I don't know if the day will come when we'll again see infielder Aaron Boone in a Houston uniform -- or any other big league uniform, for that matter.
But I'm really looking forward to the day when we again see Boone around a major-league park. Because I'm sure we will, and with the terrific news this week that he's made it through open-heart surgery at Stanford University and is doing well, it will only be a matter of time.
Few folks in the game are as classy as Boone. We worked together two falls ago, doing post-game World Series video analysis during the Boston-Colorado sweep, and as I knew it would be, it was a pleasure. He was effort-less and charming, as always. He was interested in the entire process, and willing to do whatever was asked.
And when I blew the opening of the very first video we did by introducing him as "former infielder Aaron Boone", not only was he not insulted, but he about choked on his gum. He thought it was too funny. And, of course, he didn't let me forget it.
It always has taken a lot to penetrate Boone's cool.
And cool has always emanated from one of baseball's good guys.
This is a guy who was on top of the world after pushing the Yankees into the World Series with his ALCS-winning home run against Boston in Game 7 in 2003.
And a guy who then ripped up his knee playing basketball that winter and told the Yankees exactly what had happened, costing himself millions. And the Yankees, suddenly in need of a third baseman, later that winter traded for a fella named ... Rodriguez. Alex.
But Boone's best humanitarian moment by far came when Hall of Fame writer Hal McCoy, who had covered the Cincinnati Reds for four decades for the Dayton Daily News, suffered a degenerative eye condition that resulted in him being legally blind.
McCoy determined to continue working, but became despondent that spring when he was in the clubhouse and realized he couldn't see well enough to pick out players who literally weren't standing in front of him.
Boone noticed something amiss with McCoy and approached him. Hal said he thought he was going to quit. Boone then delivered an impassioned pep talk, telling McCoy that the players would help him, that he was too good to leave and that Boone didn't ever want to hear McCoy using the word "quit" again.
Six years later, McCoy is still covering the Reds.
Six years from now, Booney, we'd better see you back in the game, too.
Get well soon, pal..
Aside to the gentleman who left the comment under my blog the other day: The late George Kell and Ernie Harwell did work together on Tigers television and radio broadcasts between 1960 and 1963. Thanks for reading, and for taking the time to comment.
Likes: New Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu has the best posture of any manager I've ever seen. He cuts a trim figure, anyway, but he stands as straight as a piece of plywood while working the fields during drills. ... Chris Getz winning the White Sox's second base job. ... The San Diego Padres in the process of being sold. ... Yours truly nailing 15 of the Sweet 16 teams on his brackets. Figures, this is the year I'm not in a pool where I can win money. ... A Three Stooges movie is enticing enough, but Sean Penn as one of the stars? Now this I've got to see. ... Danica McKellar, even if she just did get married earlier this month. The only other girl I've had a crush on since meeting my wife. How could you not if you watched The Wonder Years? Ah, Winnie Cooper. What a fabulous, fabulous show.
Dislikes: Man, was it windy here Thursday night. Not just windy, but howling, gale-force, devil winds. The internet in my hotel was out by 8 p.m. I called downstairs and the guy just basically said, "Forget it. It's out. Too windy, mon." ... Aw, did you see where Dan Seals, the Dan part of England Dan and John Ford Coley, passed away? You couldn't avoid I'd Really Love to See You Tonight if you heard any radio at all in the late 1970s. How many times was that the background music for dates?
Sunblock Day? Barely. That wind brought a chill to the desert. Sunny day, but very cool. Good blue jeans weather. Forget shorts.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"I won't ask for promises
"So you won't have to lie
"We've both played this game before
"Say I love you then say goodbye"
-- England Dan and John Ford Coley, I'd Really Love to See You Tonight