When I first saw this video, I thought I’d see what most people expect when a dad catches a foul ball at a baseball game.
Either he would catch it without spilling his beer (Bro Dad Hero). Or he would catch it while putting his child in mortal danger (Bro Dad Fail)…
Or maybe both…
Instead, this dad caught the ball bare-handed while simultaneously (and safely) feeding his child a bottle of milk and obliterating gender role stereotypes. And I’m here for it.
Expectations are low for dads as caretakers of their children, which is why the image of a baby-feeding, foul ball-catching dad is so jarring. But it’s an image we need to see. That dad deserves strong consideration for the Dad Hall of Fame, so allow me to make his case:
First, this dad wore his baby on his chest at a Cincinnati Reds professional baseball game. Dads are big and strong and manly, so they should wear the babies. 1 Point for Reds Dad.
Second, he caught a foul ball bare-handed in the stands over other fans fighting for it. 1 Point for doing something most guys dream about since their first live ballgame but never actually accomplish, with or without a child attached to them.
He did NOT drop his baby. 5 Points for Reds Dad since that’s what I expected him to do in a viral video.
Finally, and most importantly, the bottle in his free hand was full of milk, not beer. And he was feeding it to his son throughout the process of the catch. 50 Points for Reds Dad and Automatic Eligibility for the Dad Hall of Fame.
The Dad Stereotype is known for many things today that usually don’t include carrying your kid on your chest or feeding them a bottle. There’s drinking beer. Grilling. Mowing the lawn. Drinking beer while mowing the lawn or grilling. Poor fashion choices. Home Depot. Drinking beer and falling asleep while browsing HomeDepot.com. All these things are funny and sometimes accurate. But they also limit our expectations for what Dad is capable of when parenting.
Reds Super Dad showed us all what is possible. Dad doesn’t have to stop at simply taking his kid to The Game and buying them a foam finger before handing them off to Mom when they start distracting him from a great pitcher’s duel. Dad is capable of carrying the kid, feeding the kid, keeping the kid safe, and still securing a foul ball bare-handed when called-upon for a lifelong memory. Dad can be a True Hero, even a Hall-of-Famer, all thanks to someone who happened to be in the right place at the right time with a baby on his chest and a bottle (of milk) in his hand.
I sure hope someone bought Reds Super Dad a beer or six after that moment.