in my later high school years.


We eventually moved to a small town in Dover, Ohio, where I grew up through high school. My dad went from sports to the news desk as editor.

There were those afternoons when I would sit on the porch waiting for the newspaper so I could study the baseball boxscores.

There were those Sunday afternoons when I would go with him to the office, find the nearest typewriter and make up my own boxscores. Of course, the Indians always won, and usually big.

There were the trips to old Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, watching games and getting to meet managers and players.

During the football season I was on long car trips (at least that's what I thought back then) to South Bend, Ind., being introduced to Notre Dame football.

Having galloped around the desks of the Daily Reporter in Dover eventually paid off. While in high school I got an inquiry from the sports guys about covering a college holiday basketball tournament. That first byline writing assignment was something like 36 years ago.

After graduation, I spent time in Los Angeles and Houston working at things other than sports. But I received a phone call one day from my dad, who had moved the family to Cleveland.

It didn't take me long to scurry my car back to Cleveland and enter the sports writing business and get paid for it.

That opportunity, along with the next one that took me to central Ohio in Mansfield, came from my dad.

I might not have landed exactly on Father's Day, but I know I landed a dad that I'm proud to say is mine.

For all you dads out there, Sunday is the day. Have a Guinness - and one for me, too!

Watch out, golfers

And while mentioning the U.S. Open, let me proclaim today as the unofficial beginning of the festivities for the week.

My clubs have been cleaned and I've talked to them at length.

This morning a foursome converges on Whitetail Golf Resort and let this be the forewarning (catch that pun?) to everyone around us.

Mark Keller, Bob Parasiliti and Mr. Long Drive (Dan Kauffman) tee it up with yours truly for 18 holes of dog-eat-dog competition. And I'm sure we'll have a few of them, too.

Hey Mark, did you put in for a photo assignment?

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. His column appears every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131 ext. 2311, or by e-mail at

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