A's pitcher Joe Blanton spent a lot of time on the phone Monday with friends from Kentucky. They all said the same thing about his former college teammate Jon Hooker.It's still hard to believe that the crash happened.
"He was such an outstanding person," Blanton said. "Aside from being a good baseball player, I'll remember what kind of person he was. He's probably the nicest guy anybody could ever meet. Everybody considered him a friend."
Hooker, who played a couple of years in the minor leagues, was aboard Comair Flight 5191, which crashed Sunday after leaving Lexington, Ky.
Of the 50 people on the plane, 49 died, including Hooker and his wife, Scarlett Parsley. The two were married the night before (as Blanton was pitching against the Texas Rangers) before 300 family and friends. They were en route to their honeymoon.
"It's so tragic because he was so happy (Saturday)," said Keith Madison, a former University of Kentucky baseball coach who attended the wedding. "It's just an incredible turn of events. It's really painful."
Blanton last saw Hooker a couple of years ago when he was working out in Lexington. Playing for the Kentucky Wildcats was a lifelong dream for Hooker.
"He bled blue," Blanton said. "He loved UK, the university in general, but especially the basketball team. I know what he wanted to do in life. He wanted to be a high school basketball coach."
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Other news this afternoon...
Just caught this in my inbox. I blogged earlier about Brandon Webb's reaction. Now, I share with you Joe Blanton's reaction.