Sadly, former baseball executive Buzzie Bavasi died yesterday at the age of 93.
I'm happy to have gotten to know Buzzie in the past few months at his home in La Jolla and through e-mails. He was a very generous man with an underappreciated value to baseball. It's a shame that Cooperstown passed him by this year for the hall of fame in favor of Walter O'Malley his sometime boss and often nemesis.
In his last days Buzzie avidly watched three baseball games a day and "four when the Cubs [were] at home." Aside from being passionate about baseball he read on average three books a week.
Buzzie met his wife Evit when he was 13 years old and she was 11. He said, "I saw her skipping across the street with her books under her arm and said, 'Someday I'm going to marry that girl' and I did." They were to celebrate their 68 wedding anniversary this month.
Buzzie told me this joke a few months ago:"One day a baseball player went to heaven. St. Peter asked him at the gates, "What do you want to do?" The baseball player said he wanted to play baseball. So, St. Peter took him to a part of heaven with endless baseball fields and endless baseball players playing the most perfect brand of baseball he had ever seen. In the middle of it was a man orchestrating it all wearing a hat that read W.O'M. The baseball player asked St. Peter, "I don't get it. What is Walter O'Malley doing here? I thought he'd be in the other place. St. Peter answerd, "No, no. That's not Walter O'Malley. That's God. He just thinks he's Walter O'Malley."
Rest in peace Buzzie. You will be missed.