I know that many of you come here looking to see who got called up, who got sent down and so on.
But this post will have nothing to do about baseball.
Please give me a minute to remember my friend and colleague, Stephen Cornell, who unexpectedly passed away on Tuesday.
Steve had covered the Thunder ever since their inception in 1994, and had been writing for the Bucks County Courier Times.
When I first started covering the team as a beat writer in 2006, things were a little different than they are now. I would go to the games, keep my mouth shut, do my work and go home. The guys from the big papers, the Times and The Trentonian, would usually sit in the lower level of the press box. Most of the rest of us sat up top.
I spent many a game sitting next to Steve, and he was one of the first reporters I ever really started talking with in Trenton, and someone I looked up to, admired and respected. Through talking with him and some of the other familiar faces from the top level, I started opening up and really started to enjoy my experiences covering the team.
Often, in situations like this, things are said that people don’t really mean just to be nice. But I think everyone genuinely liked Steve. I liked working with him and enjoyed his company very much. We were always cracking jokes about something…and if you look back through the archives of this very blog, you’ll see he made a handful of comments in that regard.
If I close my eyes, I can see Steve sitting to my right, laughing about something…anything. He’d often bring one of his two young sons, Christopher, with him in the press box, and they’d have a good time together at the game.
Steve thought highly of me, which meant a lot…he was a damn good writer — whether he was writing about sports or the medical profession — and the news of his passing hit myself and many of his friends very hard. Steve had a lot of friends…and his laughter, company and kind words often were a bright spot in my day and surely theirs as well.
Especially early in my time covering the team, but throughout…I looked forward to seeing him in the press box. He was a friendly face in a time when I felt like I didn’t have a lot of them, and that meant so much.
Things simply will not be the same without Steve around. The fact that his spot in the press box, which was directly next to mine, will be empty…just doesn’t seem right.
He leaves behind a wife and two kids, and he will be greatly, greatly missed by everyone who was fortunate enough to cross paths with him. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Several of Steve’s colleagues have sent along their thoughts and memories of their friend…
“On behalf of the writers that have worked with Steve since the inception of the Thunder franchise in 1994, we are deeply saddened by his passing and can only pray that he has finally found the peace he sought.
Our heart-felt thoughts are with Steve’s family at this incredibly tragic time.”
John Nalbone and Larry O’Rourke
“Steve Cornell was a valued friend and colleague. From the first time I entered the Trenton Thunder pressbox over 15 years ago, Steve and I struck up a friendship that made working at Waterfront Park that much more of a pleasure. His humor, his low-key good nature and his professionalism were always on display.
I started out doing a monthly report on the Thunder for a fan magazine. It was Steve who got me into the business of game-day reporting, when he asked me to begin filling in for him at the Courier-Times. The only thing I regretted about taking that assignment is that we were less often at the same game. When we were, I always made a point to sit next to him in his customary seat in the back row of the pressbox, knowing that we would share a laugh or two – not just about baseball, but the world in general.
It is never easy to know the pain that is in someone else’s heart. But I hope that whatever troubled Steve is behind him now, and that he has the peace that he so much deserves.
Rest easy, in green pastures, my friend.”
The Thunder will have a moment of silence for Steve prior to tonight’s game against New Britain. To read more thoughts about Cornell, please click here.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com