There’s nothing like a good baseball story and nobody told better stories than George Kernek.
George told plenty of baseball stories like about playing minor league ball in Canada, Hawaii and various other places.
But my favorite story he told went something like this:
With a teammate already on first base it was George’s time to hit.
“Sometimes when you’re getting up to bat you just know you are going to get a hit. You can feel it.
“You have the pitcher timed perfectly and dig in for the first pitch.
“I got the pitch I was looking for and gave it a ride.”
“I didn’t stop at first base knowing I had hit a double.
“I rounded first base and slid into second. Not a tag or anything and the umpire said ‘YOU’RE OUT’.
“I protested vehemently saying repeatedly saying he missed the tag.
“Finally the umpire said, ‘the right fielder caught the fly ball’.
“I looked back at first base and my teammate’s shoulders were shaking he was laughing so hard.
“I had passed right by him. All my manager could do when I got back into the dugout was shake his head.”
George told the story much better but you get the idea.
It was one of his more embarrassing moments.
The OU All Big 8 first baseman, basketball standout and major leaguer for the St. Louis Cardinals and All-Time Good Guy went to his final dugout Sunday.
He died from a rare blood cancer disease.
George was a number one in the good guy category.
Also he was a number one in the friend category, husband, father, grandfather. The list goes on and on.
George and I were also both members of the Sigma Chi Fraternity at OU and that was yet another bond for us.
George never rode a horse but he fed plenty of them.
That’s because his wife of 14 years, Joyce, was the former Miss Rodeo of America, barrel racing champion and barrel racing instructor.
There are lot of folks who are going to miss George Kernek and you can count me and my family in on that number.
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