John Smoltz working on the « Field of Dreams game » on the day his father died
The second annual « Field of Dreams » match was very emotional for John Smoltz.
The Hall of Fame right-hander was still working on the show for FOX Sports after his father, John Adam Smoltz, died at the age of 79 earlier on Thursday. He would have turned 80 next month, according to WILX10, an NBC affiliate in Lansing, Michigan.
« He lived by his faith, he loved his family, and he would be so mad if I didn’t play this game, » Smoltz, 55, said on the show. « I can’t think of another day to honor him. When you think about that park, that movie, and how it loved all of us and everyone it came in contact with.
“I am the man I am thanks to him. He was awesome.
Smoltz’s broadcast partner Joe Davis asked what made him decide to continue calling off the game.
« I can’t explain the peace I have, » Smoltz said in the eighth inning of the Cubs’ 4-2 win over the Reds in Dyersville, Iowa. “It comes from God and his way of life. … I call it the 4 Ls. He lived. He’s laughing. He learned. … He listened. He gave us everything we needed to fulfill ourselves and show up for work.
« And I feel like I’m showing up for work and what better way for my mom, brother and sister, and the support we got today, » Smoltz added. “It started so early this morning. I am on [his death] will hit [me] when I come back home. But it’s the perfect day for him if he had to leave.
Smoltz also told a great story about how his dad, who made his first baseball card when the pitcher was in high school, gave that card to people everywhere he went. At first, Smoltz said he wanted his father to stop doing it, but he came to like it in his later years.
« I will miss him, but I will live every day for him, » Smoltz said.