Gehrig Neshek

I know this is off-topic, but too bad.

From time to time, I see a story that is unrelated to me, the teams I follow, the school I write about, etc., and yet I feel drawn to it and cannot stop thinking about it. The awful situation that Oakland A's pitcher Pat Neshek and his wife Stephanee have gone through this week is something I cannot shake.

Pat and Stephanee welcomed their first son, Gehrig, into the world on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the A's completed an improbable comeback from 13 games back in August to win their division. All was exciting and the Nesheks were likely feeling on top of the world in every way... and then Gehrig passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.

Maybe it's because I'm a parent, but the sorrow I feel for two people I don't even know is more palpable than I ever would have imagined it could be. Sure, I know people lose children all the time and there are tragedies like this every day. I get that. But for some reason, they just hit closer. We all know how this can happen.

One of the redeeming qualities of social media like Twitter and blogsites is that Pat and Stephaniee have felt the love and condolences of thousands of people who either never would have known what happened, or wouldn't have known for a long time and wouldn't have had a medium with which to immediately express their love and support.

It also allows me to give little Gehrig a headline on a sports blog. Yeah, that's cheesy, but I did it. He deserved so much more.

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