SALT LAKE BEES

Sacrifice A Common Theme For Baseball Dads On Father’s Day

Jun 19, 2022, 2:00 PM
Salt Lake Bees...
A Salt Lake Bees cap rests on a glove in the dugout before a game between the Salt Lake Bees and Reno Aces on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. (Courtesy of Deseret News)
(Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – It’s not easy being a dad in professional baseball, but a trio of Salt Lake Bees are making it work on and off the field.

It was clear that 26-year old starting pitcher Kenny Rosenberg had about a dozen other things he’d rather do than talk with another reporter about his recent major league call-up. When I asked about his first child, due in July, Rosenberg’s demeanor changed.

“My wife is handling it like a champ,” Rosenberg said about the experience. “She has been able to travel with me a lot this early part of the season. Knowing that the summer and fall months we’re gonna have our hands full. So it’s been good to have her be able to move around with me and get to enjoy the season before our lives are changed forever.”

A trade from Tampa Bay to the Los Angeles Angels system has opened up opportunities for Kenny and his wife Kristey to travel together that may not have otherwise existed. “Whatever trips we’re taking from Salt Lake City, a lot of them are west coast trips. It’s a much better setup than if I had been with Tampa, like I was expecting to be this year.”

“She’s got a lot of family in Orange County. They’re just super solid for us, and she’s gonna be staying with her parents while I’m traveling still. So having them has been huge, and will continue to be pivotal for us, considering the lifestyle that I live,” Rosenberg said of the peace of mind having family close offers. “The support system just means being able to rest my head wherever it may be, knowing that she’s well taken care of.”

Rosenberg isn’t alone in the clubhouse when it comes to fatherhood. First baseman David MacKinnon and his wife Jordan had their first child in March.

“It’s crazy. My baby is almost three months old and sleeping better now,” MacKinnon said of being a father for the first time.

 

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From his perspective, having a baby has made it easier to deal with the ups and downs of a baseball season. “I think it also makes it easier to just get away from the game to go home and you’ve got more purpose. I play baseball, I enjoy being out here. It’s a fun job to do. But I get to go home to be a dad and a husband. It’s nice to get away from the game.”

The life of a minor league baseball player is rarely simple, less so for guys navigating fatherhood at the same time.

Recent call-ups for both players show the sacrifice required to manage raising a kid while playing the kid’s game.

MacKinnon went from starting as the designated hitter for the Bees in Albuquerque on Thursday to manning first base for the Angels in Seattle on Saturday night. Rosenberg received his second call-up of the season on Father’s Day and will make his first major league start against the Mariners on Sunday, June 19.

When not with the big league team, both players have manager Lou Marson to lean on for advice. A father to a two-year old girl and eight month old twin boys, Marson is no stranger to the difficulties a baseball schedule can present to parenting.

“We are still learning each and every day on the fly. My wife, she’s been great. Great support especially being on the road as much as we are. I try to go home on the off days after the day game,” Marson said of how he tries to navigate in season.

Nearly 20 years into his professional baseball career, Marson has learned the value of routine in baseball and parenting. “Having a routine for my daughter now it’s great that she’s going to get up to have breakfast, brush her teeth, get dressed and comb her hair. Having a routine in life and in baseball is huge. And there’s something that I think is very important for not only her but the boys as well.”

One more thing all three have in common? A tangible excitement to include their kids in the game that has given them so much.

“I can’t wait to have the boys come in the clubhouse and sit with our players. If they have family that wants to come there. They’re welcome to come hang out,” Marson said. “I think it’s great to be able to come and bring your family and be yourself at the ballpark. I can’t wait for the boys to come and hang out around that.”

Rosenberg, who grew up a San Francisco Giants fan, wants to make sure he shows some allegiance to his employer, “I’m not gonna go out and buy the kid a Giants jersey. Might get them a little custom mini Angels jersey or something like that. Maybe a little Bees swag? We’ll see.”

According to his instagram, MacKinnon already has his sights set on raising a switch-hitting catcher or a hard throwing lefty.

In the unforgiving world of professional baseball, happy Father’s Day to these guys.

Steve Klauke can be heard calling all Bees games on The Zone Sports Network. Tickets for all Bees home games can be purchased at slbees.com.

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Sacrifice A Common Theme For Baseball Dads On Father’s Day