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RIP Matt McHale

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Birdscribe, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    Thanks for this, Ramona.

    Leave it to the underrated Hoffarth to distill Matt's legacy to its essence.
  2. Here are details for funeral of Matt McHale

    Visiting Hours on Thursday, July 17th
    6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

    Magner Funeral Home
    12 Mott Avenue
    Norwalk, CT 06850

    Service, Friday, July 18th
    10 a.m.
    St. Jerome’s Catholic Church
    23 Half Mile Rd.
    Norwalk, CT 06851

    Cards can be sent to

    Arianne McHale
    15 Wakerobin Road
    Norwalk CT, 06851

    If you are coming from out of town, and have questions, or need transportation, please email Scott Newman at scottnewman1963@yahoo.com or call at 732-501-8805.
  3. alsport

    alsport New Member

    I arrived at the OCR long after Matt had moved to the Daily News, yet seeing him regularly at Kings games and sometimes at Dodger games, allowed us to become friends. I never heard him utter a negative remark about anybody and admired his gentle and friendly demeanor.

    Thanks for your friendship, Matt.
  4. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    Former LADN staffer Jeremy Littau checks in:

  5. Kevin Bronson

    Kevin Bronson New Member

    I will miss the guy who showed me where Eagle Rock was, and who laughed at me when I once offered to carry his godawfully heavy shoulder bag.

    Matt was on staff at the Star-News when I took over as sports editor in 1987. I'd taken the job sight-unseen, moving from Rochester, N.Y., and never having set foot in L.A./Pasadena. He couldn't believe anybody would move cross-country based on a phone interview and offered to take me to lunch. He gently gave me the lay of the land. Wish I'd listened better.

    He was getting out of his car to come into the office one evening and fumbling with his shoulder bag and some loose press guides in the front seat. "Lemme carry that bag," I said, and he shot me that sideways glance and crooked smile that I'll always remember. One of the best you-gotta-be-sh*ttin'-me looks in history. Classic.
  6. m2spts

    m2spts Member

    Thanks, everyone, for the nice words.
    We all loved Matt and I want everyone to know how much he loved all of you.
    Matt and I met at the Star News in the early-1980s, when the paper was trying to produce the ALL SPORTS daily. If anything good came out of that experience, it was the special friendship between Matt and myself, a friendship that only grew stronger, despite the miles between us.
    I saw a lot of me in Matt when we met -- the tail of his shirt hanging out, the three-day growth, and the wheels in his head always spinning.
    He tagged along to Lakers games and invited me to Dodgers games. I even got him out to see a couple of soccer games. He wasn't just a guest in our home, he became part of the family, embracing our two ballet dancers and soccer-playing son.
    At my going away from the Daily News in 2002, Matt presented me with two gifts -- a Vin Scully autographed baseball and an NHL all-star jersey he said he got from Peter Forsberg. The jersey, he said, was for my wife, who is Swedish.
    When we said our goodbyes, Matt was crying, but he and I had cried before, quite a few times because we shared some of the same sensitivities. Heck, we even over leads one of us would write.
    When he went his way and I went mine, we always stayed in contact. A phone message here, an e-mail there, a little note. Nothing could keep us apart, and nothing will keep us apart, even now.
    Matt was one of very few people I would allow to call me Michael. He liked the name. I never called him Matty or Matthew ... just Matt.
    We shared a few stories during that good bye and a few days later he sent me another note. Today, I took out that note, and dozens of others, and noticed they all ended the same way, "Love, Matt."
    Love you, Matt.

    Mike Morrow
  7. Bill Plaschke

    Bill Plaschke New Member

    I know I'm late writing this, but Matt was used to me being late, he waited for me in enough press boxes during our several years together on the Dodger beat, playfully giving me crap, but always complimenting the effort, the most wonderful traveling partner in my career.

    Everyone who has read this thread for the last three days knows about Matt as as an incredible sensitive, brilliantly thoughtful journalist. They know about Matt as a modern-day Oscar Madison, careening through life with one hand firmly on the pulse of whatever beat he covered, and the other hand patting his back pocket in search of his wallet. You know how a writer occasionally looks or dresses like the athletes in the sport he or she covers? Matt looked like the FIELDS he covered, bits of litter here, a little dust there, drama coming out his rolled-up sleeves, surprises falling from his untucked shirt, a special beauty and wonder in all of it, a living, breathing community treasure.

    One story that defines him for me. Matt was the best pure story journalist that I've ever met, he could think angles and figure out perspective better than anyone, and I was so proud the day that I was finally able to hep him obtain an interview with the L.A. Times for a job as one of our sports story editors.

    Typical of Matt, he aced the interview, you couldn't help but love and respect him immediately, and he was quickly offered the job, his dream position.

    But, also typical of Matt, he turned it down, saying that he had to spend more time back east taking care of his ailing father.

    In my ambitious stupidity, I was stunned. I remember saying, Matty, what if you never get another chance at this job? Matt said, Billy, what if I never get another chance to take care of my father??

    Matt McHale was more than my friend and colleague, he was my teacher, and his legacy will live in lots of us forever.

    Bill Plaschke
  8. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    Bill: That's a wonderful, heartfelt post. Thanks for sharing.

    RIP, Matt...
  9. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Goddamn, that's a helluva line. "Looked like the FIELDS he covered." That just cracked me up and made me cry, simultaneously.

    Thanks for sharing, Bill.
  10. Roger.Phillips

    Roger.Phillips New Member

    There's nothing I can add to all the nice things said about Matt except to say that every one of them was true. I'm so sad to hear this news. Matt served as my telephone shrink a number of times in recent years. No matter how often or rarely you spoke with him, you always felt like he was one of your best friends. If only the world had more people like him ...
  11. Claws for Concern

    Claws for Concern Active Member

    That was a truly wonderful post by Plaschke. Thanks for sharing, Bill.
  12. RamonaShelburne

    RamonaShelburne New Member

    I wasn't able to make it to Connecticut, but got word from a friend of Matt's that the plan for his funeral today was for the pall bearers to release a shirt tail as they walk Matt to the grave. Then, instead of flowers on the casket...baseball cards.
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