Now for something positive and heartbreaking at the same time. With news of arrests and misbehavior and controversy often dominating what the public is interested in seeing, we often forget that athletes are a reflection of not only the worst, but the best in all of us. Many athletes do things behind the scenes that never see the light of day to use their prominence to bring joy to others–I have personally witnessed this with my son and acts done to help through a rough time. While there are large charities prominently displayed at times, many of these acts come anonymously, without expectation of public adoration. I’m sure Joey Votto is no different, but well, because it appears on a publicly available personal blog, you might be interested in this story from last week.
Jeff Crews was diagnosed with a Stage IV Glioblastoma brain tumor and given 4 to 6 weeks to live, less than a month ago. The family started a blog to chronicle the celebration of the end of his life. One of the last things he got to do was attend a Cincinnati Reds game. A family friend who knew Joey Votto contacted him, and Jeff and his family went to a game with Votto, getting to go on the field before the game, attend batting practice, and talk with Votto for a long time. Then, he sat right behind the dugout for the game.
The game? July 2nd, last Tuesday. The game that Homer Bailey threw his 2nd no-hitter in ten months. It just so happened that Jeff Crews was also in attendance for the first no hitter as well, in Pittsburgh the previous year, for his anniversary.
Jeff Crews passed away two days later, on the fourth of July. Condolences to the Crews family, and heartfelt thanks to Joey Votto and the Reds organization for as great a final act as possible under the circumstances. Continue to carry on small acts of kindness away from the spotlight.
[photo from Jeff Crews blog; h/t to commenter TheFlyingElbow in the Roundup, because we occasionally read the comments]