For Father’s Day, Buck Showalter shares dad’s special college football memory – The Denver Post

Just for a moment, Buck Showalter left his inexhaustible reflections on baseball and shared a special memory of his father this Father’s Day.

The Mets manager’s father, Bill Showalter, died in 1991, shortly after Buck was hired as the Yankees manager. And decades later, a meaningful Christmas morning sticks with Skipper because he didn’t know what to get his dad for the holidays for a year.

At the time, Bill Showalter was 70 years old. His college football season was almost 50 years behind him when, as Buck described it Saturday at Citi Field, “a lady called.” Her father was a professor at Milligan College in Tennessee, where Bill Showalter attended college before his education was interrupted by World World II, where he served in the US Army’s 1st Infantry Division overseas for over three years. He took part in the invasions of Algiers, North Africa and Sicily, and the landings at Omaha Beach on D-Day, where he received the Bronze Star for bravery and bravery under fire.

The professor had just discovered a Milligan College football feature film that had captured video of Bill Showalter in the “single wing” formation when Buck vividly described the game on the field, which took place in the 1940’s. That’s what “the lady” called Buck about days before Christmas, just as the skipper was racking his brains about a present for his father.

“I said sorry? I was interested in them, so I got them and worked hard to get them on VCR,” Showalter said.

He converted the film to videotape, and after his family had finished unwrapping the presents on Christmas morning, Showalter pulled his father aside and seated him in his usual armchair.

“Can you imagine being 70 years old and suddenly being 20 again?” Showalter said. “That was just before he went into World War II. See your teammates and everything. Can you imagine?”

When asked if there’s a quality about Showalter that he inherited from his father, the Mets skipper simply said, “That would be a difficult act.” Showalter became the 78th anniversary of D-Day a few weeks ago and the Battle of Normandy a bit emotional. For a moment, Showalter allowed his father to escape everything that came after Milligan College and relive his athletic past.

Those old college football tapes were a hit with the Showalter family at Christmas, at least until Buck’s mom noticed a certain cheerleader came into the picture.

“It’s funny, at the end the movie went on and he came off the field in his leather helmet with no face mask and his arm around a cheerleader,” Showalter recalled. “And my mom sat there and said, ‘Bill, who is that?’ So we turned it off real quick. That was before he met my mother. But that was cool. I still have those tapes.”


The Mets hit a season high of 21 games over .500 on Sunday. The last time they were 21 games over .500 was on September 29, 2015 when they were 89-68. The last time the Mets were 22 games over .500 was on September 27, 2015, when the club’s high mark for the year was 89-67. This is the third-fastest time the Mets have surpassed the .500 mark in 20 games. The 1986 team reached it in 42 games (31-11) and the ’88 team reached the mark in 54 games (37-17).


In celebration of June 16, the Mets donated 500 Sunday game tickets to local organizations in Queens. Citibank also sponsored a pregame lunch at Bullpen Plaza for all attendees. Right-hander Taijuan Walker, outfielder Nick Plummer and first base coach Wayne Kirby stopped by over lunch to speak with the group about the importance of Juneteenth.

June 16 is a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed his emancipation, soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas, with the news that the Civil War was over and the enslaved were free.


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