Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

First Father's Day for Fish

Reliever looking forward to reunion with wife, newborn

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Unfortunately for the dads of Winnipeg, Father's Day at Shaw Park for a little baseball was rained out. The rain also spoiled the Winnipeg Goldeyes' opportunity to get important revenge over contending rival, the St. Paul Saints.

For one of the Goldeyes' most reliable arms, it was a Father's Day to remember -- his first, as a dad, though a little sooner than planned.

The Fish were on the road in Sioux Falls, S.D., on June 4, when bullpen stalwart Chris Kissock got a phone call at 4 a.m. It was his wife, Shaunna, with surprising news: She was going into labour, three weeks earlier than predicted. While she gently urged the baby to stay in just a little bit longer, Kissock raced to catch a flight back home to British Columbia.

'After a while at home, especially listening to the games, you want to get back out there. I wish they were here, and they will be... but getting out there (on Friday) was good'

-- Goldeyes pitcher Chris Kissock, on his wife and newborn son

He arrived just in time to welcome Kyran Christopher Kissock into the world -- a little button of a baby at 5 lbs. 12 oz., but healthy.

"It was very real," Kissock said of the experience. "I miss him right now. It was hard leaving him."

With the Goldeyes' blessing, Kissock spent the next eight days with his wife and baby, though the team was never far from his mind. Kissock said he took the opportunity to teach Kyran the game early, a game he hopes his son takes up one day. "Me and him sat on the couch and listened to the ball games on the radio," he said.

Kissock returned to the Goldeyes Friday, and hurled one scoreless inning against the St. Paul Saints in his return. It was good to get back to work, he nodded, especially knowing his wife and son will be joining him in Winnipeg later this month.

"It was awesome," he said. "After a while at home, especially listening to the games, you want to get back out there. I wish they were here, and they will... but getting out there (on Friday) was good."

The B.C. native spent his day talking to his new family and friends from home over the phone, conversations he was looking forward to thanks to the rained-out double-header his Fish were supposed to play Sunday. Of course, being a new parent and a professional athlete has its challenges, but Kissock said it won't change his approach to the game.

"You know, me and my wife have been doing this for eight years now," said the rookie dad, as his wife called him. "I've always taken baseball seriously and given my best out there during practice. I don't think it's going to change the way I step on the field every morning."

The latest Goldeyes youngster will join something of a baby boom around the club. Catcher Luis Alen's wife and year-old son are in Winnipeg this season, while relief pitcher Kyle Bellamy and his wife are also expecting their first child in July.

Kyle.edwards@freepress.mb.ca melissa.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 16, 2014 C7

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