Saturday, February 21, 2009

Yes, That's Him

Today someone asked me if that was Rick Sutcliffe out there shagging baseball's, he then asked, I wonder why he's doing that? I said, because he can.

It was just about this time last year when Rick Sutcliffe was diagnosed with colon cancer, so it was truly amazing to see Sutcliffe chasing baseballs today on one of the Fitch Park diamonds. His rapid rebound from colon cancer is inspiring; Carrie Muskat wrote a nice article about Rick yesterday. A poignant quote from Sutcliffe in Muskat's article puts baseball and life in perspective - "Putting on this uniform today meant more than it did before Game 1 in '84," Sutcliffe said Friday. "It meant more than it did before Game 3 of '89. It meant more than it did on Aug. 8, '88, when I threw the first pitch of the first night game. As I came walking out here, it was like I was floating on this grass."

Sutcliffe hasn't kept the lowest of profiles over the past few years having been buzzed while giving an interview during a Brewers-Padre telecast in 2006, and voicing concern for reporter Erin Andrews skirt on a telecast last season. However, his public battle with cancer and subsequent survivor status has led him to speak out for people to get tested as he credits early detection with saving his life.

The spring of 1984 was my first season as part-time Public Address Announcer at old Hohokam Park, I was one of those fans who climbed aboard the Cubs train that magical season. Like many of you I have incredible memories of Rick "The Red Baron" going 16-1 down the stretch and leading the Cubs to their first post-season appearance in 39 years. That year cemented it for me as a Cubs fan for life and I've been lucky enough to be around the Cubs every spring since then...And I feel lucky to be able to share these photos of Rick enjoying the Fitch grass under his feet.


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