Today Mike would have been sad about the Indians’ loss to the Yankees, but either today or tomorrow he would have been writing up a summary of the Indians’ close games in the Division Series. And within the next week or so, he would have been writing up his season’s end column about the 2017 season.
And what a season it was!
Mike prided himself on being a Luddite–composing his columns as emails, rather than online-based blog posts. The emails originally went out to his firm’s Cleveland Tickets group, but then expanded to multiple email lists with 1,000 or more direct “subscribers” on five continents. And many of those people in turn forwarded his columns to others. I started “subscribing” a couple of years into this venture, largely because so many people were stopping me to talk about Mike’s latest insights and prognostications. Many told me he was better than any sportswriter they’d ever read.
But Mike considered himself a fan, not a sportswriter. Nor was this any kind of business development strategy—despite one serious comment by my former department head that he thought it was a brilliant way to keep one’s name foremost in clients’ and colleagues’ mind. I just shook my head at the guy and just told him, nope, that wasn’t why my husband did it. I could have added that Mike was one of the most modest, humble men I’ve ever known, but I don’t think that guy would have been able to understand the meaning of those words.
No, indeed. Mike had started writing the email columns for fun. And he continued doing it for fun. This was something he did in his spare time, never charging a penny. That’s because baseball was one of his passions. His writing conveyed both that passion and his knowledge.
On a more private level, I cherish the memories we made together at games. Sometimes we’d go together. Sometimes he’d take one or all of the kids. Sometimes I’d take one of the kids. And sometimes we’d all go as a family, or we’d go with friends. Baseball isn’t just a game. It’s about the experiences fans have at games, strengthening ties that bid us together as families and friends, and bringing people from many different backgrounds together.
Thank you to all who have continued to go to games with me now. I don’t have the knowledge or strategic insights Mike had about the Indians and baseball in general. But some of his passion did rub off during our decades of marriage together. And it’s still good to make more memories together enjoying baseball.
As Mike would always end his columns, Go Tribe!