Wednesday, May 16, 2012

True Chicagoan Kevin Hickey, a long shot who fulfilled a neighborhood dream, dies at 56

I had the pleasure of drinking with Kevin in the 1980's at a few local places. The guy was 100% the real deal. Godspeed buddy! I hope they have a beer waiting for you in the clouds!

Kevin Hickey never quit.

Not in a bar fight. Not on a ball diamond. Never.

He epitomized South Side toughness. He took no guff.

He wasn’t afraid of anything. Especially not big league hitters.

How do I know? Hickey told me.

Repeatedly, in fact, over the last few months in a series of interviews that would be his last. The folks who know the former major league lefty best — his family, his teammates, big league coaches, Jerry Reinsdorf and Roland Hemond, a guy who gave Hickey more chances at realizing his major league baseball dreams than anyone else — backed up every word of it.

Maybe you’ve heard about Hickey. He’s the street tough from Brighton Park, the stud at 16-inch softball who got laid off at Ryerson Steel and got signed by the White Sox, his favorite team after throwing just few dozen fastballs at a open tryout at Old Comiskey Park.

And after a long, arduous journey — shoulder injuries, five years in the minors, a big league resurrection with the Orioles, more injuries, retirement, a movie role alongside Charlie Sheen, divorce, poverty, diabetes and eight long years selling used cars — Hickey made it back to the White Sox bench as a batting practice pitcher who was beloved by players.

He died Wednesday from complications of an April 5 seizure that left him in a coma. He was 56.

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19 comments:

Anonymous said...

who gives a flying fuck about this guy....so if you know the guy Shaved....we should care....go stuff your fat face with a DICK!

Joe Kelly said...

I had the pleasure of knowing Kevin as he was one of the young guys in Brighton Park as I was growing up. He was a tremendous athlete, a very humble and loving person. I loved him to death. He was a special Human being. RIP brother Kevin.

Anonymous said...

I knew Kevin from Wheezers bar as well as Murphy's on 36th and California. A class act. So to 9:49 - FUCK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Awesome awesome person & baseball player.i believe he played little league at clear ridge!!

Chuck said...

hey 9:49...suck my left nut

Chuck said...

another thing, Im gonna tell you how badass Kevin Hickey was, the best hitter of Kevins time in the major leagues George Brett was 0-15 against Kevin

I Voted For Obama said...

Kevin Hickey did offer to teach Obama to throw when Obama threw out his famous first pitch. You can see that Obama turned him down.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kevin Hickey:

A Wonderful gentleman....good natured and loving....with terrific blue eyes....truly a special heart......and a neat Southpaw.....remembering it well, we had a grand time in Florida many moons ago....May God Bless your soul and prayers for your family....with deepest regret and much sadness....gone too soon...you will be missed.

One of your long ago Pals....

Anonymous said...

Shaved sorry to hear about your old friend RIP.

Anonymous said...

Played softball against him at Kelly park in the 70's a great centerfielder for the Crew.
A lot of talent playing at Kelly park at the time but for him to make it to the big leagues was unreal.
R.I.P lefty.

Anonymous said...

He may not have taken any guff, but that mustachio tells me he took plenty of balls to his chin. And I'm talking testicles, not baseballs.

Anonymous said...

I Voted For Obama said...

Kevin Hickey did offer to teach Obama to throw when Obama threw out his famous first pitch. You can see that Obama turned him down.

May 16, 2012 11:09 PM
*******************
Damn, that's funny. He throws like a girl! But, he's "transforming" us all, NOT!

Anonymous said...

Best 16" player I ever seen

Anonymous said...

Dead guy ball jokes...you win tough guy of the year award. Classless pussy

Anonymous said...

9:16am welcome to Shaved, pussy.

Anonymous said...

Never heard of him......sorry...

Anonymous said...

Saying someone is "the best softball player I've ever seen" is akin to saying, "this guy was the best kickball player I've ever seen"

Anonymous said...

Folks weren't the athlete Kevin was. He did it in Chicago, his way....Rest in Peace Dear Brother!!!!

I Voted For Obama said...

As a boy growing up in his native Indonesia, Obama could only play kickball.