Rheal Cormier dead of cancer at 53

Red(s)HawksFan

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Sad news.

My favorite Rheal Cormier story. In a game against the Indians, Jaret Wright hit a Red Sox hitter (Darren Lewis maybe?) and sparked a brawl. So later in the game, Cormier threw in on Jim Thome and hit him in the ribs, which sparked a second brawl with Thome charging the mound. After the game, Cormier gave Thome a ride to the team hotel to smooth things over with him.

It always stuck out to me that he went out of his way to make sure Thome knew it wasn't personal and hopefully to squash thing so they didn't escalate further in future games. He was one of the good guys.
 

jose melendez

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I had no recollection that he was part of the Scott Cooper/ Mark Whitten Deal.

Hell, he might have been the best player in that deal. Certainly had the best BoSox career.
 

jose melendez

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He might have been the winner for Philly in the Sox-Phils game in 2003 where the Sox blew two saves and Grady almost got fired on the spot.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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Sad news.

My favorite Rheal Cormier story. In a game against the Indians, Jaret Wright hit a Red Sox hitter (Darren Lewis maybe?) and sparked a brawl. So later in the game, Cormier threw in on Jim Thome and hit him in the ribs, which sparked a second brawl with Thome charging the mound. After the game, Cormier gave Thome a ride to the team hotel to smooth things over with him.

It always stuck out to me that he went out of his way to make sure Thome knew it wasn't personal and hopefully to squash thing so they didn't escalate further in future games. He was one of the good guys.
This was the first thing I thought of, but as I remember it, Thome and Cormier were already off-season hunting buddies before that incident… although I'm not certain of that, because they were only teammates after they went to Philly.
 

terrynever

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Sad news.

My favorite Rheal Cormier story. In a game against the Indians, Jaret Wright hit a Red Sox hitter (Darren Lewis maybe?) and sparked a brawl. So later in the game, Cormier threw in on Jim Thome and hit him in the ribs, which sparked a second brawl with Thome charging the mound. After the game, Cormier gave Thome a ride to the team hotel to smooth things over with him.

It always stuck out to me that he went out of his way to make sure Thome knew it wasn't personal and hopefully to squash thing so they didn't escalate further in future games. He was one of the good guys.
He was Canadian. That’s what they do.
 

Ale Xander

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I had no recollection that he was part of the Scott Cooper/ Mark Whitten Deal.

Hell, he might have been the best player in that deal. Certainly had the best BoSox career.
He was also the best person in the Wil Cordero deal.
 

E5 Yaz

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Cancer sucks, rest in peace.

My favorite Cormier story was in the first days of August in 2000, when he pitched the 15-16-17 innings in the 19-inning game at Safeco.

The crowd was emptying out at that point, and we were all a bit loopy. Cormier had that exaggerated pre-pitch routine and, by the end of his first inning, the was going "Whooooop" as he reached the high set, and "Whoooooo" as he brought his hands back down.

17th inning it finally got to him and you could see hi break into a huge smile after the "Whooooop." It always just stuck with me to see a guy enjoy the crowd in the ridiculousness that was that game.

We were hoping to get to 20 innings ... but Fassero. Cameron. Ballgame.
 

terrynever

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I was curious and looked, though: not Québécois as I had assumed. He was from New Brunswick.
Not just New Brunswick but Moncton, the largest urban area in the province. Home to Magnetic Hill, where cars seem to defy gravity and roll uphill. Big tourist attraction.
 

slamminsammya

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I have a Rheal Cormier story I'd like to share.

It must've been in the 99 season, I was 10 years old and an absolute baseball fanatic - I knew all the players on all the teams and would watch every Sox game as well as watching Baseball Tonight most nights. I couldn't get enough of it. And my nextdoor neighbor who was my best friend was the same way. We had the kind of friendship where we would just show up to eachother's houses without even a phone call and our parents would say, "Oh hey slamminsammya is here" and it was usually to watch a game or play outside or whatever. We had this guy who lived down the street from us who had season tickets and caught wind that we were both obsessed with baseball, so he invited us to a game along with my Dad. I think it was a Royals game.

The tickets were in right field just a few rows behind the Sox bullpen. Maybe around the sixth inning my friend and I spot Rheal Cormier starting to warm in the bullpen. My friend and I hatched a plan to get his attention by shouting his name at the same time, we yelled "Rheal!" between one of his warmup pitches. He heard us, turned his head, and without thinking tossed the ball he was using up to us.

This moment was basically the greatest moment of my life up to that point. A baseball obsessed kid got the attention of one of his favorite team's players and was going to get an actual baseball from an MLB game which I had never experienced. Rheal being a major leaguer had perfect accuracy on his toss and the ball's trajectory was headed straight for me, baseball glove ready of course, when all of a sudden from nowhere comes the outstretched hand of the neighbor who had brought us to the game intercepting the toss for himself. My friend and I were shocked. This grown ass man, I think in his 50s, had just stolen a ball from us. My dad said nothing because he says at the time he thought the guy was just messing around with us and would give us the ball back.

Nope. Dude kept the ball and me and my friend were on the verge of tears the rest of the game.

Anyhow, its a minor thing but it was a really nice gesture from a professional athlete that meant a lot to a little kid at the time. RIP Rheal.
 

moondog80

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He has to be the most famous alumn of the Rhode Island community college system, no? RIP.
Kenny McDonald had a nice couple of years at PC and was the head coach of a Western Kentucky team that beat a 5 seed (Illinois) in the 2009 NCAA tournament. That's all I got.
 

normstalls

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Cancer sucks, rest in peace.

My favorite Cormier story was in the first days of August in 2000, when he pitched the 15-16-17 innings in the 19-inning game at Safeco.

The crowd was emptying out at that point, and we were all a bit loopy. Cormier had that exaggerated pre-pitch routine and, by the end of his first inning, the was going "Whooooop" as he reached the high set, and "Whoooooo" as he brought his hands back down.

17th inning it finally got to him and you could see hi break into a huge smile after the "Whooooop." It always just stuck with me to see a guy enjoy the crowd in the ridiculousness that was that game.

We were hoping to get to 20 innings ... but Fassero. Cameron. Ballgame.
Great memory. I was at that game too, but didn't remember the Cormier bit. Unfortunately I do remember Fassero.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Ugh! Sorry to hear this news. His time in Boston was brief, but he played in a lot of games. I recall him vividly.
 

Rough Carrigan

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In a better world whiny ass Paul O'Neill's weak fucking blooper off him to put the mfy's ahead in game 2 of the '99 ALCS ends up landing, with all the force of a child's whisper in Nomar's or Offerman's glove.

Rest in peace, Rheal.
 

koufax32

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How many times did Trupiano use “crafty lefthander” to describe him? Has to be in the hundreds.

RIP Rheal
 

Greg Blosser

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Aw, man. Late '90s Virtual Rheality was a blast. I ran into him on 42nd Street on my lunch break during the '99 ALCS and chatted with him for a couple of minutes - he was a really nice guy. R.I.P., Frenchy.
 

Hank Scorpio

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I remember a time when the Indians were one of our primary rivals. One game in particular, I believe Rheal was one the mound and plunked Jim Thome. Thome charged the mound, and Rheal tossed him aside like a sack of potatoes. Maybe my mind is embellishing that story, but I'm sticking with head canon. Rheal was nails. RIP.