SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeremy Affeldt's father didn't push him toward the Major Leagues, yet he still led his son along the path toward the bigs."He wasn't a guy who knew a lot about baseball to be able to teach it," Affeldt said. "But he was always very supportive of me." When Affeldt played an interscholastic or youth league game, David Affeldt showed up to watch him. When the younger Affeldt wanted to take batting practice, his father pitched and helped gather the balls strewn about the field. Sensing Jeremy's desire to work on his pitching, the elder Affeldt would drop into a catcher's squat, sometimes with unpleasant results. "I'd hit him in the shins," Affeldt said. "I remember one got by him and went through one of our windows." Whatever it took, David Affeldt did what he could to fulfill Jeremy's baseball ambitions. Affeldt's 11 seasons in the Major Leagues speak volumes about his father's support. Affeldt, one of the leading members of the Giants' bullpen, remains thankful for "having a dad who gave me the opportunity to have those kinds of situations in life where I used to just play -- and the ability to dream."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.