New Dads Zack Britton and Greg Holland Square Off in the American League Championship Series

Zach Britton and Greg Holland, the closers for the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals, who face off against each other in the American League Championship Series starting tomorrow, became dads this past week. Congrats to the new dads, and a reminder of how employer and societal attitudes are shifting.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any period of time, you know that two of the great loves of my life are fatherhood and baseball (Amy’s the other). Well, October means the playoffs and World Series, but for two players, October also means new fatherhood.

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Ryan Braun Supported While On Paternity Leave During Brewers’ Playoff Chase

The Brewers are in a playoff race, in a major team-wide slump, and now, their best player goes on paternity leave. What has the public reaction been?  Surprisingly understanding. This is progress.

The birth of his child is a bigger deal than receiving his MVP award from hall of famer Robin Yount
The birth of his daughter is a bigger deal than receiving his MVP award from Hall of Famer Robin Yount

Over the past few years, Ryan Braun went from beloved National League MVP to national pariah for using, getting caught using, lying about using, getting away with using, and again getting caught using Performance Enhancing Drugs. Throughout, however, Braun has continued to be an excellent player.

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Daniel Murphy: From Paternity Leave to All Star

You may recall the media firestorm a few months ago, when NY Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy took paternity leave and missed the first two games of the season to be at his son’s birth. A few months later, Murphy has rewarded his employer with a career year and, tonight, he makes his first all-star appearance. Here’s a look back.

Here’s what I wrote for the Wall Street Journal on this subject a few months ago:

The Good News From the Daniel Murphy Paternity Leave Kerfuffle

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The Mets’ John Olerud Took Paternity Leave in 1998 To No Criticism. Where Were Francesa and Boomer Then?

When the controversy over Daniel Murphy’s paternity leave erupted last week (see my articles here and here, and appearance on CBS This Morning here), I thought of another Met who took paternity leave 16 years ago to little fanfare. How things have and haven’t progressed since 1998.

John Olerud took an informal paternity leave during the 1998 season.
John Olerud took an informal paternity leave during the 1998 season. (image by Webdesign, use under Creative Commons)

1998: The Year of Dawson’s Creek, Monica Lewinski, Dixie Chicks, Saving Private Ryan, ER, and Harry Potter!

As part of an article I wrote for the Journal of Diversity Management a loooooooong time ago, I discussed work-family issues in sports and highlighted the 1998 paternity leave of John Olerud. Here is an except from that article, and some new commentary below:

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Welcome Wall Street Journal Readers and CBS This Morning Viewers!

“The good news is that when anything—even something as asinine as Wednesday’s debate—gets America talking about paternity leave, it is significant progress.” -from my 4/4 WSJ article I hope you enjoyed the segment about Daniel Murphy’s paternity leave on CBS This Morning, and my follow-up article on the Wall Street Journal Online. I am thrilled by … Read more

Idiots Mike Francesa, Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton Are So Very Very Wrong About MLB Paternity Leave

Idiots Mike Francesa, Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason said awful things in reaction to the Mets’ Daniel Murphy’s recent paternity leave. Their ugly, ignorant remarks are a disgrace and need to be repudiated in the strongest possible terms.

Boomer and Carton are idiots
Boomer and Carton are idiots

The wife of NY Mets’ second baseman Daniel Murphy went into labor just before opening day. He missed their first game of the season, and may miss one or two more. As I have reported here at FWF multiple times, MLB is the first major league sport to provide players with up to 72 hours of paternity leave. I am on record that this policy sends an important public signal about the importance of fatherhood.

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Carl Crawford Leads Off- Another Baseball Season, Another Paternity Leave

Los Angeles Dodger Carl Crawford will begin the 2014 baseball season on paternity leave, making use of MLB’s forward-thinking policy- the first of its kind in major US sports. I see this as yet another reason to celebrate the beginning of a new baseball season!

283px-Carl_Crawford
Soon-to-be new dad Carl Crawford {Photo by Googie man under Creative Commons license}

(A quick note: Today I have articles published at Good Men Project and Daily Plate of Crazy. Please go check them out. I’ll also re-post them here soon)

Baseball season starts a bit early this year, with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks playing a two-game series in Sydney, Australia on March 22-23, a full week before traditional opening day.

However, Dodgers’ outfielder Carl Crawford’s wife is expected to have her baby near that date, and he will be the first player of the 2014 season to avail himself of MLB’s paternity leave policy.

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Former MLB Player Gabe Kapler on Being a Good Father (and Not Taking PEDs)

With Spring Training in full swing, I want to highlight a baseball-related fatherhood story–how one MLB player chose being a role model to his kids over the temptation of using PEDs.

I figured that ultimately I would be in a position in which I’d be forced to impart one of two lessons: “don’t do it like dad” or “follow in my footsteps.” I chose the latter. – Gabe Kapler

Gabe Kapler at Fenway Park
Gabe Kapler’s decision to eschew PEDs was made, in part, based on his concerns about being a good father and role model to his children (Photo: Wikipedia, creative commons license)

Gabe Kapler was a major league baseball player for 12 years. He was never a star, but was a frontline player for several years before becoming a role-player. In a recent article at Baseball Prospectus, Kapler wrote a fantastic, nuanced article about performance-enhancing drugs in baseball and his decision to eschew them. In his own words:

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