With Father’s Day only a day away, it is time to stop and reflect on how influential a father can be. This influence can be felt in many ways, but one of the most significant is the quiet (yet supportive) role a father can assume when he lets his son pursue his own dreams.
Joel Holt, the father of rising Red Sox fan favorite Brock Holt, did not play baseball at all. This phenomenon is rare these days. Although he did not play the game himself, Joel cannot help but be proud of the fire and intensity his son plays with every day.
This Father’s Day he will sit at his home in Texas and watch his son play left field for the Sox, accompanied by his ninety-four year old father.
“We’re really proud of him,” Joel Holt said. “Since he was a little boy, he said, ‘I’m going to be a pro baseball player,’ and everybody would go, ‘Yeah, sure.’ But he had a goal and he got to it, so it’s really something.”
Joel Holt marvels at Holt’s efforts to reach the big leagues, where Red Sox manager John Farrell is now keen to keep Holt’s hot-hitting bat in the lineup. Holt, who is naturally a second baseman, has played third, first, and now left field during his tenure with the Sox.
“It’s been unbelievable, just knowing the struggles he went through,” Joel Holt said. “We were talking the other day — every one of them has a story to tell, every player. But Brock, it’s been kind of special. He’s kind of had to prove himself at every level. It’s really been special seeing what he’s doing.”
Brock, for his part, returned the praise for his father, appreciating the example he has set for him.
“He never played baseball,” Brock said. “He never pushed me in any direction to do anything. He let me make my own decision. He just enjoyed watching me grow up, and I ended up choosing baseball, and now he’s a huge baseball fan and he never missed a game and they watch me every night. I’m extremely lucky, just the way he raised us growing up, the example that he set, not only the things he taught us, but the way he lived his life and treated other people and the way he loved my mom. He taught us so many things about how we should be — especially me and my brother as men.”
Even though Joel never played baseball professionally, he did play football and basketball as well as running track. However, he never pressured Brock to play any of these sports. His hands-off approach has allowed Brock to pursue the sport he is passionate about.
Brock appreciates any contact with his parents, and the next time he will see them in person is in late June when his mom and dad will watch the Sox take on the Yankees.
The bond between Brock and his father is strong, and it is interesting to hear how his son has become like him in every way.
“Brock is like me,” Joel said. “His mother just goes nuts because our characteristics are exactly the same. I know he’s my son because he acts just like me. It drives his wife crazy, and it drives my wife crazy. So really our relationship, we think the same thing about everything. We know how each other is going to react to something and what we’re thinking all the time.”
At the end of the day, Joel can watch his son play baseball proud of the man he has become.
“Growing up, he was a model son,” Joel Holt said. “He never gave any trouble. We’ve always had a good time. It’s funny he’s getting a little fanfare now and people actually know who he is.”
If he keeps producing, more people outside the devoted fans in Boston will know who Brock Holt is and what he brings to the Sox every day. His father’s support definitely inspires him to perform his best.