Lots of St. Louis sports icons are famous dads—Kurt Warner and Albert Pujols are both very involved with helping special-needs children, and Ryan Franklin just mentioned his children as a reason for his two-years-from-now retirement.
But no child has had more of an impact on the Cardinals' 2010 season than Colby Rasmus's daughter Rylee, the subject of a preseason article by Joe Strauss about Colby Rasmus's awkward, lonely 2009.
Ryan witnessed Rasmus' struggles with the hernia. After eating late at night, Rasmus frequently ended up vomiting his postgame meal. He found it difficult to sleep. Concerns over how his father would react to his girlfriend's pregnancy weighed on him as well. The family kept the news from Tony Rasmus until early summer.
The son's worries were quickly realized; communication between the two quickly ebbed. Colby had long relied on his father's advice about hitting, often to the organization's irritation. But without it he became lost.
Rasmus eventually turned again to his father in early October for assistance, even spending hours in the Busch Stadium cages with him after meeting with La Russa.
Rasmus responded with the most consistent series by any Cardinals position player during their three-game sweep against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Since fixing his relationship with Tony La Russa and, more pressingly, Tony Ramsus, Colby Rasmus has emerged as one of the best center fielders in baseball. This time last year he was hitting .279/.327/.471 with seven home runs, and it was all downhill from there; as of today he's hitting .281/.385/.563 with 13 home runs, fifth in the league in OPS.
The moral of this story: If you find your hitting peripherals slipping, talk to your dad; if you find your son's hitting peripherals slipping, tell him that you forgive him for having a child out of wedlock and keeping it from you for months.