Unfortunately, I’m covering the Mariners’ series with the Pirates in Pittsburgh. It’s not that I have anything against Pittsburgh (an underrated city with a fantastic baseball stadium); it’s unfortunate because I was called into unexpected duty when Geoff’s mom died Friday in Montreal, as many of you have probably heard by now.
I never got to meet Marilyn Baker, but I’ve heard Geoff talk about her enough to know she was a formidable dynamo of a woman, and that he thought the world of her. It is gratifying that just by fate, really, he got to spend time with her last week during a visit to Montreal before the Blue Jays series in Toronto. The Mariners make just one trip to Toronto this season. How fortuitous that it happened now, bringing Geoff to Montreal for one last visit with his mom. I’m hoping there’s some solace for him in the fact that he was with her all week, and provided comfort to her on the morning of her emergency heart procedure.
Sadly, she died during the operation. Marilyn Baker was 70. The funeral was today in Montreal. I’ve expressed my condolences privately to Geoff, of course, but let me just say my heart goes out to him, and I hope he can find a measure of joy in the memories of his mom, such as the one he shared in his blog.
I thought it was only fitting that I put up the above photo of the Franco Harris statue in the Pittsburgh airport. For reasons I still don’t quite understand, Geoff long ago adopted the Steelers as his team while growing up in Canada. And Harris, like Geoff, saw his career unexpectedly take him to Seattle at one point, Geoff to be with his future wife, Amy, and Franco to play the 1984 season with the Seahawks. Or, at least, the shell of the once-great Italian Stallion limped his way through eight games and 68 carries with the Seahawks before hanging it up. Geoff arrived in Seattle still in his prime, and hopefully will remain for many years to come.