BALTIMORE-- Orioles catcher Matt Wieters and first baseman Chris Davis know how important their job is. But it's not even close to the job of being a father.
"My dad was always there for me and he raised me to be who I am today," said Wieters, whose father, Richard, attends home weekend games along with his mother, Pam. "Everything from baseball to just trying to be a good person, he had his hand in it."
Davis feels the same about his father, Lyn, who coached him from when he was little all the way up to high school.
"He's been a big influence on my life and has obviously followed my pro career and had a chance to go to his first All-Star game as well just a couple weeks ago," Davis, who was the American League's starting first baseman said. "I love my dad a lot, he means a lot to me. And I'm thankful for everything he's done for me."
Davis' middle name is Lyn in honor of his father, while Wieters and his wife, Maria, named their first child, son Maverick, in keeping with the M-name theme. Born in September, Wieters uses modern technology to Facetime or Skype and get to see his son when the team is on the road. The Orioles backstop is having a red-hot August and he amazingly is able to get better offensively as the season goes on.
"You look around at everybody else that can't do it, it tells you how hard it is," manager Buck Showalter said of Wieters' ability to balance things. "He's got a young child. He's got a great wife, I'll tell you that. That lets him sleep now and then. No, he babysits a lot. Matt's a very durable guy. I think because he's so fundamentally sound he doesn't put himself [in harm's way]."
Wieters, unsurprisingly, credits Richard.
"Everything I have I owe to him," he said, "and to be able to try to do the same thing for my son, hopefully I can do as good of a job as he did."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less