David Roth vowed he would not miss another chance to watch his son pitch for South Carolina at the College World Series if the Gamecocks returned to Omaha after winning the national championship in 2010.
But when his son's team made it back, David Roth found himself in a tough spot. Unable to get personal time off from work, he needed to make a decision.
Michael Roth announced it on Twitter on Saturday:
How's this for dedication? My dad had to quit his job to make it out to Omaha. Couldn't get here last year. #novacationdays
As decisions go, this one seems as touching as it is impulsive. David Roth, a 57-year-old college graduate, really had quit his job selling Volkswagens and Audis in Greenville, S.C.
"Obviously, it was pretty special considering it was Father's Day yesterday," [Michael Roth] said Monday. "I'm glad that he's here. It's been pretty cool having my family here. [...]
"My dad's been a huge inspiration for baseball for me," he said. "It's definitely nice to have him out here."
Michael Roth has not allowed an earned run in 37 1/3 innings for South Carolina, and his ERA for the season is 0.97. As a result of his success, the Cleveland Indians made him a 31st-round pick in the June draft. Roth is unsigned so far, but even if he signs, he doesn't get many guarantees professionally. His career could be over quickly. It could be over this week.
And that's probably where a lot of his father's motivation comes from.
Most players reach this point in their baseball career only with the help of one or both parents making sacrifices along the way. But these sacrifices usually take the form of long car rides, expensive camps and equipment, and time. And it all might require a parent getting a second job to make it all come together.
But actually quitting a job? In this economy? Noble, sure. Maybe not as noble as donating a kidney or bone marrow, but good luck getting a transplant if you don't have a job and health insurance to pay for it.
What David Roth did was risky, even reckless — depending on many unknown (to us) financial factors for the Roths. But even the gesture — "I have quit my job to watch my son pitch in the College World Series" — it boggles the mind. It's awesome.
Is he worried about his dad getting another job?
"No, he'll be OK," Michael Roth said. "Gamecock Nation will help us out."
Better make sure South Carolina wins again, just in case.
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