|Aarne, Mike and Thom at a Royals game. Wish I could have gone.|
It took me a while to come up with what I wanted to say in this particular blog post. This one is a tough one for me to write up, so please bear with me if it's not up to par with any others I have written.
This weekend, my Yankees are playing the Kansas City Royals. It's always a rough series to watch. My non likeness (hatred is such a strong word that I usually reserve for any teams that come from Boston or the Dolphins) of this team goes back to the 70's when I would watch the Yankees tangle with the Royals during the regular season and usually in the American League Championship Series. It was always a battle between those clubs. Graig Nettles fighting George Brett or Brett taking Goose deep or Guidry mowing down the Royals or Frank White spraying the ball all over the field, Pine Tar antics, when you watched those clubs play, you were always in for a heck of a game. Unfortunately, my usual trash talking has been silenced.
I have been a member of a group of team collectors for about 8 years now. I really lucked out because we are more than friends. I have always thought of us a family. I know that if I ever needed one of my brothers, they would help out in anyway they could or be there for me to vent to or cry on their shoulders if need be. This week, they're was some tears shed as we lost one of our brothers.
Mike Trompter was the Royals collector in our group. He was one of the most caring individuals you could ever have the pleasure of meeting. He was funny, kind and very generous. His love for the Royals was huge, but his love for his family was even greater and you cannot help but like a guy who was a sports nut and a family man. If you ever seen his pictures on Facebook, you could see him with his nephew and the smile on his face spoke volumes.
On Wednesday morning, I woke up and got ready for work. I never check anything other than the weather during the morning hours, but I had a few extra minutes so I checked our group page and saw someone mention of Mike's passing. I didn't want to believe it, so I immediately checked his Facebook page and read his niece's words and my heart broke. It was shocking to hear of his passing. I really didn't know what to say or do. Later, I posted this on his Facebook page:
My heart is broken today. I wish we could have met up for a Royals game and talked music. Im a better person for knowing you. You were a huge part of the Team Collectors and your presence will never be replaced. I will miss you, but I know your in heaven watching your Royals with your son. May the Lord bless your spirit.
I actually though about rooting for the Royals to beat the Yankees, just for one night. But I knew in my heart that Mike would not want that. He would want me to keep rooting for my team so he could playfully rub it in my face if the Royals won and sure enough, the Royals beat the Yankees on Friday 1-0, If I close my eyes, I can almost hear Mike rubbing my nose in the lose. Just for once, it was the sweetest nose rub I ever got.
Rest in peace my brother. I know you are with the Lord, looking down on us and watching the Royals try to win the Central. For you, I hope they do.