Tom Seaver, one of the greatest pitchers ever, has passed at the age of 75. He hasn’t been in public much these past few years as he developed progressive dementia. It seems he also contracted the coronavirus.
He was my absolute favorite pitcher when I was a kid. Eventually I will reflect on all the wonderful parts of his life and the joy his pitching brought me. Eventually I’ll be able to think about many things and smile—the K’s, the W’s, the way the lower right leg would get dirty brushing against the down slope of the mound when he was really on, the excitement of being a 14-year-old Reds fan when his favorite pitcher joined his favorite team, of the pleasure of getting to meet and talk a little with him once. Right now I can’t. Right now I’m devastated.
My father died from the effects of Alzheimer’s 16 years ago. Now one of my boyhood sports idols has died with another type of progressive dementia (Lewy body dementia). I hate dementia. It robs a person of what made them that person.