In 1987, when I was six years old, I attended a Cardinals game with my twin brother and father. We got the tickets from a family friend who wanted to lift our spirits while my mother endured a bout with a lump in one of her breasts. As an additional perk, the friend arranged for us to see the KMOX booth that Jack Buck and Mike Shannon called the game from. As luck should have it, when we arrived outside the booth it was between innings, and my father, my brother and I were introduced to Jack.
After exchanging introductions, Jack asked my father, “And where is Mrs. McGeorge today?” In a hushed tone my father told Jack that she was in the hospital, so it was just us guys today. Jack asked my father what hospital my mother was in. After my father replied, Jack took a knee, put his left hand on one of brother’s shoulders and a right hand on one of mine, and said: “Boys, I am sure you’re concerned about your mom, but she is in terrific hands. She’s going to be just fine. Okay?” We nodded. Hearing it from Jack made it all better.
About eight months later, my mother now recovered, my parents attended a charity dinner that Jack was scheduled to speak at. My father was hoping for an opportunity to thank Jack for his kind words and for the solace that it gave my brother and I during that very difficult time. As my parents walked in Jack’s direction, my father made eye contact with Jack and stretched out his right arm to offer a handshake. Jack took my father’s hand, gave him a nod, looked to my mother, and said, “It is a pleasure to finally meet you. You look well.”
I cannot believe it’s been a decade since we lost him. Today I remember John Francis “Jack” Buck (August 21, 1924 – June 18, 2002), husband, father, veteran, sportscaster, poet, fighter, and hall-of-famer.