Negron: End Of An Era

I was sitting with “T-Bone” and his nurse. Before walking in his room, his daughter Gail told me that T-Bone might hallucinate so prepare for that. Well T-Bone and I talked about what ever came to my mind. I just wanted to make him feel like what ever came out of his mouth sounded good. We did this for a while.

All of a sudden we got quiet, then he said was that a curve or a slider. I said curve and he said no slider. I started to laugh and I said when you’re right, you’re right. At that moment I could see that he was falling asleep, so I started to leave. He said where are you going, “meat?” So I said ‘I’m gonna get gas in the car so that we can go to the game to see those new players later.’ I told him to take a little nap and I would be back.

As I walked out I said ‘love you bone’ and I dropped a “ZAZA” on him which is an inside joke and he threw a “ZAZA” back. He actually wanted to go and scout one more game. I had to get to Steinbrenner Field because I had a bunch of kids from New York and Connecticut that I had to entertain. Kids from the different baseball programs. Kids that T-Bone had actually seen grow up. Through the years he actually had a couple of these kids drafted.

I was actually on the field at Steinbrenner Field when the call came that Tom “T-Bone” Giordano had left us. The kids from New York and Connecticut honored T-Bone with a moment of silence.

The beautiful thing about this great man was that last month he signed a new three-year contract with the Braves and the first thing out of his mouth was, ‘after this contract I have to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life.’ How great is that? 

The older kids on this youth baseball program understand and respect the magnitude of not only what this great man accomplished in baseball, but more important, in life. Whenever Giordano would spend time with the kids he talked baseball, but in his own way he always talked about life. I have known some great men in my 46 years in baseball but for me the greatest ambassador in dealing with all types of people will always be The Great Tom “T-Bone” Giordano.

I feel sorry for me. I feel sorry for you too, but on the larger scale, I feel sorry for the sport of Baseball.

T-Bone, you have no idea how badly you will be missed. I love you pal. ZAZA!

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