Dad's life lessons helped Goldy succeed

Dad's life lessons helped Goldy succeed

PHILADELPHIA -- You've heard of parents who push their kids to practice countless hours in hopes of raising a professional player, but in the Goldschmidt household, it was the other way around.

Sure, David and Kim encouraged their son to follow his dreams and supported him unconditionally, but it was Paul who asked his father for endless rounds of batting practice.

"I dragged him to the batting cage with me," Paul said of David. "I don't think he can throw anymore, because he threw so much batting practice. In fact, I know he can't, because he tore his shoulder. If I wanted to go hit or take ground balls, he would find the time. I don't think he ever said 'no'. He sacrificed a lot of time and effort and money to be there for me and my two brothers."

Paul Goldschmidt and his father, David, at Fenway Park. (Goldschmidt Family)

It wasn't just what David said, but how he lived his life that provided a blueprint for his oldest son to follow. First, as a husband to his wife, Amy, and now as a father to Jake, who is almost a year old.

"He was an unbelievable example as a dad and a father, and a husband, too," Paul said. "He worked extremely hard at everything he did, which I think taught me a lot of life lessons. I was very fortunate to have both he and my mom."

Paul grew up in Houston, and he and David would often watch Astros games on TV.

"We watched all sports, but baseball was always our favorite," Paul said. "We would watch the games and we were obviously watching as fans, but he used it as a teaching moment to point out things guys did right or wrong, and kind of tried to teach me what he thought was the correct way to play."

When it came to playing, David encouraged Paul to try a multitude of sports -- roller hockey, basketball, football and soccer.

Baseball, though, was what Paul loved the most, and he couldn't get enough of it. David put a net in the garage so Paul could hit off the tee and take flips. Though he traveled often for his job, David made sure he was home on the weekends, and no matter how tired he was, he always found time for his kids.

"He hit me fungoes, and I wasn't the easiest kid to work with, because I would get angry," Goldy said. "I mean, I still do. I'm just a little bit better at controlling it and not showing it."

David, Kim, Paul and Amy Goldschmidt at the 2014 All-Star Game in Minnesota. (Goldschmidt Family)

While they didn't push Paul or his two brothers, David and Kim made it clear that there were two hard-and-fast rules when it came to sports.

First, Paul was not going to be able to play if he didn't keep his grades up.

Second, if he signed up for a sport, he had to finish the season.

"They had their principles that they were very strict on," Paul said. "School, honestly, came No. 1 for them. And once you committed to play [a sport], you had to stick it out.

"I think about the way he and my mom raised me. I appreciate all the stuff they did and all the sacrifices they made. They never went on a vacation that wasn't for us to go play a sporting event. They were just always there and loving us and just trying to teach us. And they let us grow up and be independent and live our own lives."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.