Tribute to Dad

Mom and dad at the Mets gameThis Sunday will be my first Father’s Day without my dad.

Throughout my childhood, playing and watching sports was the way I connected with my dad.  Maybe that’s why all 50 times I’ve watched the last scene of Field of Dreams, I’ve cried when Kevin Costner says “Hey dad, want to have a catch?”

When I was six years old – this is 1963 — I asked my dad why we rooted for the Mets instead of the Yankees.    The Mets were abysmal while the Yankees were a legend, and it seemed everyone else rooted for the “right” team.  How could we be so wrong?  My father’s answer:  “Because, dear, we root for the underdogs.”

Look, there’s nothing wrong with rooting for winners… if the Mets ever became perennial winners, I’d be ecstatic.  But there’s something special about winning when you’re the underdogs.   Thanks, Dad…  Let’s Go Mets!

Clearly, for my dad, winning wasn’t the only thing.  In fact, dad’s sports mantra (and the sports mantra of my youth) was, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”   Today, the sports mantra has become, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

Except with golf!  Still today, “golf is a game of honor” and “golf is a gentlemen’s game.”    Golf requires just the type of sportsmanship my Dad taught me.

Now you might be thinking… hmmm, Patty doesn’t care if she wins or loses?  HA!  My mother can tell you stories of what I’m like after a loss.  There’s slamming of doors, yelling, kicking, crying… and that was just last week!

Suffice it to say, I like to win and I hate to lose.  But golf demands we bring sportsmanship and honor to the game, and they have to come before winning.    And that’s why I love golf.

And why it reminds me of my Dad.



  1. Stacy Doerler-Antonucci June 15, 2015 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    Wonderful article Patty and a great tribute to your Dad. He was a great man. Sending you a hug. ❤️

  2. Casey Alexander June 15, 2015 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    When it comes to what kind of baseball fan you are, the answer is almost always “You are what your father tells you to be.” So on Father’s Day, if you are watching a baseball game remember that you are rooting for a team almost certainly becasue of your father’s influence on you.

    Thanks Patty

  3. John June 15, 2015 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    “Golf is a game of honor”

    This past week at the LI Open, a competitor called the morning of the second day to inform us that while looking over his first day score online the night before, it occurred to him that he hadn’t scored a “5” on a particular hole, he had scored a “6”. Knowing that he would be disqualified for signing for a score lower than that to which he was entitled, he called the LIGA and informed us of his mistake.

    A gentleman.

  4. Donna June 15, 2015 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    Patty, I know how hard this Fathers Day will be for you, but just know he is looking down on you seeing a person he is proud of. Great job!

    • Patty Ellis June 15, 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      Thanks Donna. I really appreciate your kind words.

  5. Anna June 15, 2015 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    What a lovely tribute to your dad, Patty! In honor of him, I’ll root for the Mets this Sunday! 🙂

  6. Josie June 15, 2015 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    I too grew up in a met family and it WAS the team to root for. Your article brought back memories of my days going to Shea stadium with my dad. Be well.

    • Patty Ellis June 15, 2015 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much, Josie. We’ll have to catch a game sometime.

  7. Alison Suarez Segot June 15, 2015 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    Beautiful post. Your dad is looking down …so proud of his daughter for sure. Will be thinking of Sunday. Your sweet memories will keep you smiling. XO

    • Patty Ellis June 15, 2015 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      Allison, you’re so sweet to say that. Thank you so much.

  8. Butch June 15, 2015 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    Nice story

  9. Patrice Franco June 19, 2015 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Having just laid my Mom to rest yesterday, and with a broken heart … I know how you will be feeling this Sunday 🙁 A long way to next Mothers Day … So hopefully some healing – and a good season for both Mom’s Yankees and Your Dad’s Mets !!!

Leave A Comment