All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Cory Fulton Lidle, 1972-2006

A shocking tragedy today. I can hardly believe it. It brought back a lot of dark memories for many New Yorkers, about both 9/11 and Thurman Munson.

A small plane crashed into a Manhattan highrise this afternoon. I was following the story on the Internet at work. Was it a terrorist attack? Fighter jets were scrambled over major U.S. cities, just in case. The stock market crashed. I thought it was probably an accident, but was keeping an eye on the story, just in case.

After work, I came home and turned on CNN. There was a banner across the bottom of the screen: BREAKING NEWS: Plane registered to NY Yankees' Cory Lidle.

It was just so unexpected I couldn't take it in at first. Like two worlds that aren't supposed to intersect suddenly colliding. I thought for a moment that I was so obsessed with baseball that I was imagining things.

But no, Cory Lidle, of all people, was the pilot of the plane that crashed into a building in Manhattan. Of course I immediately got online to see what was going on. All kinds of rumors were swirling. It was a helicopter, not a plane. There was another Yankee on the plane with him - probably Giambi. The crash killed people in the building and on the street.

None of that was true. It was a plane, not a helicopter. The only one on the plane with him was a flight instructor. And no one in the building or on the street was killed. The only two fatalities were the two people on the plane.

Lidle's parents found out when they saw it on TV. His wife and son were flying from NY to LA at the time, and had no way of knowing what had happened until they landed. One of the drawbacks of celebrity, I guess. Mayor Bloomberg was careful not to name any names during his press conference, but the media had long since announced that Lidle was one of the victims.

From an article at :

Lidle was not a superstar. His bags were always packed. In nine seasons, he wore seven different uniforms.

But precisely because of that, he had a wide reach in the baseball family. His six degrees touched a lot of people, and his death affected them all.

Not only on the field.

At 5:40 p.m., an anonymous painful wail pierces the silence of a still-vacant Shea Stadium.

The day before, Preston Wilson had reminisced about cavorting around Shea Stadium as a 12-year-old watching pop Mookie and the rest of the 1986 Mets win the World Series. Preston talked about how welcoming it was to still see many of the same people working in various capacities in the park.

It stood then to reason a lot of current workers were also here in 1997, when Lidle spent his rookie season with the Mets.

That anonymous, painful wail confirmed it.

Boy, does this put things into perspective.

UPDATE: There were a ton of stories about Cory Lidle today. Here are a couple that are worth a look.

Bob Cook at MSNBC writes about the forces drove young Cory Lidle to cross the picket line...a decision that changed his life forever.

And Michael P. Geffner, for the Middletown Times Herald-Record, writes an usually personal remembrance. He admitted that he lost his journalistic detachment with Cory Lidle; they had become close friends.

posted by BubbaFan, 9:20 PM


Lidle should've gotten the nod for the start in game 4. Wright always struggles in big games, and he wasn't even on the ALDS roster last year. So we trade for Lidle... only to bring him in when the season is all but over?

At least he got in there, but he still should've started over our other options.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, October 12, 2006 6:14 AM  

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