Big Losses in 2017 (Chet’s Take, 12-30-17)

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“Who cares if one more light goes out in the sky of a million stars?
It flickers, flickers.
Who cares when someone’s time runs out if a moment is all we are?
Or quicker, quicker.
Who cares if one more light goes out? Well I do.”                                                                                                                                            — from “One More Light,” by Linkin Park (2017)

As I get older, I seem to be more affected by the passing of celebrities and athletes – people that I’ve enjoyed watching on the silver screen or in concert or on the court or ball field – and 2017 was another tough year on that front.

TOM PETTY (1950-2017)

Over the past year, we said goodbye to celebrities including Mary Tyler Moore, Roger Moore, Jerry Lewis and Don Rickles, and legendary musicians including Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Chris Cornell, Glen Campbell, Gregg Allman, Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington and the amazing Tom Petty, whom I had seen in concert just a couple of months beforehand.

The sports world lost greats including Connie Hawkins, Jake LaMotta, Don Baylor, Y.A. Tittle, journalist Frank DeFord,  and – just last week (“oh my”) – broadcast legend Dick Enberg.

ROY HALLADAY (1977-2017)

Sadly, we were very hard hit in terms of former Philadelphia sports figures lost, too. There were lesser-known names like John Reaves, Darrall Imhoff and Charles Shackleford, plus Ben Hawkins, Wayne Hardin and Ilkka Sinisalo. And, of course, legendary Villanova basketball coach Rollie Massamino left us, too.

The Phillies organization said goodbye to Ruben Amaro Sr., Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning and 1980 World Series manager Dallas Green. Those all hurt us as long-time Phillies fans, of course, but the even tougher ones were yet to come. In August, brain cancer took the life of former Phils catcher and “Macho Row” leader Darren Daulton, and then in early November, we got the news of that small-plane crash off the coast of Florida that killed former pitcher Roy Halladay.

Bunning, Dutch and Doc all gave us so many thrills during their time as Phillies, and they will never be forgotten. That goes for all of the above names mentioned, in fact, so … thanks for the memories!                  –Jim “Chet” Chesko

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