Over the past twenty plus years Mead Chasky has worked with thousands of professional sports worlds biggest stars ranging from the unforgettable 1986 World Series New York Mets to the baseball home run champ Barry Bonds. On top of that Mead Chasky also represents numerous past and present baseball stars. Mead Chasky Sports also features 100% authentic game used autographed baseball memorabilia for baseball fans worldwide.
A TRIBUTE TO A MAN THAT EVERYONE SHOULD ASPIRE TO BE
February 27, 2011, was a very sad day for every Dodger fan alive today and generally for baseball fans that know their baseball history all over the world. For me, I lost a father, a mentor and the man who I owe my entry into the world of sports marketing to, Edwin Donald Snider, "The Duke of Flatbush."
I met Duke in the early '70's when I was one of those young kids who hung out at the hotels waiting for the ballplayers to come out and sign autographs. Duke would never say no. He signed whatever I had for him. And believe me, I had the wherewithall at the age of 16 or 17 to think that maybe this autograph thing could be a wave of the future and I would get 20 to 30 things signed at a time.
Living close to Shea Stadium, at times I would wait by the pressgate for the team bus to pull up and all the players would get out and go right inside. Not Duke. He would sign everything I had and smile and thank me.
From seeing me a lot during those years, we developed a friendship. I then got my driver's license and would pick Duke up from the airports, hotels and stadiums. He took a profound interest in me and treated me like a son. I would drive to visit him in Philly when he was an announcer for the Expos and as the years progressed, we became closer and closer. When my birth father passed away, in '84 Duke took it upon himself to fill those shoes. I can never repay him for the time he spent with me and the things he did for me to help me get further established in this world of autographs, "Affectionately known as "The Hobby."
In his later years, because of the relationship, he felt that he should always keep me in line. I had a weight problem and he would always get on my case about eating. This would upset me and when I would express it, he would say, "Mead, I don't want you to get sick. I need you around."
Over the years, people would call him to try to get him to do things without me knowing, he would always say, "You have to call my agent." He was always loyal to me.
Over the last few years, traveling wasn't an option for him, so I would travel to California to see him. I was fortunate enough to see him over the last six months. I had lost 200 pounds when he saw me and he was so happy to see that. He was in failing health and he cared about how my health was.
Yesterday was a very sad day and it has made me reflect on how Duke Snider has affected my life. From the very bottom of my heart, I want to say everyone knows what he was as a baseball player, but the man was everything a man should be. He was gracious, kind charming and giving to all who knew him, and had unwavering loyalty to me. I owe him so much.
So, I say thank you to my second father, my mentor, my dear friend, and most of all to the man that I Aspire to Be.
I will miss you more than words can say.
Melky Cabrera is the star center fielder for the New York Yankees. 2009 Major League Baseball Clutch Performer of the Month of May.
Mel Stottlemyre is a former pitcher for the New York Yankees. 5x World Series champion and 5x All-Star selection.