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Baseball: Padre’s Eulogy for Tony by Pat McDonald

Padre’s Eulogy for Tony

This is going to be a tough one so I am asking for divine intervention.   Lord, I know you are busy but not to worry, Tony can handle it for you now.

I consider myself a very close and dear friend of Tony’s and his family….as it turns out, one of tens of thousands.  I was fortunate to share tons of special times with them.  You are also fortunate in that I can’t remember much anymore but I will share a couple.
Justin was starting to make some real noise in the high school ranks at Notre Dame.  At one Diamond Club luncheon Tony opened the floor up for questions and fielded a question from me.  “Coach, l hear there is a pretty darn good player down the road in Crowley.  Do we have a shot at getting him”?  Tony didn’t miss a beat, he said “Pat, I am doing everything I can, I am even sleeping with his Mother”. Naturally that slayed the audience.
From his early days as the Cajuns coach, he knew our group of tailgaters and our contacts were dedicated to helping him in any way we could.  So I get a call from him about 9:30 one morning asking if I could arrange to feed the players, assistants and trainers.  I said I would sure fire a shot at it and asked what time.  He said 12-1 would be ideal!  As Debbie and our group can attest, this became more the norm than the exception.

My prayer last week was for Tony to stay with us because I thought we needed him more than heaven.  Fortunately, a much bigger plan evolved that, in His infinite wisdom, God took care of both.
Tony is with us:
First, in the minds and souls of the players parents who are eternally grateful to Tony for taking their sons and making them solid men, spiritually and academically.

Second, in his players over the decades who learned that they could handle five games a week, long bus rides, and still take care of their educational end of things…and do it very well.  They were able to find out how tough and how good they could be at all times.  Now we have this stable of admirable young men of exceptional character who are prepared to be reckoned with in the real world.
Third, joining his nine grandchildren as his surrogate grandchildren, are the children and children to be of those players who will raise them under the guidance of Robe’s rules.
As the Faux Padre, I do have some access to certain areas.  Of course, Tony was immediately seated with his Lord who offered him all the blessing of heaven and any title and position Tony desired.  Tony thought for a minute and decided.  He is now the Director of Character Development in Purgatory and the stairway to heaven is being enlarged to accommodate his sure success in that role.  The Lord asked if Tony didn’t want an escalator or an elevator but naturally Tony decided it best to let them climb up on their own.
Tony, you are not one to rest in peace so keep up your good work and look over all of your Cajun Nation.

Your eternal friend,
Pat McDonald