MINNEAPOLIS -- When Justin Morneau was first called up to the big leagues, he logically called his dad, George. But the phone call wasn't the only thing they shared that week. In his Major League debut on June 10, 2003, Morneau singled in his first at-bat and went 2-for-4 against Colorado with his dad in attendance at the Metrodome. Morneau accounted for two of the Twins' three hits against the Rockies.
"It was a good day," Morneau recalled. "[My dad] made it to the game -- he and my brother came up. It was pretty exciting for him. I got a hit in my first at-bat and he said he had tears in his eyes." Growing up in New Westminister, British Columbia, the Morneaus played in the backyard with a pitching machine. Justin said he mimicked everything his older brother, Geordie, did, which led to Justin's early interest in baseball. George Morneau, who coached Justin until he was 17 years old, still talks with his son once or twice a week, typically about baseball. After a rough game, Justin phones dad for some pointers. "He knows better than anyone, because he's seen me swing forever," Morneau said. "He used to listen to the games before they were on TV when I was in the Minor Leagues. I'd hit a ball a certain way and he'd tell me exactly what I was doing. "He'd listen to what the pitch was, and I'd call and ask him what he thought I was doing, and he'd be able to tell me." And like most fathers who share their passion for baseball with their sons, George Morneau continually tells his son to just have fun. "That's all he ever says to me now," Justin Morneau said. "He just wants to see me do well."
Jason Brummond is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.