Friday, March 24, 2006

Davey's Life After the Glory

? In my brief tenure as the Girls Soccer Coach at Crestview High School, I've witnessed two sets of parents bury their children. For those of us who are parents, its unspeakable, unthinkable. Yet some do, and they somehow endure. I can't imagine how.

Somewhere in a drawer is a photo I took in 1983 with a young, Andrea Lyn Johnson. Davey Johnson's daughter smiled a wonderful little girl smile. Athletic like her father, she became quite an accomplished surfer. But little Andrea had her deamons and sufferd from schyzophrenia which ultimately took her life at age 32 last June. Davey nearly died in 2004 from a painful stomach ailment that Ed hearn told me about in January. I didn't know about Andrea. Thankfully he had healed from the year-long ruptured appendix from the previous year. Sometimes they're hard to diagnos. The same happened to my late father.

I'm sure the Mets of the 1980's are far from Davey's mind. Still, the winningest manager in Met history, Johnson managed elsewhere. Surprising to no one, he did well, finally landing a gig with his Baltimore Orioles. It had to be a dream come true for Davey to manage the team he found glory with as a player. It all has a tendency to end badly as a manager, and its sadly what we usually remember most. Davey's always been a big boy about this and has always known it was the nature of things. He never took his 1990 firing by the Mets badly.

His Baltimore dismissal was a little different though. Angry at Peter Angelos for his departure, he never really got over it. But the flowers that arrived from the Angelos' after Andrea's death made Davey forgive and forget everything. With such loss, I'm sure Davey sees many, many things far different then before. His visit to see the Orioles indicates this.

For me its hard to realize that when Davey managed the Mets, he was younger than I am now. As time goes on, I feel more and more like him as other experiences bring something into our lives that a game we loved so much never really could.

Hat tip: David Pinto of Baseball Musings.


At 2:34 AM, Anonymous G-Fafif said...

Amen Coach S. Even though life has moved on for Davey in some awful directions, I do hope he can see his way back to Shea in August so we can show him en masse what we continue to think of him. I believe his last alumnus appearance was in conjunction with Gary Carter's HOF induction. It wouldn't be the 20th anniversary without him.


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