Hyde do­ing his best to bal­ance work, fam­ily as Orioles’ man­ager

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - ORIOLES -

My dad was at every one of my games. For me not to be there is heart­break­ing. You just try to make up for it with be­ing to­gether as much as you pos­si­bly can.”

It is the fa­mil­iar lament of a big league dad. The pro­fes­sional base­ball sea­son — from the first day of spring train­ing un­til the last day of the post­sea­son — can last more than eight months. Hyde, 45, won’t have to worry about Oc­to­ber this year, but he spent the past five sea­sons as a coach with the Chicago Cubs, who reached the post­sea­son four of those years and won the World Series in 2016.

He’s not look­ing for sym­pa­thy, of course. He’s liv­ing the dream that grew out of a “roller coaster” mi­nor league play­ing ca­reer that never got him to the promised land. He has worked a long time to earn a job held by only 29 other men, and to pro­vide a se­cure fu­ture for him­self and his fam­ily.

It’s just a mat­ter of bal­ance, and Hyde has achieved that by shut­tling be­tween his home in Chicago and his new work­place in Baltimore when­ever it’s hu­manly pos­si­ble.

Just a cou­ple of weeks ago, he headed back to see Aria grad­u­ate from high school, and ex­plained after­ward how strange it felt to let Tim Cossins sit in Hyde’s man­ager’s chair for even one game. On Sun­day, when the Orioles headed home from Hous­ton, he caught a com­mer­cial flight to Chicago to spend the Mon­day off-day with the fam­ily be­fore get­ting up in the dark to fly to Baltimore the next day.

“It’s very chal­leng­ing,” Hyde said. “We just try to see each other as much as pos­si­ble. I take them out of school for spring train­ing. For­tu­nately, the school that they go to al­lows that. We have a tu­tor set up at spring train­ing every year. That’s an ex­tra month we get to spend to­gether each year. This is the first year that my daugh­ter and my son are old enough to re­al­ize that I’m gone, be­cause I lived in Chicago that whole time.”

This week­end, the fam­ily is in town to spend Fa­ther’s Day with dad, and Colton gets to hang around the team, some­thing he got to do a lot while Hyde was with the Cubs. That’s one of the trade­offs that make Hyde’s long ab­sences from home a lit­tle eas­ier on fa­ther and son. It’s an op­por­tu­nity other kids can only dream about.

Colton had had one of those mem­o­ry­mak­ing af­ter­noons Satur­day, tak­ing grounders at first base be­fore the Orioles played the Bos­ton Red Sox at Cam­den Yards.

“He started com­ing to the ball­park with me a lot in 2014 and ’15,’’ Hyde said. “He was at a lot of our games and hung out in the club­house pregame. Al­ways shagged dur­ing bat­ting prac­tice. Grew up in the Cubs club­house. We had a group of play­ers and coaches that treated him in­cred­i­bly. I loved the fact that he could ex­pe­ri­ence be­ing around such great men and I think any kid would do any­thing to have the ex­pe­ri­ences he’s had.

“He’s prob­a­bly a lit­tle bit spoiled, but he’s been at every postgame cel­e­bra­tion the Cubs have had the last four years. So, for him to see those things, I think that’s fan­tas­tic and I love hav­ing him here.”

It will be a par­tic­u­larly spe­cial ex­tended week­end be­cause the Orioles sched­ule has smiled on Hyde, send­ing him back to his roots in the San Fran­cisco Bay Area for the series that starts Mon­day against the Oak­land Ath­let­ics.

“It’s a huge deal,’’ he said. “My son’s go­ing to be here for Fa­ther’s Day and I’m go­ing to see my dad the next day in the Bay Area. … To be able to see my dad in San Fran­cisco when we go, that’s go­ing to mean a lot. I’m very grate­ful. I’m very ap­pre­cia­tive. I’m very lucky and I don’t take that for granted.”

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