Cooney has spent 20 seasons as head coach at Florida Atlantic University. He has
compiled more than 700 victories with the Owls and more than 850 wins in his
24-year career as a head coach. Cooney has
spent the past five seasons offering his thoughts on baseball - and other
things - for CollegeBaseballInsider.com. Cooney's Owls finished their first
season in the Sun Belt Conference at 36-22 in 2007.
February 12, 2008
Walk Like a Man
My daughter Maggie and I
were lying in her bed trying to get to sleep last night when I
remembered that today would be her grandfather’s birthday.
Maggie never got to meet my Dad, as he died back in 1985, but
I’m sure he would have gotten a kick out of her and Luke.
It hit me then that, had he lived, my father would be 100 years
old today! I guess you are pretty ancient yourself when your
parents could be that old, but somehow it doesn’t seem possible.
Anyway, I started thinking about my Dad and how much baseball
meant to him. He worked too much to ever officially coach our
Little League teams, but he always encouraged my brother and me.
I think that at most, counting high school, college and pro
ball, he saw four games of mine. Some of our parents are
fortunate to see most of our 56 games.
“The Natural” is one of my favorite movies. There are a few
scenes that stick in my mind, but when Roy chokes up in the
hospital as he says, “I wish my father could. God, I love
baseball,” I remember a similar moment.
I was at Sunday Mass in Marietta, Ohio. It was the day of the
Division III National Championship game, and all I could think
about was that scene from the movie. Tears filled my eyes as I
prayed to my father, not for us to win, but to thank him for
baseball. I, too, wished my father could be there for the thrill
that was to come, but like Roy Hobbs, I settled for the belief
that he knew.
Our job as parents is to give our children a path for their
lives to follow. Mine always did that. Whether it was Boy
Scouts, Altar Boys or baseball, my father taught me to work
hard, tell the truth and not make excuses. He gave me a sense of
humor, a competitive fire and a bad temper.
Hey two out of three is
One song about fathers and sons means the most to me. It ends
Well now the years have gone
And I've grown from that seed you've sown
But I didn't think there'd be so many steps
I'd have to learn on my own.
Now I'll do what I can
I'll walk like a man
Thanks Dad, and Happy Birthday.
Walk Like A Man, from Bruce Springsteen’s Tunnel of Love