Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
One thing the BBWAA dinner does is look back over the year. In addition to the awards, they also list the names of baseball personalities who have died the previous year. Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner were two of the notable Yankees names. Christina Taylor Green, the little girl who died in the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, was among those named. I'd been sort of keeping track of the story - born on 9/11, the daughter of a Dodgers scout, granddaughter of Dallas Green, and the only girl on her Little League team. She dreamed of being the first woman to play MLB baseball. I recognized her name when it was mentioned, so wasn't surprised when her picture appeared in the slideshow later. I would guess most people didn't recognize her name, though, because there was a collective gasp of shock when her photo was flashed on the screen.
One name I was surprised at was Mike Celizic's. I knew he had cancer and the prognosis wasn't good, but I didn't know he had died. (In my defense, I was out of the country at the time.) While trying to find out when he passed away, I came across his last story. I've been critical of his writing in the past, but that article is amazing. He describes the day he learned he would soon die as one of the best of his life, brightened by simple pleasures like a sip of beer and a bite of hamburger, and the caring of friends, family, and the medical staff at the hospital.
I also came across this tribute, at an atheist blog, which quotes an e-mail from Mr. Celizic. He says he's an atheist, and though he was never allowed to say so in print, he would in his last post.
But apparently, it was edited out. The post does not mention his religious beliefs at all. I guess you're not allowed to admit being atheist even if you're on your deathbed.
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