I still can't believe the Tom Browning news.
I was honored to do numerous remote broadcasts and appearances with Tom over the years. He always had time to do an interview.
He always made time to shake the hand of a fan, take a picture, sign an autograph. And oh, the stories he could tell. Tom was fun, friendly and never took himself too seriously. He made everyone feel like a friend.
I spent a week with him at Baseball Heaven about 16 years ago. That week is about making the Average Joe feel like a big leaguer. Tom would go out of his way to do that. He worked with the guys, he joked with the guys. He made everyone feel like a teammate. I got to pitch to him in the players vs coaches game!
A couple of years ago I attended a Reds Hall of Fame event for fans with a membership that was held on the field at GABP. Fans got to hit in the cage and pitch from the mound. I took the mound and threw some pitches with Tom looking on. He complimented why windup and delivery. I'll never forget him saying, "hey, a fellow lefty that's certainly been on the mound before. Smooth!"
I was grinning from ear to ear.
What a bulldog on the mound. And how often have we referred to how quickly he worked and compared it to other Reds pitchers?
The rooftop visit was so Tom. He was happy-go-lucky. He knew the Reds were having a difficult season and needed a tension breaker. I could hear him tell that story over and over and over.
What an iconic moment he authored with his perfect game. One of 23 perfect games in the 140+ year history of the game.
I loved discussing it each year on the anniversary as a show topic and hearing tales from fans in attendance vs those that decided to stay home on a rainy night, or left early.
So sad. So tragic. His wife, Deborah, passed away in March at age 61. I believe they had five kids and nine grandkids.
Thoughts and prayers to the family.
Below is Tom telling the rooftop story with me on Sports Talk. Listen. Laugh.