Joe Kennedy, 28-year-old pitcher, died this morning. It's being reported that it may have been a brain aneurysm.
I still remember Darryl Kile's death five years ago and how much it touched me, despite not having much prior care for him besides that he was a pitcher for a team I liked. You don't expect anyone to die at such a young age, but when it's a professional athlete, someone who you've followed for some years and who you would expect to be in great condition, it's even more shocking (although obviously not as shocking as someone you know personally).
Kennedy is now the third MLB player to die in the past 14th months, so while still shocking, the mortality of professional athletes is sinking in more. This one hits a little bit more than the others, on a personal level.
I'm not a bobble-head collector. I only have two, and I got them both from a free giveaway. One is Tiki Barber, and the other, as you can probably guess, is Joe Kennedy.
Joe Kennedy is obviously a strange bobble-head to have. It's not even from a Major League team. It's actually from his Class A-Short Season Minor League team, the Hudson Valley Renegades, a farm team for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I've gone to a lot of their games over their games over the 14 years they've been in the area. I don't remember exactly why, but at one game I went to, they had a Joe Kennedy bobble-head day. Kennedy pitched for the team in 1999, when they won their only league championship.
I still have my Joe Kennedy bobble-head somewhere. Sadly, his career and life ended all too soon. Rest In Peace.