Dad gives up $13 million for his son.

Adam LaRoche and his son Drake Photo credit: Daily Mail UK news site.

This dad just told his teenage son and the world, that getting to spend one season with him, is worth more than $13 million.

Photo credit: ESPN

Chicago White Sox first baseman and designated hitter Adam LaRoche put family first when he retired from a job that guaranteed him $13 million for playing a game for one year. The love of the game was no match for LaRoche’s love for his 14-year-old son, Drake.

When the White Sox VP told LaRoche his son couldn’t spend as much time (or any according to some reports) in the clubhouse (despite arrangements that had been made ahead of time and a clear like for the teen by fellow teammates), LaRoche had to make a choice. He chose his family.

You can read more details about the story here and here. (I first read about it here.) But check out these selections from LaRoche’s well-stated personal response to the situation:

“…I had to make a decision. Do I choose my teammates and my career? Or do I choose my family? The decision was easy,…

“…I have tried to set a good example on and off the field and live a life that represents these values.”

“…As fathers, we have an opportunity to help mold our kids into men and women of character, with morals and values that can’t be shaken by the world around them.”

“…Of one thing I am certain: we will regret NOT spending enough time with our kids, not the other way around.”

“… In life, we’re all faced with difficult decisions and will have a choice to make. Do we act based on the consequences, or do we act on what we know and believe in our hearts to be right? I choose the latter.”
(Get the LaRoche’s full statement here.)

Photo Credit: Daily Mail TNC

According to reports, LaRoche’s act of putting family ahead of that much cash is hitting cords among parents on and off the field.

“I think a lot of people have stepped back and said, ‘If a man can step away from $13 million for his family and his son, what does it take for me to spend a little more time with my kid, or take a little more responsibility for my family situation.’’’ White Sox outfielder and union representative Adam Eaton.

Shortly after what was initially announced as a surprise retirement citing “personal reasons,” Adam LaRoche Tweeted:

Thank u Lord for the game of baseball and for giving me way more than I ever deserved!

Bravo, Adam! Thank you for choosing your family over your career. The world needs more dads like you who send strong messages to their wives, sons, and daughters about how important time with them is.

I know not every job can have kids hanging with dad every day. It was great that Drake was able to do that up to this point. Each place of employment has to have their guidelines, and I don’t blame them, but for a dad to show his son that he’s more important than $13 million, that’s showing a child how to live with priorities in the right order. As Adam tweeted, #Familyfirst

For me, Adam’s choice was a powerful moment, but it stood tall on the example he’s been setting for years by the way he loves his wife, his daughter, and how he has spent time with a young son named Drake for the past 14 years.

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The LaRoche family has a legacy of baseball and family. Dave LaRoche pitched 14 seasons for various MLB teams in the 1970s and 80s. Then he coached and often had his family with him or living close by to where he was based for the season.  He and his wife, Patty, raised their three sons who followed his footsteps into baseball. Two went to the majors. The other went into law enforcement.

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