Thursday, October 03, 2013

Inspiring sports stories - Verducci on Mariano Rivera, Hohler on Bobby Orr & Jones on Michael Weiner

There's three pieces of sports writing I've come across recently that stood out to me as excellent and on inspiring subjects.

From the September 23 Sports Illustrated was "Exit Sandman: Baseball bids adieu to Mariano Rivera" by Tom Verducci. It was done as an oral history on the Yankees closer and was simply interesting to me up until the end when it became incredibly poignant. Verducci included a fairly lengthy story about Rivera meeting with the family of Luke Bresette, a 10-year-old killed in March by a falling airport display board and the article closed with a quote from Luke's father, Ryan Bresette...

"This is something I haven't told too many people. When Mariano came over to me, I stuck out my hand to shake his hand, and he gave me a hug, pulled me close and whispered in my ear, "You're a stronger and braver man than I ever could be."

The second feature to note here was by Bob Hohler for the September 29 Boston Globe with "At 65, Bobby Orr is focused on doing good — quietly." Orr's humility, with him one of the greatest hockey players ever, was remarkable to me and the video that accompanies the piece definitely worth watching.

The last inspiring sports story to note here was by Chris Jones for the Oct 13 issue of ESPN The Magazine. "Labor of love:Terminal cancer hasn't kept Michael Weiner from his dream job" details the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association and how he spends his remaining time. It's a short and emotional story and it feels like every word from Jones just spot on.