March 24th, 2009

Double Rats!

Sad Tidings of a Baseball Sort

It was a sad day for this baseball fan. First came the passing of George Kell, a Hall of Fame third baseman for the Tigers, Sox, and other teams, and later a long-time broadcaster for the Tigers. He was 86. Kell's playing days ended just before I started paying attention, so I never saw him play, but he was one of the players in my All-Star Baseball set, and a good one.

Later came the news that John Brattain had died, apparently of complications from heart surgery. Brattain was probably my favorite writer over at the Hardball Times. His pieces were funny and intelligent, and I will miss them. He was much too young at 44, and leaves his wife and two teenage daughters.

The odd thing for me is how much Brattain's death stunned me. It's not so much that a writer I admire is gone. I lurk at the Baseball Think Factory board where he was an active participant. I've never felt much of an urge to participate there myself, mostly because the tone is generally much snarkier, and often far meaner, than I am comfortable with. But one of the things about lurking is that you often become as familiar with the active participants as if you were participating yourself. Brattain was a witty voice of reason amongst the lesser snark. Such a shame.