“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

My dad taught me to play baseball. With a batting tee my parents bought, my sister and I created an infield in the front yard. Our towering elm trees stood as first and third base.

My dad pitched to me on that homemade field countless afternoons. I’d race through the yard to retrieve the yellow and white whiffle balls, hidden like Easter eggs among the bushes lining our house. I brought the loot to my father each time, eager for more.

My dad encouraged me to train alone, too. Every night, I practiced at the tee until the sun faded behind those big elm trees. That discipline carried me through high school and into the lineup of a Big Ten Championship team.

One spring doubleheader, I traced my finger down the lineup card and found my name under the subs list. When it stayed there the rest of the season, my dad assured me that I had not failed.

I stepped onto the field once more, many years later. This time I was coach. As I ran the team through the usual warmup, one parent said to me, “You are just like your dad.”

I will continue to coach.

— Kelly Quinn