Bryan R. Dattilo (Lucas, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) has passed his love of the game — actually, games, baseball and basketball — to his 6-year-old son, Gabe.
“I have a huge backyard, so we work a lot with whiffle balls and bats,” says Dattilo. “Gabe’s an amazing hitter. I pitch fast overhand to him, fast, and he strokes the ball. We go to the batting cages, too. I stick Gabe in the 40-mph cage, and he swings an aluminum bat. Six years old and he’s like a champ. He has a nice, level swing, and he keeps his elbow up. He loves baseball.”
Yet, Dattilo hasn’t enrolled his son in Little League. “I’m trying to limit other people’s influence on him,” he notes. “I want to wait until Gabe is 8 before I put him into a league. I want him to be a really solid player. Right now, Gabe’s catching is a little off. I don’t want him to catch one in the nose and not like the game because he got hit. So, for now, I’m his personal coach.”
Dattilo also coaches his son at basketball. “We have a hoop and a legitimate half-court that pieces together in the backyard. It’s all yellow and cool and has the L.A. Lakers logo in the corners,” explains Dattilo. “Gabe’s grown up with that. We play constantly. Gabe sinks a lot of shots. He’s a good athlete.”
When the father and son team isn’t playing sports, they’re usually watching them. “Gabe’s amazing to watch games with, because he gets so excited,” admits Dattilo. “He’s obsessed with numbers. He’s obsessed with the score constantly changing, watching who’s up, who’s down, who’s winning and who’s losing.”
As to the teams the tyke follows, it’s all dad’s favorites. “He loves the Chicago Cubs. We’re huge Cubs fans,” says Dattilo. “And we root for the Lakers and L.A. Clippers and Chicago Bears, too. So far, Gabe’s been to Staples Center, Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium. I’ve still got to get him to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs play, and Soldier Field to see the Bears, too.”