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Thu Mar 21 2002
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"Unless you're leading the Dog, the view never changes." - sign just outside the Yankees spring training clubhouse, Legends Field, Tampa, Florida



by modernerabaseball.com

The year was 1962. The location was Chavez Ravine. The ballpark was newly-opened Dodger Stadium. And it was a Father’s Day that Molly Sheridan has never forgotten.

Learn more about the Father’s Day Contest runner-ups unique story and Dad.

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“My brother in law once told me that he had never met a woman who understood sports or knew as much trivia about all kinds of sports than me,” says Sheridan, 53, a deputy city attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office who also watched the Dodgers play at the Los Angeles Coliseum before their move to Dodger Stadium, and attended Arizona State when the Sun Devils won the College World Series with guys named Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando and Dodger Rick Monday.

“I am sure there are plenty of women who know much more, but I do read the sports page and watch sporting events and started doing that with my Dad when I was in third grade. I learned to love baseball in the third grade when the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.”

And Molly learned to love the Dodgers, in large because of her Dad, Don Roff, an attorney who raised his family on a citrus ranch near Ventura, just north of Los Angeles. Roff was an attorney who served as the City Attorney for Ventura and Santa Paula and later for the Ventura Port District, which built the Ventura Marina.

“My Dad loved all sports, and he always had the game on the radio,” Molly recalls.

As the song says, these were the days of Campanella and the Duke. On a warm sunny day in the City of Angels, Mr. Roff drove his daughter, Molly, and a bunch of other youngsters to Dodger Stadium to celebrate Father’s Day. Somehow, Roff had managed to secure seats behind the Dodger dugout (Molly claims to this day she still doesn’t know how her Dad managed to get them).

Numbers were an essential ingredient of Molly’s submission for the modernerabaseball.com Father’s Day Contest as Roff, his daughter and other made their way from Ventura south to Dodger Stadium, which had opened just two months earlier.

“We had a '57 Chevy station wagon and I recall we put the back seats down and there were a lot of us in the car (but I am not sure if the total was six or eight),” Molly recollected. “The foreman of the ranch had seven kids and I am sure we asked some of them and they may have had some cousins or other friends. It was either six or eight tickets and there was one extra person and instead of my Dad telling some kid who wanted to go he could not go, he let them all go and he took the cheap seat.”

Don Roff took the cheap seat all right.

In the bleachers.

On Father’s Day.

By himself.

“That was way back when they did not limit the number of beers that people could drink,” Molly continued. “My Dad had these great seats that he let all of us kids sit in and he was stuck buying a bleacher seat the day of the game! He got all kinds of beer poured on him by the drunks.”

“I think he actually enjoyed himself!” Molly quipped. “I remember my Dad telling my Mom about what a great time we all had. It was one of those family stories where you say, ‘Remember that time on Father’s Day when all those kids went to the game and you wound up with all the people pouring beer on each other in the bleachers?’”

“He was that kind of a guy, that wanted to make sure all the kids had a great time - and we did - and damn if he did not have a great time also!” Molly chuckled. “(My Dad sitting by himself in the bleachers) did not seem all that significant then, but as an adult, it really made me respect and revere my Dad even more and feel a little guilty because he did not get to sit with me, his kid, on that day.”

Don Roff passed away in 1979.

“My dad was a wonderful man and as a daughter he shared his love for sports with me that I have to this day,” Molly explained. “I was a fan for many years, and in junior high and high school I would always have the game on the radio in the background.”

“I think my favorite baseball moments as a kid were just being at Dodger Stadium on a warm afternoon just feeling all the excitement and seeing all the activity,” Molly added. “I was just was listening to XTRA Sports 690 (radio) to hear the talk about the Lakers (winning the NBA title) and someone was talking about memories of Dad and baseball and Father’s Day so I felt compelled to tell my story. I think modernerabaseball.com is great and will check it out on a regular basis.”

Thanks Molly for sharing memories of your Dad.

He was quite a gentlemen and that was quite a story!

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Mar 21 2002, 07:12:10
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