Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Michael Robert Coolbaugh

A year ago today, thirty-five year old Mike Coolbaugh was struck by a line drive as he stood in the first-base coaching box. He was the first base coach for the Tulsa Drillers, the AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. A year ago today, a wife lost her husband, their two sons lost their father, and their unborn daughter would never know her father. I wanted to make an entry in his memory. So this day won't be forgotten. So he won't be forgotten. When the Rockies made their improbable run to the playoffs, and an even more improbable run to the World Series, I was rooting them on ... not only because of their incredible winning ... but for Mike. For his family. And the Rockies organization showed that they take care of their own. They voted that a World Series share would go to his family. That's something else. His wikipedia file and the ESPN article.

I think about this tragedy at every game when I see Bowa or Duncan standing in their respective coaching boxes. I remember that these men put their lives on the line every time a line drive is hit foul. Anytime I hear someone ask about why the coaches have helmets on when they didn't have them last year, I tell them about Mike. Me being a Dodgers fan, find it interesting that my team is playing the Rockies on this day. I wonder if there will be anything said today. Or if it will go forgotten. I won't be able to watch or hear the game, so please, if something is said, can you let me know?

So, on this day, let's remember a man who loved God, who loved his family ... and who loved baseball.

Sports' Illustrated Remembering Mike Coolbaugh

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