Annual Saskatoon Padres softball tournament strengthens bond between father, son
Every Father’s Day weekend, the Saskatoon Padres host their annual softball tournament. They’ve only won once in 40 years, but for former catcher Reg Lalach, it’s about comradery and the thrill.
“The actual action of catching the ball was exciting to me, it was my adrenaline rush. Lots of people do funny stuff to get adrenaline rushes, mine was go up there and let a guy throw 70 miles per hour at your face,” Reg said.
He joined the Padres in 2001 but two years ago, the 48-year-old suffered a stroke.
“My wife was following me she said I was starting to wobble on my feet and that I started to slur and then she called 911,” Reg said.
His son Matthew won’t ever forget that day at the hospital.
“When they wheeled him by, I tried to go say hi and grab his arm but he was really out of it so I don’t even know if he really knew I was there, so not having him acknowledge me was really scary because I didn’t know if that was the last time I was going to see him,” Matthew Lalach said.
By the time the doctors could operate, the blood clot in his brain had already done permanent damage.
“I lost use of my left arm and left leg,” Reg said.
“When I was laying in the hospital bed from April of 2015 until to July of 2015 I thought I was done, I didn’t think I’d have any value left in life really.”
A few years before the stroke, Reg had recruited his son to play for the Padres. The father-son duo have been enjoying the sport ever since, but are reminded every Father’s Day just how lucky they are to have each other.
“There’s hardly any better present for a father than to see his own son, or to get to play with his own son,” Reg said.
“Every time I come to the diamond and he’s here and he says ‘hi son!’ And I come over and I give him a hug, he holds them a little bit longer now. And I know that he’s happy to still be here,” Matthew said.
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