It has been several weeks since my last post, and I apologize for that. Quite a bit of activity, both good and bad, has happened with my family of late, and it was hard to take the time for these blogs and do all my other baseball activities. That’s not an excuse, just an explanation as to why you haven’t heard from me through this venue of late.

     Let’s start with the good news: I am a grandfather for the second time as my daughter and son-in-law brought Daniel into the world in late June. He is the cutest baby in the world—of course, I am not biased at all—and his big brother is thrilled to have a new playing partner. He is still trying to figure out, however, why all Daniel does is eat and sleep. It will be fun to watch the two of them grow up, and you know ‘Papa’ is going to have them at the ballpark as much as possible.

     The sadness comes from the passing of my brother-in-law due to respiratory and liver issues. It was why I missed two games of the Minnesota series in order to attend his memorial services in California. He will be greatly missed by me because his passion for the game of baseball was almost as strong as mine. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he was there as a 5th grader, playing hooky from school, to see the Dodgers play their first game in California. He often talked about being at the Coliseum in 1959 when injured Dodgers star, Roy Campanella was honored during an exhibition game with the Yankees. He told me when the crowd lit matches and lighters in tribute to Campy as he was wheeled out to home plate by Pee Wee Reese was one of the most thrilling events he ever witnessed.

     Although he was a die-hard Dodgers fan—he took his Dodger blue cap with him to the hereafter—he loved the Indians and then the Rockies, too. The smile on his face when he attended Game 4 at Coors Field during the 2007 World Series had to be seen to be believed. We would also talk strategy, trades, or the latest trade rumors. Baseball just won’t be the same without having Mike around.


TIP OF THE WEEK: Not really a tip although this is the section where I usually recommend something from the worlds of music, television, books, or the movies. Instead as a final tribute to my brother-in-law, consider one of my favorite hymns, “Be Not Afraid.” It captures beautifully why we are here and that protection is always at hand if we just allow it into our lives.