When Baseball Doesn’t Matter

On Sunday August 27 Comair Flight 5191 was due to take off at Blue Grass airport in Lexington Kentucky. The flight was scheduled to go to Atlanta but never made it. The crash is still under investigation but initial reports state that the plane took an incorrect taxi route leaving it on the wrong runway and causing the plane to run out of space. The crash took the lives of 49 passengers and crew members. It was the worst plane disaster in the United States since 2001. Before the Arizona Diamondbacks game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday the teams requested a moment of silence prior to the singing of the national anthem. It was a tragic accident but we wondered, what did this have to do with baseball? It was very soon that we had an answer to that question

Among the passengers on flight 5191 was former University of Kentucky pitcher Jon Hooker and his bride Scarlett Parsley. Hooker played for the Wildcats from 1998 to 2001 along with his teammate and best friend Brandon Webb. Webb along with Andy Green of the Arizona Diamondbacks were to be together to celebrate Hooker’s wedding which had occurred just the previous day. Jon and Scarlett were headed to Atlanta to board a plane to California to begin their honeymoon when the tragedy hit. Webb had hoped to go to Kentucky for the wedding but with the Diamondbacks in the play-off hunt he stayed with the team but called to wish his friend the best of luck. Green is currently on the disabled list and was in Tucson on a rehab assignment. Hooker and Webb were very close and the sudden death had a traumatic effect on Webb. The other Diamondbacks players are trying to help Brandon get through the pain he is feeling. Webb remained with the team through Tuesday making his designated start then he and Green requested bereavement leave to go back to Kentucky to attend the funeral. Both players will meet the Diamondbacks in Washington during the Diamondbacks series with the Nationals. It is amazing how quickly the thoughts of baseball pale in comparison to the loss of a loved one. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Jon and Scarlett Hooker. He will be missed but never forgotten.

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