I simply can't believe it has been 10 years since Mark McGwire broke the home run record!
I remember following the whole season on the edge of my seat. I couldn't wait to watch the next game to see what number we would get to, between Mark and Sammy.
It was the first year that I actually enjoyed the whole season, and I know it got a lot more people interested in baseball than ever before!
Baseball has always been a part of my life in some way or another. I recall growing up in Clinton, NY, next door to my grandmother, who used to sit on the steps of her farm house listening to the games on her transistor radio. I looked forward to sitting next to her, asking her questions about who that player was, and where they were playing.
I'm sure I must have drove her nuts, but she always answered me with a smile, and a hug.
After that, my brother was in the local Babe Ruth league. It is so funny to look back on the pictures of him. He is a big man now, over 6 foot tall, very athletic (runs every day). Back then he was such a scrawny little guy, who couldn't hit the ball to save his life!
Anyways, I always looked forward to watching his games, and following his "career" in baseball. He actually ended up becoming quite an accomplished pitcher thanks to the help of one of our dear family friends. Unfortunately he passed away while we were in high school from brain cancer.
His name was Shawn Grady. He passed away in 1991 from brain cancer 3 days before his 18th birthday.
My father is a general contractor, and was in the process of remodeling his bedroom for his "make a wish" dream at the time he passed.
I am crying as I write this...Shawn was such an inspiration to all of us, as he was going through his battle, he continued to play baseball, football and hockey.
I know his family misses him dearly, as our family does as well.
His mother Beverly and father, Phil set up the Shawn Grady Memorial Fund in Shawn's memory. The Shawn Grady Memorial Fund is a non-profit organization that has been dedicated to helping local children and their families with life-threatening illnesses since 1991.
If any of you are interested in helping the Shawn Grady Memorial Fund please contact:
SHAWN GRADY MEMORIAL FUND INC
53 ST MARYS AVE
CLINTON, NY 13323
Back to my original reason to post:
Mark McGwire! I am sad to see he is no longer playing. I understand the controversy with the steroids, and am sad to see he may have been involved in this behavior. I do have to close this in saying that 1998 was my most memorable season so far in baseball. Thank you Mark!