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Almost two hundred father-son pairs have played in the big leagues. Cook takes us inside the clubhouses, homes, and lives of many of the greats. Aaron Boone follows grandfather Bob, father Ray, and brother Bret to the majors—three generations of All-Stars. Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. strive to outdo their famous dads. Michael Jordan walks away from basketball to play minor-league baseball—to fulfill his father's dream.
In visiting these legendary families, Cook discovers that ball-playing families are a lot like our own. Dan Haren regrets the long road trips that keep him from his kids. Ike Davis and his father, a former Yankee, debate whether Ike should pitch or play first base. Buddy Bell leads a generation of big-leaguers determined to open their workplace—the clubhouse—to their kids.
Framing The Dad Report is the story of Kevin Cook's own father, Art Cook, a minor-league pitcher, a loveable rogue with a wicked screwball. In Art's later years, Kevin phoned him almost every night to talk baseball. They called those nightly conversations "the Dad Report." In time, Kevin came to see that these conversations were about much more than the game. That's what this book is about: the way fathers and sons talk baseball as a way of talking about everything—courage, fear, fun, family, morality, mortality, and how it's not whether you win or lose that counts, it's how you share the game.