Around the Horn:

This was a heck of a weekend for fathers that love sports. On top of Tiger Woods’ masterful comeback in the U.S. Open, the Lakers pulled out a win to at least not lose on Father’s Day.

There’s something inherent about fathers and sports, whether it’s because they raise us to be fans or because they’re the ones that become the coaches of our little league teams or because they show a passing interest in it and we’re always dying to connect with them.

My sister, brother and I buy my father Father’s Day presents. I don’t know if this is normal or not, but they are almost always sports items. On occasion, we find something outstanding for him and a few weeks ago, I went to a silent auction and found a Russell Martin-signed ball.

Martin happens to be my father’s favorite Dodger right now. He loves Martin’s tenacity, the way he calls games, his candor during interviews. He yells at him when he doesn’t block the plate well and gives up a passed ball, but he ultimately loves the kid and is looking forward to the next 10-15 years of seeing “Dodgers” written on his chest.

Anyway, I called my sister immediately, who’s in Maryland. She called my brother, who’s in New York. Then she called me back and everything was a go.

We split the cost, 45-45-45, and although it was a little expensive for a Father’s Day present, we all knew it was the right one.So we took all the necessary precautions; kept real quiet about it. His office is full of memorabilia, but he didn’t have anything with Martin on it and the more I thought about that, the more I loved giving this gift to him.

When he came home from playing golf, he saw the present on the counter.

Of course he loved it, he was ecstatic, in fact, opening his slumber-deprived eyes as wide as he could. “I’ll put it on the mantel,” he said, and we hugged.

Here’s to good fathers.

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