First-time father Britton wants to set example

As son begins to follow his lead, O's closer will celebrate first Father's Day

First-time father Britton wants to set example

BALTIMORE -- Zach Britton is starting to pick up on some things about being a father. His son is also picking up a thing or two as well.

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Zander Britton, who was born on Oct. 7, 2014, isn't quite learning how to be a father just yet, but he has begun to notice, and mimic, certain actions of his parents. The infant has become pretty good at doing impressions of his parents, both facially and verbally.

While it warms his heart to see his child's actions, it reminds the first-time father of an important lesson each time.

"It all comes back to being a good example, because they pick up on things that you do," Britton said.

Britton understands this, as did his father, Greg.

Zach was raised in Santa Clarita, Calif., before moving to Texas, where he played three years of baseball for Weatherford High School. Greg wasn't an uptight father on the diamond, partially because his son was an All-State outfielder and pitcher who was drafted in the third round of the 2006 Draft.

But while Greg wasn't overly critical of his son in his baseball career, he was tough in other aspects.

"He was definitely tough when it came to other things like anything off the field, how to treat people and the way you were supposed to act. Stuff like that," Zach said.

Zach continues those principles he was taught today, as he is one of the friendliest and most well-mannered players in the Orioles' clubhouse. He generally speaks with media whenever asked, and he even strikes up unprovoked conversations with reporters.

As Zander continues to grow, Britton hopes that he can relay the same lessons to his son that he was taught from his father. He continues to learn new things about being a father with each day, but has a solid blueprint with which to work.

Zach will celebrate his first Father's Day on Sunday. He didn't make a big deal of it, but he did acknowledge some perks.

"I feel like maybe guys don't get wrapped up in holidays as much, but it will be nice to celebrate Father's Day. Actually be on the receiving end of some gifts," Zach said with a chuckle.

Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.