“Baseball. If there’s a more beautiful word in the English language, I
have yet to hear it… baseball has served as such a powerful link
between Dad and me, and later between me and my son.”
— Tim Russert (1950-2008)
Rare are the journalists who represent both the passions and worldviews of their audience to the extent that they stop at nothing to capture and highlight that fermented, weathered, collective voice. John Kass of the Chicago Tribune comes to mind… Bob Costas has his moments… and in a wayward, selfish context, I believe Tim Kurkjian fits that role by feeding my insatiable taste for quirky, useless baseball tidbits plucked down from the ether of madness. Still, in my opinion, when it comes to the elite of the elite, no one even came close to Tim Russert.
This weekend marks the anniversary of Tim’s death and while I still succumb to shock every time I turn on Meet the Press and realize he is no longer moderating the debate, I like to think that some of that knowledge, that swagger, that desire Tim portrayed all those years, lives on through me. Not to get overly emotional or anything, but I always felt some sort of transcending connection to Russert; I still feel it today.
Now I know why: Tim Russert was a baseball guy.
Just like me.
And though we shared similar political views and put great value on our relationships with our fathers, in the end, baseball was and always has been the glue — that thing, that commonality, that mutual bond. You cannot make up that kind of understanding, cannot create that kind of unity. It just happens.
Baseball. If there’s a more beautiful word in the English language, I have yet to hear it…
Baseball people get baseball people.
And Tim Russert was baseball people.
(Image courtesy of TIME)