BOB WISE WILL BE MISSED – It was always a running joke between Bob Wise and myself that someday we were going to do lunch.
Bob, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 86 (even though he looked 20 years younger), was one of my most faithful supporters in McPherson, literally from the time I moved to town in 1979. I got to know him by covering McPherson College football, a school he was a standout lineman for and played with the late, great Eddie Ball during the Bulldogs’ glory days in the 1950s.
Bob, a well-known and highly respected lawyer, would often tell me how much he enjoyed my coverage not just of the Bulldogs, but of all the local sports. He would send me notes and even phone me to say I made his day with an article I had written. He always was so encouraging and supportive of my work.
He often stopped into The Sentinel when I worked there and we would discuss Mac College sports or golf or anything else he wanted to talk about. He would see my name in the paper for my performance in the City Golf Tournament and call to congratulate me.
No matter the conversation on the phone or in person, Bob would always end it by saying, “we’re going to do lunch one of these days.”
Bob was an amazing individual. He never really retired from his law practice and told me a couple of years ago he still enjoyed going into the office, working and being with his partners. He’s one of those guys who was always upbeat and never said a bad word about anybody.
I’m just sorry we never had that lunch. Rest in peace Bob, you’re now with the angels. And I bet a lot of your former McPherson College teammates were there to greet you.
FABER TO RETIRE – One of the most colorful basketball coaches in all my years of covering sports has been Dale Faber of Friends University.
Faber has been the men’s head coach of the Falcons for 18 years, many of them highly successful. While he’s known for his coaching acumen, he may be even more well known for his humor and sideline antics, as few coaches ever get into a game like Faber. He’s loud and brash and has drawn his fair share of technicals in his day, mostly for standing up for his players.
Faber also was the hit of the annual KCAC Media Day. Reporters braced themselves for what he would say and also laughed even before he took the dais as we all knew he would have a story or two. Between him and former Friends football coach Monty Lewis, they made Media Day what it is today.
Faber this week announced he is going to retire from coaching, but stay with the school as a fundraiser for the athletic department.
Faber has led the Falcons to seven NAIA National Tournament appearances and has had some amazing teams. He’s coached some of the greatest players in KCAC history, including Joe Mitchell and Jordan Murdock, both of whom have to rate among the Top 10 ever to play in the conference.
Anthony White has been Faber’s top assistant for the last 7 years and I’m guessing he’ll be the leading candidate as his successor.
CLEVELAND TEARING IT DOWN – Good news for Royals fans, AL Central rival Cleveland apparently is blowing it up and starting over.
The team on Thursday traded two All-Stars in all-everything shortstop Francisco Lindor and top-of-the-line pitcher Carlos Carrasco to the New York Mets for a batch of prospects. That came on the heels of not offering a contract to longtime Royals killer Carlos Santana, who was snapped up by KC to play first base and DH.
The start of the rebuild actually came late last season when standout pitcher Mike Cleavinger was dealt to San Diego for the stretch run, resulting in the Padres making the playoffs.
Cleveland still has some great players in Cy Young winner Shane Bieber and third baseman Jose Ramirez, but apparently team officials believe the window has closed and they’re retooling.
The Royals, who were fourth in the AL Central in the shortened season, probably still rate behind Minnesota and Chicago, which could be the favorite in the division. But KC and Cleveland are closer together now, while Detroit still appears to be destined for the basement.
The Royals have made some shrewd, under-the-radar moves in the offseason and they may not be done as there’s a lot of quality players still out there looking for a new home.