Ryan Sherriff felt an immediate psychological void.
With his father no longer in the stands to watch him pitch, Sherriff lost his chief inspiration and reached what he initially perceived to be a final decision — no more baseball.
Larry Sherriff had attended most of his son's games for the past decade until he died Jan. 9 at 57 from complications of multiple myeloma, or cancer of the blood. Baseball suddenly didn't seem as important to the younger Sherriff, who was a couple of months away from reporting to spring training in Florida with theSt. Louis Cardinals organization. Sherriff revealed his decision to his mother, Renee, who suggested her son reconsider.
It turned out that mother knew best. Since then, things have worked out well for Sherriff, a starter with Palm Beach, the class-A affiliate in the Florida State League.
"I told her I didn't want to play anymore and that I wasn't going to spring training," said Sherriff, a former Glendale Community College and Glendale Angelenos player who was selected by St. Louis in the 28th round (860th overall) of the 2011 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. "She said, 'That's not what dad would want.'