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Richard Durrett

June 18, 2014 2 comments

I woke up to terrible news this morning.  While my son was eating breakfast, I went to Facebook and saw the words “Richard Durrett” and “died suddenly.”  It was a post in our Dad Blogger group by Carter Gaddis of DadScribe, who like Richard, was in the baseball media, but gave up what many guys would consider a dream job so that he could be around his family more often.  After reading Carter’s post, I just couldn’t believe it.  Shock quickly led to sadness, and that’s where I’m still at now.

I first became aware of Richard via Ben and Skin, two Dallas natives who host an extremely successful sports talk show.  At the time, their show followed Mike and Mike in the Morning on the ESPN Dallas affiliate, and Richard was often a guest whose appearance was preceded by this simple but unmistakeable intro song.  Richard’s appearances seemed somewhat out of place on the show.  The Ben and Skin show works so well because the two guys are engaging personalities and friends, and their brand of sports talk comes with lots of laughs in the process.  Richard, on the other hand, was plain vanilla in his delivery.  He just flat out knew his stuff.  He knew anything going on in baseball from both the on-field and front office perspectives and was able to break it down so that the average fan could understand.  With that as my intro to Richard, I periodically checked in to what he was writing on ESPN.com, and would read things just because he wrote them.

All of the above being said, I’m not going to front like I’m the world’s biggest Richard Durrett fan.  If he had gotten a better job in another city I would have been happy for him, but would have quickly gotten over his absence in the Dallas sports scene (which isn’t even really my scene, just where I happen to live now) without much further thought.  This is as much about Richard being a dedicated 38 year old father, just like me, whose time ended way too soon.  Calvin Watkins, a fellow ESPN Dallas guy, wrote that Richard was dedicated to his family first and foremost, with unique ways of balancing family time with the demands of his job.  Without knowing Richard at all, that’s not the least bit surprising.

While on the way to work today, I heard Colin Cowherd, another guy whose show Richard appeared on often, give a heartfelt tribute to Richard, ending with the words “a kick to the gut” to describe how he felt.  Obviously for Richard’s family and close friends, this loss is much more devastating than that.  However, for the rest of us, especially dads with young kids, it’s exactly how it felt.  A class act of a guy and a father was taken far too soon in a way that hit a little too close to home for me today.

Rest in peace, Richard.

 

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