Friday, May 27, 2011
Clearing the Inbox
Spent Monday at Ron Kittle’s Indiana Sports Charities golf outing at beautiful Briar Ridge Country Club in Schereville, Ind. While our team didn’t break any club records, we did have one golfer, Ruth K. walk away with both Closest To The Pin awards! A great day — the sun actually was shining — and a great cause. Thanks to Kitty for again pulling the event together.
Very saddened to hear the news about Kansas City’s Paul Splittorf. Just this spring, in one of the last games in Arizona, I shared a broadcast booth with him during our game and we talked about both the Royals and White Sox. At the time, I had no idea he was battling cancer — that news came out later — and he looked and seemed fine. For him to die less than two months later is shocking. Paul was a very kind, very gentle man. If you asked most fans to name the Royals all-time winningest pitcher, I doubt many would offer Paul. A solid performer on many very good KC teams.
Wednesday, I attended the memorial service for WMAQ-TV’s Daryl Hawks, who passed away on May 12 much too early and surprisingly while covering the Bulls playoff game in Atlanta. His smile, energy and enthusiasm was contagious. As part of the service, Art Norman read comments from the various professional teams and he quoted a letter from Kenny Williams. Here is the note in its entirety:
May 25, 2011
To the Friends, Colleagues & Family of Daryl Hawks,
The sudden and shocking news of Daryl’s passing on May 12 touched everyone in the Chicago White Sox family. Such an untimely death naturally leads to sadness, but today’s gathering also should celebrate Daryl, his life and his passion for all things sports.
Just last month, Daryl joined us at a special luncheon and forum at U.S. Cellular Field to commemorate Jackie Robinson’s breaking of Major League Baseball’s “color line” in 1947. In addition to his usual outstanding job as emcee of the event, Daryl expressed to many of us how honored he was to be asked to play a role in celebrating someone as special as Jackie and an event as historic as the anniversary of Robinson’s debut at Ebbets Field.
Only at the event did we learn that April 15 also was Daryl and Sandy’s anniversary and that he and Sandy had agreed to volunteer his time that afternoon before beginning their own special celebration that evening. A willingness to sacrifice his own personal schedule for the benefit of others that day says everything about Daryl Hawks and how he approached his too-short life.
To Sandy, the children and all of Daryl’s family members, please know that his smile, his energy and his love for life and for his profession were contagious to all he met. I am confident that those are personality traits you will carry with you for the rest of your lives, and with each memory, hopefully one day comes a smile.
On behalf of everyone affiliated with the Chicago White Sox organization, please accept our heartfelt sympathy and condolences. We all have lost a good friend.
Senior Vice President/General Manager
Chicago White Sox
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Daryl’s family and his colleagues at WMAQ during this tough time. Their ability to come together and speak to eloquently about Daryl on Wednesday was so very impressive.
I always tell this story about traveling to Toronto. One year, we twice had to go from Texas to Toronto on a road trip with no off day. Now, because of the heat in Texas, they avoid day games. Not just avoid them, they even start their night games at 7:35 pm. And believe me, when you are flying out after the game, every half hour matters.
So we play our usual three hour, 40 minute game against the Rangers, wait 45 minutes, bus to the airport, wait for the bags to load, take off, fly to Hamilton, Ontario (because Toronto’s airport closes at a certain hour due to noise restrictions), land, go through customs (we once, long ago, had to wait at customs because one of our guys was carrying more than 10K in cash you are allowed … never asked), bus the hour to Toronto, check in and lay my head down on the pillow at 6:15 am with a game that night at 7:05 pm. The sun was already up by the time we went to bed.
And we did that twice in a season!
Kudos to catcher Blake Hickman of Simeon High School and our Amateur City Elite travel team on national recognition! A star is about to be born and you read it here first. The best thing about Blake — and Kenny Williams told Blake’s mother this when they talked earlier this year — is that he was raised correctly and is a gentlemann and a scholar first, baseball player second.
Leave it to kids. On the way to the Bulls game last night with my daughters (my son had a mandatory choir concert, so you can imagine how happy that made him!), and my youngest says, “Will we have to park where everybody else does?” Several thoughts race through my head at once … have I failed as a father? Is she that spoiled? I am about to start the Joe Black “You ain’t better than nobody and ain’t nobody better than you speech” when I look back and see she and her sister smiling broadly.
Before the game, I spring for “Rose #1” t-shirts for everybody. They quickly pull them on for the game.
After the loss, we are walking out to the car and my youngest is not happy. I figure it was the tough loss combined with the fatigue of staying up til 10:30 p.m.
No, it was the shirt.
“Everytime I buy a shirt, we lose,” she lamented, pointing out that just when she got her 2011 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship shirt, her mom’s team got ousted from the tourney. “I only get to wear these for one day.”
Life as a 10-year-old.
We are still trying to figure out what Edwin Jackson was doing.