Goodbye, Boston Red Sox pitcher Bill Monbouquette

This facsimile autograph
on this 1967 still makes me smile.
The hurler always seemed to
squeeze his real signature
on one line. Until the end, you
could read every letter!
Bill Monbouqette never stopped pitching.
I received an inspiring reply from “Monbo” in 2010.
So many of you did, too. Personalizations. He’d inscribe it all on request. The 1962 no-hitter date. His Red Sox Hall of Fame selection. Questions answered. Not one-word replies, but one letter! Encouragement to other patients battling cancers.
Too many media reports make this a story of leukemia outdueling a 78-year-old.
I choose to look at how he lived. He was one of the first teammates to stand up for teammate Pumpsie Green, Boston’s Jackie Robinson.
The stunning reported that the hurler responded to 318 of 326 TTM requests, as recently as December. 
I loved this account of one of Bill’s greatest victories…off the field. This is a great romantic tale (with a baseball subtext!) to savor for the upcoming Valentine’s Day. I tip my cap to Steve Buckley and the Boston Herald.