Butch Hobson is a baseball lifer.
“I just decided pretty much when the Good Lord is ready for me to come home, I’ll be on baseball field,” Hobson said. “I love it.”
The soon to be 70-year-old manager of the Chicago Dogs loves mentoring new players and being part of their lives. It just so happens he has done that with one of his players for the last 30 years.
“I think it’s an advantage for him to be my dad and also my manager,” said K.C. Hobson, the Dogs infielder and son of manager Butch Hobson.
K.C. joined the dogs to play for his dad last season.
“I enjoy every minute of it,” Butch said. “We butt heads on things and that’s okay. At 15, he said ‘I don’t want u to be my hitting coach anymore.’ But he comes back, and it’s a pleasure to watch him play and have him be part of this team.”
“My dad does a great job of treating everyone like he’s got 25 sons,” K.C. said. “He treats everyone like he’s his own kid.”
The Hobsons favorite baseball memory together came in 2016 with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League. Butch was managing and decided for one game to activate himself and play alongside his son.
“K.C. was by the bat rack on Friday and I went up to him and said, ‘I have this crazy idea what do you think?’” Butch recalls. “I’ll activate myself Sunday, play third base while you play first. I’ll hit second and you hit third for one inning. What do you think? He said, ‘Go for it dad,’ and I did it. I had to do it. Because I never would get a chance to do it again.”
“He said he would swing at the first pitch, and he swung in the [batting] cage for 45 minutes, then took two fastballs down the middle then swung at a slider in the dirt and struck out, and I said, ‘I thought you said you were swinging at the first pitch dude?’ and he’s like, ‘I couldn’t even see it,’” K.C. recalled with a chuckle. “How many guys get to do that? Get to play a professional baseball game with their dad? I know it was a good experience for him and one of the best baseball moments of career.”
Butch’s playing days are done as he settles for coaching third base, but celebrating Father’s Day at the ballpark with his son on the same field is the best gift of all.
“Most of us in the game don’t get to be with our families on Father’s Day, but at least I get to be with one of them, one of my children,” Butch said.
“I think we should celebrate mothers and fathers every day,” K.C. said. “Just make sure I let him know that I love him and I’m grateful for every opportunity he’s given me.”