“How you doing at that ESPN there?”
Only half the cigar was lit, but it was all Sib needed for the tales to begin.
“Good Uncle Sib…good.”
The embers on the end of the cigar blew up.
“Good…what’s good…great…now that…great…you be great kid. Good….”
No smoke yet, I think he ate it.
And then the tale began as Sib ate pizza…and smoke.
Seems Snuffy’s greatness happened in 1945, I think, wasn’t taking notes…the American League batting title came down to the last game, Snuffy and Tony (both Uncle Sibby and Tony played together on the Boston Bees/Braves) were darn near tied.
“Donnie, it came down to the last game, Snuffy’s final at bat in the last inning. He got a pitch he wanted, hit a single, that at bat won him the American League batting title.”
I loved Uncle Sibby…but I still looked it up (he would have been proud of that)
Tony Cuccinello finished the season batting, .308.
Snuffy finished .309.
Snuffy won by .00009.
“…there's only here…”
Uncle Sibby’s point to me was simply this,
every pitch counts.
Take a pitch off, and you may be good at what you do, swing at your pitch in the last inning of the last game,
and there lies greatness.
AOY, begins TODAY!
Take no day off.
Take no cast off.
Thank you, Snuffy, for taking that swing.
Thank you Sibby, for the tales, for the hugs, but most importantly for the simple message left on my desk at ESPN after Bob Ley and I won an award for a story we did together.
When I came back to my desk, on it was a pink “While You Were Out” message that someone who answered my phone wrote down. This was all it said,
“From good to great, nice job. Love, Snuffy.”
It was Buffalo.
It was Spring.
“…there's only now.”
“These Are The Days”