May 22, 1992 is a day I’ll always remember — I saw Lou Reed at Theatre St. Denis, it was Johnny Carson’s last show, and the Expos fired Tom Runnells and hired Felipe Alou, turning abound a floundering team overnight, The Expos ended up giving the last of the Barry Bonds Pirates a bit of a scare down the stretch, although they pulled away at the end. In Montreal, this led us to curse the name of Tim Wakefield, who went 8-1 with a 2.15 ERA out of nowhere to help the Pirates put things away.
Despite this origin story, I like Wakefield — who doesn’t like a knuckleballer — and he had a very fine career, playing an important role on two World Series champions in Boston. Most importantly, he redeemed himself for giving up Aaron Boone’s homer in Game 3 (everyone knows Grady Little was the goat of that game anyway) by throwing three scoreless (extra!) innings in Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS, keeping what ended up being a historic comeback alive. He wasn’t a Hall of Famer but he’s definitely a member of the “Was a Good Pitcher For a Long Time and Also By All Accounts A Great Guy” hall, and that’s plenty good.
Flames assistant GM Chris Snow, who ran the team’s analytics department, was diagnosed with ALS five years ago and given one year to live. He lived five, while continuing to show up to work at a high level and volunteering for medical tests that could be helpful to people seeking a cure. Unfortunately, the inevitable finally happened, but he was a source of remarkable courage and inspiration to the end:
Today we hugged Chris for the last time and said goodbye as he went to give four people the gift of life by donating his kidneys, liver and lungs. We are deeply broken and deeply proud. In life and in death, Chris never stopped giving. We walk forward with his light guiding us. pic.twitter.com/hqquCUGBBW— Kelsie Snow (@kelsieswrites) October 1, 2023
Eric Duhatschek has a beautiful tribute:
There are many ways to discuss the brave life and times of Chris Snow, but let’s start with a personal reflection because it was hard not to think about Chris regularly once he and his wife, Kelsie, made public his ALS diagnosis in December 2019.
Through her blog, her Twitter posts, and her podcast, Kelsie (and occasionally Chris himself) outlined the harsh, invasive, challenging treatment that kept him alive and battling what both knew would ultimately be a fatal disease.
You’d read and you’d listen about what they were going through, and you couldn’t help but think, whenever there was a moment in your day or week when you were feeling a little sour or sorry for yourself — just imagine what a bad day must look like for Chris Snow.
Life is short — be grateful to your loved ones. R.I.P.