Hey folks, this is going to be a short post. No editorial here. If you only read one article today, make it Bob Elliott’s letter/article to Tom Cheek. It’s great.
Here’s a snippet:
DUNEDIN, Fla. — Hello, Thomas:
I left the Bobby Mattick Training Facility here the other day and, on the way to the hotel, wound up on Sunset Point Rd., in Clearwater.
There, on my left, was Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park, where they had your memorial service in the spring of 2006. I recall your wife, Saint Shirley Cheek, saying that the family had decided on a bench, so if any Blue Jays fans or Tom Cheek fans wanted to sit and talk baseball they were welcome to stop for a visit.
It took me a bit to find the Gardens of Ascension area and the bench. Sorry, but it didn’t seem right to sit down. Thought it would be best to jot you a few lines instead to catch up.
We miss you, as always, since you left us on Oct. 9 in 2005. I was in Houston covering the playoffs and didn’t make the funeral but, man, you drew a crowd. It was like the New York Yankees were in town. Day 1 employees came from far away.
You would really enjoy this spring. Your pal, Cito Gaston, is back running the show for the first time since 1997. He told me the other day that he had to put on weight this winter because he was too skinny last year.
Paul Beeston was here for a couple of days, in charge for the first time since 1997. He was walking fast, talking faster and carrying a cigar rather than smoking one.
Saw your old pal Buck Martinez at the Philadelphia Phillies camp the other day.
You always loved this time best, if memory serves, especially when the games began.
You’d squeeze in some golf and make the lunch room at Grant Field (oh, it’s called Dunedin Stadium now, it’s no longer Knology). Buck and I were talking about the day you came into the press room with a red face, sat down with us, slammed down your plate of food and began to eat without saying a word.
Buck said: “Golf today, Tom.” And I asked: “Isn’t golf so relaxing?”
In a few minutes, you’d told us of your woes on a dog-leg left, or whatever, you’d watch some baseball and were home to sleep in your own bed.
No danger of the sun peaking in at sunrise as you used to complain about the Warwick Hotel in Seattle or the Westin in Chicago, or the … sorry, forget the other ones.”
Read the rest of this excellent piece here