Friday night, the great coach John Wooden passed away. He was taken to the hospital Thursday night. Vin Scully paid tribute to him during the TV broadcast. We can only hear Vin on the radio during the first three innings but the tribute was played back in the Diamondvision. Vin made me cry watching this tribute. Here is the youtube:
I wish I had this blog two years ago when I went to the John Wooden Vin Scully event and I would have written about. Is time like this that I like having the blog. Here is what I said last October a day after his birthday:
Happy belated birthday to John Wooden! He turned 99 yesterday!
I have seen John Wooden at Dodger Stadium catching a game and visiting with Vin Scully.
I was also lucky that I went to see John Wooden and Vin Scully last year at the “Scully & Wooden For The Kids” event. It was an unforgetable night hearing Vin and Coach share their many stories.
Coach conversations always include inspiring poems he recites from memory. Here is one example:
“No written word nor spoken plea
Can teach our youth what they should be,
Nor all the books on all the shelves.
It’s what the teachers are themselves.”
I will never forget when coach Wooden recited this poem that wonderful night at the John Wooden Vin Scully event:
Once I was afraid of dying.
Terrified of ever-lying.
Petrified of leaving family, home and friends.
Thoughts of absence from my dear ones,
Drew a melancholy tear once.
And a lonely, dreadful fear of when life ends.
But those days are long behind me;
Fear of leaving does not bind me.
And departure does not host a single care.
Peace does comfort as I ponder,
A reunion in the Yonder,
With my dearest who is waiting for me there.”
The poem was written by one of his former players, Swen Nater who was so moved by coach devotion to his departed wife Nellie.
Rest in peace coach. We will never forget you! Now you can be together with your beloved Nellie.