Our GM Harry Rothwell sent me a pic of the Luke DeBold brick that was recently installed outside The Light. For info on how it all shook out so quickly, he directed me to friend-of-allCanes and Canes baseball enthusiast Betsy Trinz, who forwarded us the following:
“The whole thing was thrown together in about ten minutes between Harry, Lois Kerr and I.
Luke passed away the morning of the Hall Of Fame dinner. That night we spoke with Kirby Hocutt, who was more than willing to let us hold the candlelight memorial outside the stadium after the game the next night. Coach Jim Morris was also very helpful. Facebook was the real catalyst to getting the word out to Luke’s teammates.
As soon as we got Kirby’s go ahead, Harry and I both posted it on our FB pages. Between the two of us, we’re friends with so many of the alumni that the news spread quickly. I don’t think the post had been up for more than a minute or two when my phone started to ring.
I heard from teammates of Luke’s from as far away as Arizona (Vince Vazquez). Most either wanted to send a check or were going to the funeral and appreciated what we were doing. Alex Prendas and Tom Framer – both teammates of Luke’s – spoke, as did Coach Morris and Andrew Lane. I didn’t get a chance to see everyone, but I did say hello to Manny Crespo and Mike DiRosa both teammates of Luke’s. There were several others there, as well.
Alex Kelly put together a short video of Luke’s highlights which was played before the game that night. Jayro announced the memorial a few times as well. We really felt that by holding it after the game on Friday night we would be able to include the fans, which was our real goal.
As for the brick, we simply asked everyone to help. Chris Clute passed the hat around and when we counted up the money we had $505.25. The brick cost $500.
I made a video for Luke at the Alumni game, where his former teammates said some encouraging words. I posted the comments on his Facebook page. His sister Dawn said he was so thrilled, he watched it over and over again. I also made a video of the entire memorial which I didn’t post online.
After watching it, it felt too personal. I ended up sending it to Robert McDaniel (GM to everyone involved in baseball) before he flew up for the funeral, representing the university and team.
Thanks to Facebook we were able to spread the word from the minute we had approval from Kirby which really helped.”
Yet another case where the U Family stepped up and one of those human interest stories that sadly won’t grab a headline anytime soon.
Great job Betsy, Harry, Lois and everyone else who stepped up to the plate and made this happen. A fitting tribute for a classy Cane gone too soon.