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"My Friend"

May 26, 2008

Heard the news this afternoon about the tragic death of a former teammate and friend Geremi Gonzalez.

The quote to head this piece is one that anybody that knew him will smile about. Gonzo could not, under any circumstance, remember ANYONE’S name. It didn’t matter who you were, to him you were “My friend”. It’s how he started every conversation. It didn’t matter if you said your name in the previous sentence, his opening words in any conversation were “My friend”. It got to the point where he’d make you laugh at every turn. We tried as hard as we could to stifle him, trying to figure out if he was kidding or if he really did not know. In the end it didn’t matter, he was a big teddy bear and a great great friend and teammate to anyone he played with.

He was a fantastic guy with a huge heart who absolutely loved the game of baseball. He’d take the ball any day, everyday. I can remember a few times during the season when he spot started or relieved after throwing a ton of pitches the day before. He was a gamer, who wanted to pitch. I remember when he first came up with the Cubs as a big prospect. He had the tools for sure.

He was always, and I mean always smiling. Never had a bad day, even when it seemed he did. I always pegged him as someone who loved life and got the most out of it each and every day.

I know the guys on the team all send our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends on such a tragic occasion.

Geremi rest in peace and know you will be missed My Friend.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2008 8:47 am

    Thanks for the kind words for Gonzo. He will surely be missed. God Bless him and his family.

  2. marsh7818 permalink
    May 27, 2008 9:41 am

    I knew Geremi when he was with the sox. I haven’t talked to him in about a year, since he went to Japan we lost touch. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it on the news this morning. He was always smiling. He could tell you a story and you felt like you were there living it with him. He could always find the light of a situation and just enjoyed life. He could make me laugh on even the roughest days. I wish he could do that for me right now. He would probably make some kind of joke of the whole thing!! I wish his family well, especially his daughters! Thanks Curt for commenting on him, he wasn’t on the Sox long but he had the ability to leave a lasting impression on everyone he met!! The “My Friend” thing is right on, it was his thing haha his trademark!! Im going to miss him and i know I am not alone in feeling this way. Rest in Peace Geremi, im glad i got the chance to know you!!

  3. May 27, 2008 2:25 pm

    Dear “My Friend:”

    Sorry to hear about the loss of “Your Friend.”

    “Another Friend,”

    ~TheNorEaster

  4. May 27, 2008 4:07 pm

    It’s always sad to lose a good person in life…someone you’d call a friend.

    And it’s almost sadder when it happens in such a tragic, sort of unusual kind of way. What are the chances of lightening striking???

    :(

  5. lisawriter permalink
    May 27, 2008 8:51 pm

    Curt, I’ve been reading your blog and I’m very interested in talking with you for two reasons:

    1. I run a celebrity-do-gooders blog and I’d like to focus on your work bringing attention to ALS and your wife’s work with melanoma.

    http://www.celebrity-do-gooders.blogspot.com

    2. a friend of mine has a friend who is suffering with ALS. He is 35 years old and has a 1 year old daughter. the news hasn’t been good and my friend is conducting a bowl-a-thon to help raise money for his family. I was wondering how I could get something autographed from you to auction off…thanks! The event is June 28th.

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    Lisa Iannucci — lisawriter@msn.com

  6. pumascasalta permalink
    May 28, 2008 7:24 am

    Thanks, Curt.

    Para nosotros en Venezuela resultó una perdida irreparable.

    R.I.P. GEREMI, WE LOVES YOU.

  7. mannyramirez1 permalink
    May 28, 2008 7:34 pm

    I’m very sorry to hear that Curt.

    My deepest sympathies to his family.

  8. mikko001 permalink
    May 30, 2008 6:53 pm

    Thank’s Curt for those kinds words and good memories about Gonzo. It has been tough for us to face such a terrible loss, nevertheless this way it is the life, sometimes there are very talented and genuine persons who go away very early, and for us, it’s necessary to continue living to remember these persons who undoubtedly, they have left a beautiful fingerprint in this life. A lot of luck for you and I wait to see you in action very soon. An remember one thing: “Venezuela also is your friend”

  9. empirelady permalink
    May 31, 2008 1:49 am

    Curt,

    My deepest sympathy to you on the loss of your friend. Being in New York,I remember his brief, and too short a time, with the New York Mets. Thank you for sharing your experiences with him and your personal thoughts about a man whose life,tragically,ended much too soon.

  10. glrubin permalink
    May 31, 2008 9:45 pm

    I, too, was saddened to learn of Gonzo’s death. My condolences to you and all his friends and family.

    On a happier note…. This is a call for Red Sox and Red Sox Nation GREEN.

    Congratulations to the Celtics for winning the NBA Eastern Conference and returning to their rightful place in the NBA Finals against the Lakers.

    This is a call to the Boston Red Sox and ALL of Red Sox Nation to wear GREEN in support of the Celtics next Thursday, June 5, when the Sox host Tampa Bay.

    It would be so awesome if the Red Sox took the field in their Green hats and shirts, and if Red Sox Nation filled the stands with a sea of Green the same day the Celtics open up their quest for their 17th NBA Championship at The Garden.

    Go Sox and Best of luck Celtics!

  11. lisawriter permalink
    June 1, 2008 7:36 pm

    Curt, I tried to email you as you requested, but it bounced. Can we try another way of reaching out? Thanks! Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    lisa

  12. mwflid permalink
    June 2, 2008 7:25 pm

    Curt,

    You may never see this, but I felt like trying to contact you. I’m a social worker in Durham, NC and I work with a family where the father has advanced ALS.

    I know you can’t respond to every person coming to you asking for help, and that is not what this is. Honestly, I think this family is not all that into baseball so a card from the dome bellied lug might seem a little weird. But apart from research and fund raising, as you know, there is living with the disease and caring for those that have ALS as well as those that are affected by those that have it.

    That’s where I come in, or try to, so when I see what happens to families depending on Medicare and Medicaid to live and allow their loved one to be cared for, it does not fail to outrage when organizations like Humana seem to jump straight out of a Grisham novel and make a struggling and suffering family suffer needlessly.

    So rather than ask for help, I will link to a few stories about this family and ask that if you feel that you can try to bring more attention to how low income people living with ALS try and get by, and what obstacles they face from organizations that control the purse strings but won’t tell you their names, that would be a good thing.

    http://www.newsobserver.com/2750/story/1087534.html

    http://www.newsobserver.com/138/story/1092980.html

    Good luck to you.

    M (Loyal member of the Sons of Trot Nixon Chapter of SoSH)

  13. bigal1317 permalink
    June 3, 2008 11:40 am

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Gonzo. We fans sometimes forget that pro athletes are humans and sometimes have the same sensitivities as us “civilians.” Being from Chicago I saw Mr. Gonzalez pitch many times and I remember him well.

  14. June 4, 2008 4:41 pm

    Hi Curt,

    Just wondering how you’re feeling – the reporters today are saying you threw off the mound. How did it go?

  15. xxxxclawxxxx permalink
    June 5, 2008 9:16 pm

    Curt, I think everyone in RSN wants to know what the whole Manny/Kevin thing was about. I’m a huge fan of Manny don’t get me wrong but the whole “Manny being Manny” can go so far. Anything you know would be appreciated. Good luck and hope to see you soon Curt.

  16. June 6, 2008 8:44 pm

    Dear Curt:

    I know that you have been very busy with your rehabilitation program and that you’ve only had 15 comments to this latest post and haven’t written in quite some time.

    I also know that this may very well be your last season in a major league uniform. So, without fanfare or formality, without everyone vying for a space to comment on your blog when you do return, without the cheering crowds and the media headlines…

    …I just wanted to say, “Thanks.”

    Regardless of how the rest of your season goes, you have cemented your place in baseball lore, especially in Boston. I will never forget your determination in 2004 or your willingness to pitch out of the bullpen in 2005. Or when you were with the Diamondbacks and defeated the Yankees in 2001.

    Baseball will always be a great game. It has survived everything from The Black Sox to The Steriods Era. It is, truly, the most resilient of sports.

    But in the midst of your journey, you have learned that some things are more important–namely, God. I truly believe that He gave you a talent you have used to the best of your ability, and with a clear conscience, throughout your career. That speaks volumes about your faith and your love for God and for the game.

    And I want to thank you for that, too.

    I really can’t wait to see you pitch again…been waiting for it since I got the news about your needing rehab…but I just wanted to say thanks–in the silence, when so few are listening. Hopefully, without all the fanfare, that might mean more to you.

    See you when I see you.

  17. jpaps permalink
    June 6, 2008 9:44 pm

    This is an awesome story about doing what is right and total seflessness. Enjoy!!!!!!!

    http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/video/videopage?videoId=3380875&categoryId=2378529

  18. June 8, 2008 2:51 pm

    @ xxxxclawxxxx

    Wow I was just gonna ask if Curt could address it.

  19. Tom Field permalink
    June 9, 2008 5:22 am

    Curt:

    Nice to see you courtside at the Celtics game last night! How’d your kids enjoy the experience?

    Hey, will you please settle a friendly dispute between my buddy and me? We debated ‘Which ring was Curt showing off?’ I said 2004; he said 2007. But, of course, 2001 is always a wild-card contender.

    So, which was it?

    Hope you’re feeling well. Looking forward to seeing you back on the mound soon.

    best,

    Tom

  20. tbombs1031 permalink
    June 9, 2008 8:03 pm

    hey curt,

    first timer. ive literally meant to do go on this every day for over a year. as a rabbid boston sports i would just like to say thank you for last years in fenway anahiem, in the bronx etc etc. you are an outspoken guy who gets alot of crap for it. i dont agree with anything you say politically at all, ever. but your an american its free speech. i do however love to listen to you talk about competing and teammates. you are a great example to the youth and sports fans, well at least this one. i think seeing out last nite in a bird jersey on and with your ring was great. YOU GET IT! you get the boston sports fan. you are great pitcher, A HALL OF FAMER in my humble opinion, but champions and winners, win the big games and so do you. at any rate ill be by again. and also my die hard sox fan 89 and 86 year old grandmothers thankyou and the boys.

    ps

    where can i get those tix?

    sincerely

    terrence

  21. bossdelaney permalink
    June 10, 2008 8:47 am

    wow…i just found this blog and i’m super excited about it!

    I live in NJ, which makes it very hard to be a sox fan…but that doesn’t stop me. I can deal w/ dirty looks and the occasional awful comment (my dad just wont let me put my red sox nation bumper sticker on his BMW cuz he doesn’t want it to get key scratched).

    I go to a christian music camp in Langhorn, PA (csehy summer school of music) and last year I met a man who apparently knows you, Bob Riconda. He saw me wearing my red sox shirt one morning and said, “Oh, you are a red sox fan.” I explained to him the whole living in NJ and being a red sox fan thing (because i know he lives in NJ too, i’ve known his daughter for a few years now). He then said “oh..i’m good friends with one of the red sox.” (CORRECTION: He said this after telling me i was a traitor for being a sox fan in NJ)

    I said “really who?” and he said “Curt Schilling.” I almost passed out. seriously…I almost died. I told him I couldn’t see how he could POSSIBLY betray his friend by being a yankees fan. But I was really glad to hear that one of my favorite sox players is a true christian and really LOVES the Lord. =)

    Just wanted to say thank you Curt and I pray for you and the team every day!

    P.S. do you REALLY read these?

  22. lady19782006 permalink
    June 12, 2008 11:08 am

    Curt, I am a loyal fan of baseball, to 3 teams to be exact, Diamondbacks are my no 1, and Yankees and Boston Red Sox. I lived in Az where I became a fan of the Diamondbacks. Now I am in Okla. and You, Gonzo, Steve Findley, and Randy Johnson are all my favorite players. After you won the World Series it was sad to see you and some others traded. But then I also got to see you with the Red Sox when they battled “the curse” and won the World Series. You Are an awesome player. I am glad to see Randy back with the Diamondbacks . Thank you for being an awesome player of baseball.

    I am terribly sorry to hear about Gonzo. He will be sorly missed by all of his fans. God bless his family and friends.

    Allyson

  23. redsoxlady permalink
    June 20, 2008 12:22 pm

    Curt,

    Thanks for the memories, they will last forever. Wish you luck on the surgery. It’s wonderful that you can put in perspective the important things in life. Please do not leave Massachusetts, we would miss you. Best wishes to you and your family, and again THANKS………

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