On nights when he is not at home, John Kruk calls his son, Kyle, in Florida to talk baseball before Kyle goes to bed.
"We'll just start talking situations," said Kruk, the former Phillie who works now as a baseball analyst for ESPN. "He'll ask me about a situation, a play, about this, about that, about the Phillies game."
With Father's Day on Sunday, Kruk said this week as his August induction in the Phillies Wall of Fame was announced that the honor meant more to him because Kyle and his daughter, Kiera, could appreciate it now. Kyle's already taken a liking to the game his father played.
"It's fun because he's 9 years old," Kruk said. "And when you watch him play Little League, he understands where he has to be on every play because we talk about it."
A few years ago, when the family still lived in South Jersey, Kyle Kruk was playing right field during a game and backed up a throw to first base. Later, John Kruk said, Kyle told his father he did it because he had seen Jayson Werth do it.
After Kruk moved his family to Florida about a year ago, the father and son often had to click in on their computer to watch Phillies games. During the games, Kruk said, Kyle asked questions such as, "What should I do here?" or "Why did that happen?"
As much as Kyle likes baseball, however, Kruk said he tries to be a sensitive father and not push his son to play. Kyle also plays basketball. He's learning how to surf and plays golf and tennis with his father every now and then.
Kruk said he wasn't pushed by his father, but he sees it happening around him. Kiera, 6, also plays baseball. "Oh God, she's a violent-swinging young lady," Kruk said.
One time, Kruk said a parent went up to him during one of Kiera's games and said that Kruk "might want to remember (my son's) name. He's going to be a big-league player."
Then the man asked about Kruk's daughter.
"I just hope she gets to the first grade," Kruk said.
Growing up in West Virginia, Kruk played baseball, but his first love was basketball. When he graduated high school, small colleges around the state wanted Kruk to play basketball. No one wanted Kruk the baseball player.
So Kruk didn't play baseball for the junior college he was attending until the rightfielder got hurt playing football.
"I hated baseball," Kruk said. "I really didn't like baseball at all until someone decided they were going to pay me. ... Every year I played in the big leagues, the day the season ended, I called my buddies in West Virginia and said, 'I'll be home tomorrow.' And some of them were high school (basketball) coaches. I said, 'Get the gym.'
"We played basketball five days a week, never touched a bat or ball until the first week of spring training. Seemed to work."
Kruk said he hates seeing that some kids are encouraged not to enjoy different sports. So he tells other parents to look at baseball players' bios for their hobbies. "It's all sports other than baseball," Kruk said.
"I don't want to push my son to do something he doesn't want to do, because, when he's 15, he's going to hate me for making him do something for 15 years of his existence that he didn't like," Kruk said.
Kruk said that when Kyle was 6 his son wasn't very good at baseball, and Kruk didn't think Kyle was long for the sport. Kyle even told his father he didn't think he liked baseball.
"Fine. Let's go do something else," Kruk said he told Kyle. "Want to go fishing? Or play golf? You know, whatever. Do whatever you want. But you have to do what you want to do and be dedicated to it.
"And probably about July of that year he handed me a glove and said, 'C'mon, I want to go learn.' And I didn't talk to him from April until June or July about baseball at all."
Now, Kruk talks baseball with his son like he and his father did when they went to Yankees and Mets games when they lived in North Jersey.
And when Kruk is on ESPN's "Baseball Tonight, he tries to include something in each show that teaches younger kids the game. Kyle might be watching and maybe expecting a phone call.
Living in Florida, Kyle started following basketball due to the success of the Miami Heat, and now he studies the fundamentals, like how to perfect a box-out.
Great, said Kruk.
"You love the (sport) that you're doing at that time," he said, "but you don't not like the rest of them."
Recently, Kruk said, Kyle brought up what he thought would be a touchy subject with his father.
"Would you be disappointed if I liked basketball more than baseball?" Kyle asked.
"No," Kruk responded. "I do."