I see the man before he sees me. The posture. The bland shirt and baseball hat. The timbre. This is a dad.
I ask what he is working on this weekend. We start. I ask about Tyler. He does the rest.
"There is a baseball field in back of the school, full of dust and strategic tree. It's for the Sapdales baseball team."
A moment of ambience sits between us, then wanders away.
"The Sapdales baseball team is bad. Really bad." He chuckles. "I'm not sure they have won a game since my parents went there. There are some rare occasions when a player moves towards a base. Even for a school league, we are recreational at best. But we always get ball to mitt. Or the other way around."
You've been a fan for a while?
"I didn't like sports for a long time. But it's not for anyone else. The fun is not in the playing. It's between the playing and me."
Why do you go to the games if they always lose?
He smiles. "I always root for home."
[Note: Staff has identified and contacted the "dad" Sam mentions. [name omitted for privacy] experienced severe difficulty breathing due to a buildup of fluid in his lungs moments after this encounter, according to personal correspondence with his wife and a statement from the local hospital. Due to their private nature and on request from the witness, we will not publish those documents. He has since recovered.]
[Note: Production of physical residue appears as a common theme in recent anecdotes.]