In a special Father’s Day episode of the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast, Tom “Flash” Gordon, Marquis Grissom and Pat Mahomes handed out tips on how to parent an elite athlete – and what happens when that kid breaks your heart.
Among them, Gordon, Grissom and Mahomes bring nearly half a century of major league experience, and their bona fides in raising pro athletes are even stronger. Gordon’s son Dee is a two-time All-Star and another son, Nick, is a top prospect with Minnesota. Grissom’s youngest son, Marquis Jr., is a well-regarded high school pitcher. And Mahomes’ eldest son, Patrick, is set to take over the starting quarterback job for the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Everybody and their momma thought he was gonna be a baseball player,” his father said. “He knew since ninth grade he was gonna be drafted. Then his junior year, he started playing football and got to play quarterback.”
Soon thereafter, Mahomes said, his son’s choice was easy.
“He said, ‘Dad, I love baseball. But I didn’t even know what love was until I started playing football,’ ” Mahomes said. “He fell in love with the game, and when he told me, it broke my heart a little bit. But he made the right decision.”
Mahomes’ tack with Patrick and his younger son, Jackson, who plays basketball, echoed Gordon and Grissom’s advice: Don’t force your child into a sport. Let him or her choose.
“You first want to decide what your kids love doing best,” Gordon said. “The important thing is not just doing it because you enjoy it.”
While Nick Gordon never deviated from wanting to play baseball, Dee didn’t take up the sport until his senior year of high school. His athleticism and pedigree certainly didn’t hurt when he was drafted out of junior college in Florida despite barely weighing 140 pounds. Grissom’s sons didn’t have nearly the drive of Gordon and proved that even those with a legacy last name can’t simply coast to success.
“My two oldest boys kind of forgot about the work ethic and thought they could just ride that Grissom name all the way to the minor leagues, all the way to the draft,” Grissom said, “and that didn’t happen.”
For more on that, the paucity of African-American players in MLB and amusing stories from their times spent together throughout the years, make sure to listen to this bonus episode of the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast. You can find the show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Acast and where ever you find podcasts. If you dig what we’re doing, we’d appreciate your ratings and reviews to help the show grow.
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