Monday, June 17, 2002

THE BUCK FAMILY
Bernie Miklasz has a touching column on Joe and Jack Buck today (a vast improvement ocer his "kick 'em when they're down" column about the Kansas City Royals yesterday).

I'll always remember when I went to the first Cardinals game after 9/11 last year. We were all a bit apprehensive. Jack Buck approached the microphone and home plate and said "Anyone here wonder if we should be here?" He then read a beautiful poem about how we would persevere through this "unwanted" war.

There's something special about St. Louis in the intimacy people here feel with local celebrities, that's just different from other places. It's hard to explain why. Maybe bigger cities make people larger than life. There's just a very tender bond between St. Louisans and old-time athletes like Stan Musial and Bob Gibson to modern players like Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Chris Pronger, Fernando Vina, Willie McGee, and many others.

Sure, many other baseball anouncers like Mel Allen, Harry Caray, and Vin Scully have been and will be revered in their home cities. But it seems to me that there's an extra level of intimacy between St. Louisans and Jack Buck, and we're all suffering a bit with his illness.

There's something unique and special about that.
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