It's odd when a celebrity passes away. One that you've never met, one that you've never had any real connection with. But, odder still when one passes away who connected with you, who actually had an impact on your life.
I'm not sure I've experienced that in my young life ... until today. Herb Score passed away today. The former pitcher and broadcaster for the Indians.
If you're unfamiliar with Herb Score, his professional career is a wonderful symbol of Cleveland sports in general. Promising young talent, only to have a catastrophic injury end his career, and along with it, the hope that he would lead Cleveland to the promised land.
But, it's not his playing career that connects him to me, it's his broadcasting career. He spent 34 years as the voice of the Indians, including the first 16 years of my life. In some ways, by listening to him on the radio night after night after night, Herb Score helped to raise me. He was a constant voice in my life. And, knowing he was retiring, part of the reason the loss to the Marlins in 1997 hurt so much (not that it needed much help, mind you).
And so ... it's an interesting feeling. Not the empty feeling and despair of losing a friend or a family member. But, not the unattached feeling of losing someone that you just hear about in passing and have no connection at all to.
Still ... I'll always have good memories of Herb Score. Calls only he could make like "Belle hits it to left field and ... it caught. No, its a home run!" or the magical call in 1995 when the Indians beat the Orioles to clinch the Central Division Title.
Rest in peace, Herb. I'll keep hope alive that one year, the Tribe will win a ring for you, yet.