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.