Ian Casselberry is a freelance writer, currently based in Asheville, NC. He is an editor at The Comeback and Awful Announcing

Previously, he has been a contributing writer for Yahoo! Sports' Big League Stew, and SB Nation. In addition, he was a lead baseball writer for Bleacher Report. 

You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook, where he craves your attention.

He still plans to write that novel someday. 

("Pearls Before Swine" © 2005 Stephan Pastis)
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Entries in Dad (4)


Happy birthday, Dad

Happy birthday to my father, Dennis Casselberry. He would have been 69 years old today. 

Until doing the math and typing it out just now, I'd forgotten how old he would be this year. He's frozen at 61 for me. 

Last year at this time, I wrote about all of the things that my father would've enjoyed if he were still with us today. Being a grandfather would have been foremost among those.

This week, my Little Niece is on spring break and we're getting to spend a lot more time with her than we usually would. We could use Grandpa for an extra set of hands and legs to keep up with that little road-runner right now.

I especially think about how much he would've enjoyed reading to his granddaughter, how much he would've enjoyed singing and dancing with her. 

What I was recently wondering, however, is what Little Niece would have called her Grandpa. 

My mother just wanted to be called Grandma when her granddaughter was born. Nothing like "Nana" or anything like that. But since Little Niece can't pronounce "Grandma" yet, she calls my mother "Ahma."

The beauty here is that "Ahma" or "Ama" is actually Chinese (Hokkien dialect) for grandmother. The kid had it right all along. 

"Ah Kong" is Chinese for grandfather in Chinese. Little Niece probably wouldn't have called Grandpa that. I'm guessing she would've said something like "Ah-Pa." 

Happy Birthday, Ahpa. You would love this kid. But I'm guessing you already know how great she is, and how much joy she brings to our lives.


Happy Birthday, Dad

Today is my father's birthday. He would've been 68 years old today.

On my recent trip to Malaysia, I was frequently reminded of his younger days, when he met my mother while serving a term with the Peace Corps.

I enjoyed hearing stories of what he was like back then. One of the great regrets of my life is that I never took the time to talk to him about those days. What was his courtship and early relationship with my mother like? What was his daily routine and lifestyle in Malaysia? What was his favorite food there? How did he deal with using those squat toilets?

I'm having trouble believing that it's been seven years since he's been gone. So much has happened in that time.

I look at things like iPods, DVRs, cheaper broadband internet and wi-fi, and think it's a shame that he wasn't able to enjoy these luxuries that would've made his life easier and more enjoyable. If you'd have told him he'd be able to download NPR's Fresh Air or find various jazz and classical podcasts that he could listen to on his own time and take anywhere with him, he would shake his head and smile.

Though I would've had to walk him through them constantly, he would've loved connecting with old friends and meeting with like-minded people. He would've enjoyed following the writers and journalists he admired on Twitter.

He would've loved it here in Asheville, with its mountains, trees, pleasant climate, laid-back lifestyle and nice people. He should have been able to enjoy retirement with my mother and make new friends.

Selfishly, I wish he was here to see me achieve some success as a sportswriter. If for no other reason than he would know that something finally worked out after all my years of lost, unfocused slacking.

I wish he was here to enjoy his granddaughter, to read to her, to feed her, to change her diapers, to sing and dance with her, to help her learn to walk. He would've been a wonderful grandpa.

Happy Birthday, Dad. You are missed tremendously. We love you.


The Bookshelf Devoted to Writing Well

In anticipation of getting Casa de Casselberry ready to put on the market, we've begun the process of clearing out what's not being kept and packing up whatever's making the trip to wherever the next stop is.

Today, I was going through my father's office, beginning with his bookshelf. And I never realized he had so many books about writing. These are just a handful (apologies for the photo quality; the lighting in the room wasn't very good):

Dad always was a stickler for good English. I knew that. One of the last gifts I ever bought for him was Eats, Shoots & Leaves. And he ticked me off a couple of times when he'd read a story or essay of mine and point out grammatical mistakes, rather than give me feedback on character or structure.

But I still had no idea he felt so strongly (or perhaps was so insecure) about writing well to almost fill up an entire bookshelf in his office. This will be added to the list of conversations I wish we'd had before he died. (I can only imagine what he would've thought of the work I've managed to publish since then.)


Saturday's Alright For Winning

Back before I became a full-time baseball blogger, I probably would've had a lot to say about Michigan's 38-34 victory over Notre Dame yesterday. But after watching sports so closely and analytically for so long, it was nice to just sit back and enjoy a game completely as a fan, not a semi-pro sportswriter.

Fortunately, it was one of the most exciting college football games in my recent memory. And though it was so much sweeter because Michigan won, I honestly think I would've been happy with the effort, regardless of the result. I mean that. After last year's 3-9 record, just being competitive in a meaningful football game against a fierce rival was going to be enough for me.

Running offensive and defensive schemes smoothly, with some know-how, rather than ineptness and clumsiness, was a pleasure to watch. So was watching the coronation of Tate Forcier, the 19-year-old freshman for whom the word "precocious" might have been invented.

23 of 33 passes completed for 240 yards. A 31-yard run for a touchdown. Eluding tacklers. Throwing on the run. And leading a game-winning scoring drive that a senior quarterback might not have run with such calm and precision. This kid's going to be really fun to watch over the next four years.

I really wish my dad could've seen that game. I would've loved high-fiving and hugging him after that one. And I know he'd love Forcier.

Hail to the Victors.