Dick "The Monster" Radatz died yesterday, and I found myself greatly upset by this. The Monster was a great Red Sox relief pitcher from the early to mid 1960's, and he retired from pitching in 1969. I never saw him pitch myself, but I knew him as a tremendously knowledgeable and fun baseball commentator on TV and radio for the past decade.
Still, in reading about him I realize that probably the main reason that I was so moved by this, a player I never saw pitch in his prime, was in reading about him and what a great story-teller and a funny guy he was.
A great story-teller. A funny guy. These seem to me to be attributes that one can be proud of. He not only lived, he knew how to help others enjoy their lives through his own wit and intelligence. This is certainly a great way to pass along your own life, your own legacy....
Dick Radatz will be missed by those of us who knew him only as a personality, just as he'll be missed so much more by those who knew and loved him personally. He was just a few weeks shy of his 68th birthday; he died unexpectedly when he fell down the stairs in his Massachusetts home. 68 doesn't seem as big a number to me as it once did, and reminds me again that what we always heard when we were younger becomes more and more true as we get older, every day is a day not to be taken for granted.
I heard today that a friend of mine got some unpleasant medical news himself this week. While not expected to be serious in the long run, my thoughts are very much with him... best wishes through the [hopefully brief] gauntlet ahead of you and speedy recovery on the other side!