June 22, 2015

There IS more to life than baseball

... contrary to what I usual say. One of my favorite sayings is "Baseball is Life... the rest is details". I even have a t-shirt with that on it.

But the recent murder of Darryl Hamilton is a sober reminder that life isn't all about fun and games. Hamilton adds to a long list of  baseball players senselessly murdered.

I was a young boy when I was first saddended to hear about the Lyman Bostock tragedy. I was not a fan of his teams, but even as a seven year old, I was impressed by his integrity. He had signed a large free agent contract, and when he struggled at the start of the season attempted to return his salary to the team. When the Angels refused, he donated it to charity instead. Can you imagine in today's game,Carl Crawford saying "sorry, I've sucked. Here's $20 Million to charity?". Anyhow, a few short months after this selfless act, Bostock was murdered in a case of mistaken identity (the killer thought Bostock was having an affair with his wife). The next one that I remember vividly was Dernell Stentson. A former top Red Sox prospect, he was violently killed after his sole season in the majors with the Reds. And of course, locally, nobody will every forget the tragic triple-murder suicide which ended the lives of promising young playes Mitch MacLean and Tanner Craswell.

There have been other young baseball lives which ended through violent killings as well. Pascual Perez and Ivan Calderon are two more who come to mind. And many more baseball playes have died while in the midst of their careers, Oscar Taveras the most recent one, joining Nick Adenhart, Josh Hancock, Darryl Kile, Cory Liddle, Tim Crews and Steve Olin, and Thurman Munson in the "what might have been" category. Roberto Clemente was probably the most well-known incident, but his tragedy was before my time, so I can't relate to it as much as I can with the other guys where I still remember exactly where I was and how I felt when I first heard the news. Darryl Hamilton's name will now be added to this sad and too long list of players whose deaths I will never forget.

Thoughts and Prayers to his family and friends.

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