In memory of my father, James M. Gaylord (May 20, 1925-March 10, 2009), a decorated World War II foot soldier, a D-Day Plus Six man who stormed the beaches of Normandy, a man who nearly froze his feet off at the Battle of the Bulge.
Dad, ever since I can remember I could outrun you but in the ways that mattered I could never keep up.
There are sports figures who do good work in the world away from sports. Some are famous, some are not.
Some are highly visible with their contributions and use their celebrity to further a charitable cause. Others seek to fly under the radar on angel wings.
Reggie Jackson is one who for many years reportedly flew under the radar with his charitable efforts. In 1997, he launched a more visible effort with his Mr. October Foundation for Kids.
These athletes remind us that sports are a backdrop for a bigger life story. They provide a perspective with their deeds that we sports fans sometimes lack.
And they can surprise us: A villain on the field, court, etc. may be a generous, helpful soul off it.
There are many more sports figures worthy of inclusion in this tribute slideshow, but I’ve kept it to a low roar of my own cheering. One athlete here—Josh Hamilton—inspires with his story of redemption.
There’s a common thread that runs through all the other sports figures I’ve chosen in that they inspire us and have raised money and attention for people in need.
A heartfelt “thank you” goes out to singer-songwriter Chuck Brodsky, who’s song “We Are Each Other’s Angels” is the inspiration for this slide show. If there’s a better anthem for people helping people, I don’t know it.
Chuck graciously allowed the use of his song for this slide show and even posted a full-length, live version of it for that purpose. His lyrics accompany each slide here. A big sports fan—especially of Philadelphia teams -- 13 of Chuck’s recorded songs are in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
To enhance this slide show, open a second screen—speakers on—and go here: http://www.chuckbrodsky.com/angels.html. Click on the song, then go back to the slide show on Bleacher Report, right to “Begin Slideshow.”