It's a cliche, but my father made me who I am today. The love of baseball is a bond that we share -- he's a loyal Mets fan and I'm a diehard Yankees fanatic. He took me to my first Yanks game -- it was a Bat Day, and I still have the souvenir bat they gave out to all the kids as a keepsake that day.
We used to watch television together -- he loved the Westerns like Bonanza and the guilty pleasures like The Dukes of Hazzard and Three's Company, but he also watched Star Trek, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Incredible Hulk with me. Of course, we both loved the classics, such as The Honeymooners and The Twilight Zone.
He took me to my first movie. It was a Burt Reynolds flick, I forget the name. Actually, all I remember is my dad laughing and covering my eyes during a scene when a topless lady popped out of a giant cake!
He also took me to see Star Wars (which he didn't really like) and Rocky III (which he loved).
From his strong work ethic to the lessons he and my mother taught me about life and treating others with respect, they've given me more gifts than I deserve.
Now that I'm a dad myself, I appreciate my parents more than ever.
Love you, Pop.