http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11124/1143875-66.stm


A Steelers running back has stirred emotions across the Internet and on Twitter with comments he wrote that opened up old wounds, conflict that runs deeply, and the art of forgiveness.

Rashard Mendenhall tweeting about Osama bin Laden? Not this time.

Rookie running back Baron Batch, drafted by the Steelers in the seventh round Saturday from Texas Tech, detailed in his blog how a draft day reunion with the father who abandoned his mother and family long ago brought not a sense of closure but of a new beginning and the relationship he hopes to have with him.

Tempted at first to rub his accomplishments in his father's face, Batch instead turned the other cheek and took a different path. Instead of hanging out with friends during the draft or going to a party with his agent in anticipation, Batch drove 850 miles to spend the day with the father he did not know well.

"Everybody all over was asking, where are you going to be? Was I going home, hang out, have a cook out? I had no idea where I wanted to spend it," Batch said in an interview Tuesday from Lubbock, Texas.

"I was driving and kind of had this internal dialogue: Should I go and see my dad, should I not? I ended up going, and it worked out really, really well. I got to spend that time with him.

"It hasn't been a complete lack of relationship, just real distant. Me doing this is getting over that hump, me excluding him from the big moments in my life ... I was glad he got to experience that phone call from the Steelers."

Batch, who is raising money selling photos from his January trip to Haiti so children there can go to school, writes a weekly blog/column/diary that appears online and in two Texas newspapers. The latest he titled "860 miles to Forgiveness," and begins:

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