There may be no better way to unite a father and son than through the game of baseball.
This Father’s Day, scores of young ballplayers will have a catch with their dads or simply just talk about or watch the great game.
However, for the St. John’s University, Jamaica, baseball squad, every day is Father’s Day for one of the team’s player.
Junior second baseman Ty Blankmeyer has had the unique opportunity of playing the past three seasons for a coach he knows very well – his father Ed Blankmeyer, the winningest baseball coach in St. John’s history who recently completed his 20th season at the helm of the Johnnies.
The Red Storm capped off another strong season by winning the Big East regular season championship, the Big East Tournament championship and finishing as finalists in the NCAA Regional Tournament. The team compiled a 41-16 overall record.
“Being able to be part of a regular season championship, the Big East championship and going to a regional, it’s probably been one of the coolest moments of my life to be able to experience that championship with my father,” Ty said.
Growing up, Ty was the good luck charm for the St. John’s team, as Ed would bring him to workouts when he was three years old. A few years later, Ty even had the chance to go on road trips with the team, which further supplanted his passion for the game of baseball.
Except for one season when he served as assistant coach, Ed did not coach Ty in Little League or travel teams for the most part, since he was already coaching in college.
“When the games started, I became a parent and watched the games,” Ed said.
From watching his son closely though, Ed knew Ty had a future in baseball since he saw his son’s potential and did all the little things correctly.
“He (Ty) was a good athlete who played the game the right way,” Ed said. “He was a baseball player, and everybody knew he was a baseball player.”
As a result, Ty was recruited to play ball at several colleges. But naturally, with his father coaching at St. John’s, joining the Red Storm had to be an easy decision.
Over the past three seasons, Ty said he has enjoyed playing for his father and feels he is lucky to have this opportunity.
Blessed to Work Together
“Baseball’s a game where you have your ups and your downs, and through that, there’s a lot of life lessons you learn from the game,” Ty said. “Having my father there personally has been a blessing to me.”
Just because Ty is Ed’s son though doesn’t mean Ed goes lightly on him. Ty said his father could be demanding on him at times, but he knows in the long run that it is beneficial to his development on and off the field.
“He (Ed) wants the best out of me, not only as a ballplayer but also as a person,” Ty said. “He’s always making sure I’m doing the right things in class, doing the right things to prepare myself as a ballplayer and as a person so down the road I can be the best person I can be.”
In his bio on the team website, Ty lists his father as the person he admires most, since he learned his dedicated work ethic from his dad, who also instilled those same values in his two daughters, Brittany and Alison, both of whom played college field hockey.
“Growing up with my father, I’ve seen him achieve success,” Ty said. “I’ve seen him work very hard for the things he’s accomplished. He’s a very focused and determined person, and I think that’s great to have around me.
“Not only is he a great baseball coach, he’s a great guy too. He’s a great man, and that’s more important than being a great coach.”
It might get lost in the shuffle of the daily grind of a competitive college baseball season, but Ed knows just how lucky he is to have the opportunity to coach his only son in a high-level Division I baseball program.
“Ty and I have talked about this,” Ed said. “It’s great to be able to experience a Big East regular season championship, a tournament championship and playing in the final of a regional championship. But to experience that with your son, that’s special.”
So on this Father’s Day, Ty was sure to pass on a special message to his dad – who doubles as a baseball coach and a life coach.
“Just keep being you Dad! I love him to death and to be able to play for him is going to be something I’m going to remember the rest of my life. It’s been a blessing. And we couldn’t do it without my mother (Susan) too!”
Contact Jim Mancari via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.