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Famous father visits son, Suns

June 25, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

After a quick first inning, the Hagerstown Suns' Pat Dobson jogged casually from the infield to the dugout Thursday night.

His father, actor Kevin Dobson, stood just feet away cheering on the 23-year-old second baseman, who moments earlier had scooped up a grounder and thrown to first for the second out of the inning.

But Pat Dobson trotted by without a look and eventually ducked down into the dugout.

The former "Kojak" and "Knots Landing" star shrugged it off, saying his son never makes eye contact with him during games.

Dobson visited Hagerstown for the first time this week to watch his son play a couple of games against the Lakewood (N.J.) BlueClaws.

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Wearing a straw hat, a light blue T-shirt, khaki pants and blue sneakers, Dobson spoke mostly of baseball - including his knowledge of the game and his son's interest in the sport.

Dobson, 61, even took jabs at the umpires, as fans and parents tend to do. He said he thought the umpires in the game were aggressive and encouraged arguments.

"Umpires should not be made a spectacle of," he said shortly before the game. "They should be focused on what they're doing, instead of showboating."

Going back to the topic of his son, Dobson said Patrick enjoys playing for the Suns, the atmosphere in the stadium and the fans.

"He enjoys the people," Dobson said. "Where else do you get an experience like this - to get to know people like this?"

Moments later, he pointed to the infield as his son stood facing the American flag during the national anthem.

"That's the dream," Dobson said. "He's a pro. I don't care where he goes, he's a pro."

As the game started, several Suns' fans stopped Dobson, to compliment his son and to ask the actor about his latest show business ventures.

Dobson, who's played Sgt. Bobby Crocker on "Kojak" and Mack MacKenzie on "Knots Landing," among a lengthy list of other television and movie roles, said he's been working on a show called "24/7: How to Survive and Thrive in Threatening Times."

Dobson said his acting career hasn't been as busy over the last several years, a change that allowed him to carry out more parental duties, such as coaching a high school team and spending time with the family.

"When you're doing a show, you're on the set for 14 hours a day," he said. "You're gone."

Before he became an actor, the New York native served as a military policeman in the U.S. Army at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen, Md.

Dobson said he plans to leave Hagerstown today for New York and then head home to California. But he said Suns' fans are likely to see more of him at home games.

"Probably, I'll come back a couple of times," he said.

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