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HomeSportJohn Smoltz works ‘Field of Dreams game’ on day his father dies

John Smoltz works ‘Field of Dreams game’ on day his father dies


The second annual “Field of Dreams” game was very emotional for John Smoltz.

The Hall of Fame right-hander still worked on the broadcast for FOX Sports after his father, John Adam Smoltz, died at the age of 79 earlier Thursday. He would have been 80 next month, according to WILX10, an NBC affiliate in Lansing, Mich.

“He lived by his faith, he loved family and he would be so mad if I didn’t do this game,” the 55-year-old Smoltz said during the broadcast. “I can’t think of another day to honor him. When you think of about this park, this movie and how he loved everyone of us and everyone he came into contact with.

“I’m the man I am because of him. He was awesome.”

John Smoltz (left) talks with FOX Sports broadcast partner Joe Davis during the "Field of Dreams" game about the death of his father, who died Thursday morning
John Smoltz (left) talks with FOX Sports broadcast partner Joe Davis during the “Field of Dreams” game about the death of his father, who died Thursday morning
@MLBONFOX/Twitter

Smoltz’s broadcast partner, Joe Davis, asked what made him decide to still call the game.

“I can’t explain the peace I have,” Smoltz said during the eighth inning of the Cubs’ 4-2 win over the Reds in Dyersville, Iowa. “That comes from God and the way he lived. … I call it the 4 L’s. He lived. He laughed. He learned. … He listened. He gave us everything that we needed to fulfill and show up to work.

“And I feel like I’m showing up to work and what a better way for my Mom, my brother and my sister, and the support we’ve gotten today,” Smoltz added. “It’s started this early this morning. I’m sure [his death] will hit [me] when I get home. But this is the perfect day for him if he was going to leave.”

Smoltz also told a nice story how his Dad, who made his first baseball card when the pitcher was in high school, would give people that card everywhere he went. At first Smoltz said he wanted his Dad to stop doing that, but he came to appreciate it in his later years.

“I’m going to miss him, but I’m going to live every day for him,” Smoltz said.

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