Monday, July 21, 2008
OC, SS; AJ, C; Q, LF; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Swish, RF; Crede, 3B; Wise, CF; ARam, 2B. Vazquez pitching.
My day started with a round of golf at Olympia Fields Country Club with Harold Baines, Mark Salas and Kevin Hickey as part of the Chicago Corporate Challenge and courtesy of the OFCC and good friend Jack Yeo.
After waiting out the rain, we snuck in 15 holes before having to head to the ballpark. As we prepared to tee off on the last hole, I received an email.
“Jerry is looking for you.”
This, I don’t need to tell you, is never a good sign.
My good friend — and Jerry’s good friend — Jerome Holtzman had passed away on Saturday and his family called Jerry this morning to make sure he knew.
I headed back to the ballpark, and working with the Holtzman family, helped them release a statement this afternoon with comments from Bud Selig and Jerry.
I’ll miss the phone calls from Jerome and the visits to our ballpark — which were growing more scarce over the years as he battled health issues.
I’ll never forget when Jerome joined MLB, they sent him a computer — with no real directions or understanding on his part of how to use it. He was able to hammer out columns for the website, but dang if he could figure out how to send them. He would call me and I would try to blindly talk him through it on the phone.
Finally, I’d hop in the car and make the drive up to Evanston. Climb with him up to his study — filled at that time by the most impressive collection of baseball books you’d ever seen — and we’d try to get it to work.
Really funny thing is that I’ve run into a LOT of people who tried to help him with that computer.
Jerome, you were the best. I used to love the calls from you saying, “I need to write a column, what do you have for me?”
We’d talk, and I could hear your keyboard going. And the next day, I might read the germ of my idea with written in a way, and taken to a place, far beyond the story I could imagine.
And breaking national baseball news? Jerome was the best.
He really is the last of breed.
We are having a moment of silence tonight for Jerome. Take a moment at home and share it yourself.
Here at the ballpark tonight, we are filming a special open for Stand Up 2 Cancer, an initiative supported by Major League Baseball and the White Sox. So walking down the hall, I meet Lance Armstrong, who is headed into our clubhouse to meet our guys before the game and the filming.
My only thought … he’s not very big
So what a typical, atypical day in Scott Reifert’s life …
Kids to camp
Golf at Olympia Fields with a legend and two other former players
A sad phone call
Working all day on a press release
Heading to the dugout and field for BP
Saying hello to Dr. Gene Budig, former AL President
Meeting Lance Armstrong
And now, I am hungry and off to eat.
Thanks to all who attended and supported our annual Picnic In The Park event after the game. Players and their families seemed to have a great time and I heard many positive comments at the event, which ended at dusk with a dramatic fireworks show that had the kids dancing in the outfield.