A Son’s Gift Of Memories From The New York Mets Manager
Many of us that are dads, spend a little extra time thinking of our father's that have long passed on Father's Day. The day will often conjure up memories of time spent with a person that truly shaped our lives. Small moments many times become big memories.
Friend of The Drive with Charlie & Dan, Deesha Thosar of nydailynews.com, had a great discussion with Buck Showalter. The Mets' manager's father, Bill Showalter, died in 1991, shortly after his son was hired as the other New York team's manager. Buck told Deesha about a special memory he had of his father.
Showalter explained a story of a meaningful Christmas gift that Buck remembers well. The Mets leader told nydailynews.com that he couldn’t figure out what to get his dad as a gift. Thosar said that Bill Showalter was 70 years old at the time. Apparently a professor at Milligan College in Tennessee, where Bill Showalter attended and played college football before his education was interrupted by World World II, called his father while Buck was visiting. The professor had just uncovered Milligan College football game film which had captured some video of Bill Showalter in “the single wing” formation.
When the professor asked Buck if he was interested in the films, the Mets skipper reacted, “I said, excuse me? I was interested in them, so I got ‘em, and worked hard to put them on VCR." Just as Showalter was thinking of what to get his father, he was able to give him the gift of memories. Deesha's story was great. You could tell that Buck was enthused about describing the gift. “Can you imagine being 70 years old and all of a sudden going back to 20?” Showalter told Thosar. “That was right before he went over to World War II. Seeing your teammates and everything. Can you imagine?”
According to Deesha, Bill Showalter served in the 1st Infantry division of the U.S. Army with over three years overseas. He took part in the invasions of Algiers, North Africa and Sicily, and the Omaha Beach landing on D-Day, where he received the Bronze Star for valor and bravery under fire. He was a hero like many others in his generation, including my father. Staff-Sargent Robert Voelker served over 3 years in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. He was in charge of his flight crew communications during the Pacific campaign. They were all heroes.