Monday, September 26, 2016

Three sports, three passings

They say that death often comes in threes. It certainly did in the sports world on Sunday.

Let's start on the local tip. Former Bishop Maginn football coach Joe Grasso, serving as an assistant at Christian Brothers Academy this season, passed away on Sunday morning following a heart attack at 66. Grasso was on the sidelines for CBA's last game two nights prior, and from all accounts appeared to be in good health.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, 24, lost his life in a boating accident. The news of Fernandez's death stunned not only the Marlins, but all of baseball, to the point that Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz asked the homestanding Tampa Bay Rays to cancel a pre-game ceremony in his honor, as he was playing his final game at Tropicana Field. The Marlins and Atlanta Braves cancelled their Sunday game for obvious reasons. Mets star Yoenis Cespedes, like Fernandez a Cuban emigre, had a special Mets jersey with Fernandez's name and uniform number (16, worn by Alejandro De Aza on the Mets) hung in the dugout during the Mets' 17-0 demolition of Philadelphia at Citi Field.

Fernandez was taken way, way too soon. Period.

Finally, golf legend Arnold Palmer passed on at 87. The "King" of golf won 7 major titles, including 4 Masters tournaments between 1958-64. After retiring from full-time competition, Palmer took on more commercial endorsements than the average active PGA Tour player. He lent his likeness and name to Arizona's Half & Half (lemonade & iced tea) soft drink, promoted video games and medicines, and might still be best known for pitching Pennzoil as far back as the 70's....

Rest in peace, gentlemen.

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