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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

THT: Studeman: Terrible news

I want to let all of THT’s readers know that one of our most prolific writers and favorite people, John Brattain, just passed away.

Many of us got to know John through the Baseball Think Factory, where his good humor was always on display. John joined the THT writing team more than four years ago, and he further honed his extraordinary wit, humanity and sense of fun every week on our site (and elsewhere). For a while, he even contributed twice a week. He was one of the people who made THT a truly rewarding experience for all of us.

John is survived by a wife and two teenage daughters. As information about his service becomes available, we’ll pass it along.

EDIT: What awful news. John has been a frequent visitor to this site from just about day one. All of us here very much enjoyed his good humor and wisdom. Like many of you, I’m sure, he and I shared quite a few emails and exchanges. He was always a very funny and classy gentleman, even when he disagreed with you. He will certainly be missed. Our condolences go out to his family and friends. As much as we’ll miss him, their loss certainly is a more difficult burden.—Best Regards, Jim

Just some of the bloggers that John touched…

Baseball Loses A Great Writer And Humanity A Great Person (Lisa Gray)

Goodbye Bones (Matthew/Lookout Landing)

Baseball Writer John Brattain Passed Away (Rince/Bluebird Banter)

BDD Loses One of Its Own…Farewell to Our Good Friend John Brattain (Joe Hamrahi)

John Brattain

A Death In The Family (Cliff Corcoran)

A Sad Day for Hardball Times, Baseball Fans

Death in the Blogging Family (David Pinto)

Good night, funnyman (Peter Collodoro)

The World is Less Funny (Dave Cameron)

In Honor of John Brattain (Bill Baer)

Best Regards, John: John Brattain – 1965-2009 (Maury Brown)

RIP John Brattain (Jona Keri)

John Brattain, 1965-2009 (Neil deMause)

BP Family Loses One of Its Own (Baseball Prospectus)

Best Regards (Larry Mahnken)

To John Brattain ... (Neate Sager)

RIP John Brattain (Pat Lackey)

John Brattain, 1965-2009: Best Regards (Rob Iracane)

John Brattain: I considered him a valuable colleague (Rob Neyer)

A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far Away. . . (John’s wonderful Designated Hitter bit for The Baseball Analysts)

Repoz Posted: March 24, 2009 at 08:20 PM | 641 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: community, obituaries

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 7 of 7 pages ‹ First  < 5 6 7
   601. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: March 26, 2009 at 01:09 AM (#3114853)
This was the response John had to my email from 2007 that I posted on RLYW:

Thanks to all of you. The feelings are mutual. I would like to say this: I feel like old King Hezekiah of Judah. Here's a blurb: "In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover." Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, "Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: "Go and tell Hezekiah, 'This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life."--Isaiah 38:1-5

You see, when I had my truck accident back in 1991 I knew I was dead. I knew the terrain and that it was a looooooong way down where I went off the road. I wasn't scared. Just a little sad. They say that before you die your life flashes before your eyes.

That didn't happen with me. I saw my future--or rather what I was going to miss. My oldest was two, my youngest seven months old. I thought that I would miss my youngest first steps, her first words, their first day of school, their graduations, letting them cry on my shoulder after a boy broke their hearts for the first time etc.

If the moment before I lost consciousness an angel appeared and said to me: "I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life" I would've been deliriously happy. Guess what? I got that 15 years and then some. If that's all I am allotted how can I be anything but grateful? I saw my girls grow from cute babies to fine young women. I've seen them both graduate into high school and come June I will see my eldest in a cap and gown yet again. I saw first steps, heard first words and hugged my family thousands of times over the last decade and a half. I relearned how to walk, I went camping again many times and hiked hundreds of miles in the woods and lost countless monster fish while on the water.

I began a writing career, came across some awesome folks and I've never enjoyed a writing gig more than THT. We're rocking the 'net and I'm looking forward to seeing THT grow into something major.

I'm not done. There are intiations to perform, editors to drive insane, team presidents of South Florida NL clubs to heckle. I'm pretty sure I owe most the staff a round of beers--a debt which I intend to pay. On the home front there's cap and gowns on the horizon and a couple of walks down the aisle and brides to give away. There are grandchildren to be bounced on my knee (did I just write that--cripes I must be gettin' old). I've been on "bonus time" since November 1991 so I view this battle as simply an attempt to keep the party rolling.

I'm grateful for every day. And I'm grateful that I get to work with a bunch of guys every bit as batshit insane as me :-)

I intend to be grateful for awhile yet.

Best Regards

Best Regards

   602. PerroX Posted: March 26, 2009 at 01:12 AM (#3114855)
One night, little Johnny heard some strange noises coming from his parents' bedroom. He tiptoes down the hall and opens the door to see his mom bent over the dresser and his dad giving it to her from behind. His dad turns and sees little Johnny, smiles and winks. Little Johnny quickly and quietly leaves the room.

After dad cleans up, he goes down the hall to talk to little Johnny about what he had seen. Dad opens the door only to find little Johnny has grandma bent over the dresser and going at her from behind.

"Little Johnny!" his dad exclaims, "What the #### do you think you're doing?"

"It's not so funny when it's your mom, is it?"
   603. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 26, 2009 at 01:27 AM (#3114868)
Ron Johnson: if you're reading this, I haven't been able to send you email; it keeps bouncing back as undeliverable.
   604. PerroX Posted: March 26, 2009 at 01:36 AM (#3114876)
#606 displays a spirit we could all learn from, whether religious or not. Looking on life as a short, unfair lot of pain and suffering is to miss the absolute beauty of this short, sweet life, pretty much to miss it all. Every person here seems to feel lucky to have known John Brattain through this site, most not knowing him personally. Surely all of us here have many, many, many blessings much greater than knowing John's posts and writings.

John, despite dealing with more trials and tribulations than I've come close to facing and leaving this life prematurely at a relatively young age (less than a year older than me), lived each day with joy and humor and love, and made this world a brighter place.

Don't take your life for granted, don't dwell on the perceived injustices that wouldn't exist if you were Creator, know that if you make giving yourself fully to your life and the people, places and things in it a priority, the world will be a better and brighter place.

Most of all, let humor guide you through life's troubles. There is often untold beauty, laughter and joy even in the rough spots.

Celebrate John's life by celebrating yours.

End of sermon, let the jokes roll on.
   605. DL from MN Posted: March 26, 2009 at 02:07 AM (#3114896)
Since I'm from MN

Ole returns home from the field early and finds Lena in bed naked. He says to her "Whatcha doin dere wit no clothes on, Lena?". Lena replies, "It's such a nice day Ole, I thought I'd go without and save the soap for the laundry." Ole thought about it a little while and though it's a little strange he figures saving money is always prudent. He comes home early the next week and finds Lena naked again. He says "Lena it's only tventy degrees today, why are yoo nekked today?". Lena says "I dint get der washing done today Ole." Ole thinks this is a pretty good answer and is satisfied with it. The next week he comes in from the field early and finds Lena lying in bed naked again. He says "Lena, vut's wrong? I know ya did da vashing today!". Lena says "I yust don't have any dresses to vere, Ole. You need to buy my some nice dresses." Well, Ole remembered he goes to the feed store every year to buy Lena a gingham dress on her birthday so he goes to the closet. He says "Lena, you have plenty of good-enough dresses to vear", opens the door and starts counting. "Vy look here Lena, there's vun dress, two dress, tree dress, Oh hi dere Sven!, four dress, five dress, six dress. Yoove got six perfectly good dresses in da closet, put vun of dem on before you catch cold!"
   606. Dread Pirate Dave Roberts Posted: March 26, 2009 at 02:19 AM (#3114898)
What horrible news; I have no idea how I missed this earlier. As a lurker over the last 7 years, the threads I've enjoyed the most have featured John prominently. My condolences to his family; no one deserves to have someone they love taken away from them at such a young age. And especially someone who was such a gentleman in every sense of the word as he was. He will be missed.
   607. Crashburn Alley Posted: March 26, 2009 at 02:33 AM (#3114905)
#609, ghost of perros, thank you for that! Perfectly put.
   608. Dag Nabbit at Posted: March 26, 2009 at 02:45 AM (#3114911)
8. You would rather get rid of a poster a year too early than a year too late.

Frank, thank you for making me burst out laughing with that one.
   609. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: March 26, 2009 at 02:50 AM (#3114914)
This was the response John had to my email from 2007 that I posted on RLYW:

I'm not one to tear up very easily, but this beautiful message from John really got to me. Thanks very much for sharing this, Larry. This is really sums up what a thoroughly decent, humble, and loving man John <s>was</s> is.

Best Regards,

   610. jwb Posted: March 26, 2009 at 02:55 AM (#3114917)
Leave it to Brattain to express his own joy in life better than anyone else possibly could. Thank you for sharing, Larry.
   611. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 26, 2009 at 02:56 AM (#3114920)
No. 606, FTW. Even in death, John Brattain wins the thread.
   612. Jose Bautista Bobblehead Day Posted: March 26, 2009 at 08:00 AM (#3115026)
John Brattain just reported to Spring Training in the best shape of his afterlife.

Best Regards

   613. Lassus Posted: March 26, 2009 at 08:03 AM (#3115027)
End of sermon

I think John may have died holding his breath for this from Perros. ;-)
   614. Phil Coorey. Posted: March 26, 2009 at 08:17 AM (#3115029)
Thanks for posting that Larry, it is bloody great.
   615. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: March 26, 2009 at 10:53 AM (#3115036)
thanks Larry. That email is awesome.
   616. bunyon Posted: March 26, 2009 at 11:51 AM (#3115049)
8. You would rather get rid of a poster a year too early than a year too late.

Frank, thank you for making me burst out laughing with that one.

Indeed. That was a hell of a line and I wish I'd thought of it earlier.

And seconds on the thanks, Larry, for posting that email.
   617. Rusty Priske Posted: March 26, 2009 at 03:04 PM (#3115207)
David Nieporent - Ron has been having e-mail problems.

I will let him know you are trying to get in touch with him.
   618. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 26, 2009 at 03:25 PM (#3115243)
John Brattain just reported to Spring Training in the best shape of his afterlife.

Very nice. John would be, or perhaps is, pleased.

EDIT: Small sample size, though.
   619. kthejoker Posted: March 26, 2009 at 03:55 PM (#3115289)
John was one of if not the most self-deprecating and charming poster on BTF. My favorite regards of his were the ones that defused the numerous blowhard conversations that naturally spring out of a site of dedicated fans and thinkers.

A toast to John: that the Blue Jays sweep the Marlins in the Series this year, and every year.
   620. Traderdave Posted: March 26, 2009 at 04:08 PM (#3115306)
Just donated at THT, posting to bump back to top, hopefully EVERYONE sees it & helps.

And that email from John is the meaning of life. John & I were on opposite ends of the religion scale -- I don't belive in heaven, my hereafter is my children, what I teach them, what I leave them. His words of love & living for his daughters move me deeply.
   621. rbratt01 Posted: March 26, 2009 at 10:31 PM (#3115964)
Hi Everyone:

Thank you all for the fine comments made about John. As his older brother, I have always known him and loved him. He was the perfect younger brother. In other words, he would do whatever I told him to. This led to many funny experiences, but I would like to relate one that I think lets you know how he viewed life.

When John was about 4 (I was 6). He was learning to print his name and he had a hard time with the "J", he would always write it backwards. Combine this with his favourite colour, purple. I decided to write his name all over the wall with the "J" backwards in purple crayon. Of course, when my Dad saw that he went to punish John. All I remember hearing was "But, I didn't do it" and my Dad replying "Don't lie".

About 20 years later my wife and I were talking to John and I mentioned to him :"Do you remember the time you got punished for writing in purple crayon on the wall?" He started to scream "i knew it was you, I knew it was you". He had been dwelling on that for the whole time as I sure didn't have to prompt him. I then asked why he did not mention it at all. His reply was "I started to believe that I did it and just did not remember doing it!!" As I mentioned he was a great younger brother.

He loved baseball, his family and his religion (not necessarily in that order).

Reading the tributes about John brought smiles and laughs and a lot of tears. I will miss him and miss being able to pick on him.

If you don;t mind, I will sign off as John did

Best Regards to you all.

Rob Brattain
   622. Ray (CTL) Posted: March 26, 2009 at 10:58 PM (#3116002)
Thanks, Rob; that was touching.

Best wishes to all of you going forward.
   623. T.J. Posted: March 27, 2009 at 12:57 AM (#3116121)

But what we all really want to know is: Did you ever admit it to your father?
   624. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: March 27, 2009 at 01:00 AM (#3116125)
Not having a passport, I won't be able to come to John's memorial service on Saturday, a fact I deeply regret.
   625. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: March 27, 2009 at 01:13 AM (#3116135)
It's funny, I just finished watching "Sleeping in Light" before I read 606. Real people are always even more amazing that the best stories written.
   626. Repoz Posted: March 27, 2009 at 01:15 AM (#3116137)
Thank you, Rob.

My heart goes out.
   627. Who Swished In Your Cornflakes? Posted: March 27, 2009 at 04:21 PM (#3116645)
I've been busy this week and didn't see the news until today. My heart sank.

John kept everyone in good spirits with his unique and good-natured sense of humor. Chances are when I saw a post that summed up the heart of an issue while poking fun at it, it was John's. I started reading THT and was particularly happy to find his articles there. I found many of them to be extremely well thought-out, measured pieces looking at things from many angles, even if I didn't always agree with him. He was a talented writer, and his sense of humor kept his work unflinchingly honest.

I came to respect and admire John through his work at BTF and THT, and I feel like I've lost a good friend. My deepest sympathies to his close friends and family. Best regards, John. You will be truly missed.
   628. CrosbyBird Posted: March 29, 2009 at 11:38 PM (#3118375)
It amazes me how much I feel for this person who I never met, who I wouldn't recognize if I had bumped into on the street, whose voice would be entirely unfamiliar to me.

Within the very limited scope of my interaction with him, John struck me as one of the most fundamentally decent people in the world. I never once got the impression that he had anything but respect for anyone. He made me laugh out loud, and he made me think, and he was one of the best things about my favorite website.

I wish I had met the man. I wish I had told him how much I appreciated sharing the community with him. John, if you were right all along and you're able to read this, I'm sorry that I didn't tell you before. I hope you knew how much respect we all had for you, and how much we're going to miss you.

Best regards.
   629. CrosbyBird Posted: March 30, 2009 at 12:04 AM (#3118388)
So I was walking in the forest with a six-year old girl the other day, and after a few minutes she started to cry. I asked her why she was crying, and she said that she was scared. I could only say one thing in response.

"You're scared? I'm the one that's going to have to walk back to the car by myself."
   630. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: March 30, 2009 at 12:06 AM (#3118392)
So I was walking in the forest with a six-year old girl the other day, and after a few minutes she started to cry. I asked her why she was crying, and she said that she was scared. I could only say one thing in response.

"You're scared? I'm the one that's going to have to walk back to the car by myself."
You're supposed to tell jokes, not anecdotes.
   631. 185/456(GGC) Posted: March 30, 2009 at 12:15 AM (#3118399)
Here is John's obituary.

   632. CFiJ Posted: March 30, 2009 at 02:18 AM (#3118451)
Best. Jehovah's Witness. Ever.
   633. DL from MN Posted: March 30, 2009 at 02:24 AM (#3118454)
I'm sorry, but I just can't bring myself to give a memorial to the Watchtower. I have always been amazed that the Jehovah's Witnesses could bring people over to their side with the worst written, most poorly edited religious magazine I've ever seen. Typos everywhere, essays with no topic statement (often no topic), etc. I lived next door to some wonderful Jehovah's Witnesses and had several friends in high school (actually, I've never had a bad experience with a Jehovah's Witness) and I've received several Watchtowers so I'm sure it's not just small sample size.
   634. Biscuit_pants Posted: April 01, 2009 at 02:13 AM (#3120667)
I have not been on the site in a while, even as a lurker, but wanted to make sure I could essentially echo everyone else here. For someone I have never met I am deeply saddened by this news. His top 10 lists and puns were always fun to read, but some of my favorite stuff of his was before registration, a 200+ post thread that became what Simpson character or line would be appropriate for what baseball figure.

I read through the thread and a lot of people said some amazing things but I have to agree with Tom, John's e-mail from 606 says everything!
   635. amcg Posted: April 01, 2009 at 10:31 AM (#3120763)
I missed the news of this last week and was genuinely shocked when I read about it just 5 minutes ago. I really enjoyed John Brattain's writing.

My condolences to his surviving family, and to all who knew him better than me.
   636. All In The Guetterman, Looking Up At The Stargell Posted: April 05, 2009 at 09:07 PM (#3124967)
Wow. John being a JW makes a lot of sense in retrospect. It partly explains his unusual good-naturedness. I wish I'd known; we'd have had a lot more to talk about. Re-thinking his success online in gaining popularity and forging many friendships in a "worldly" context, it must have been exhilarating for him, if a tad awkward.

I didn't know him nearly as well as most of you did, but Larry's post of John's message combined with this new information is a bit heavy for me right now. What a sweet guy. It's just not fair.
   637. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 10, 2009 at 02:10 AM (#3132972)
The whole day, I've been thinking.

The sweetest guy in the world, beautiful family, dies young.
A 22-year-old, just starting his life, gets killed after the best start of his career.

Man who kills three people by drunkenly plowing his car into them, healthy enough to try and run away from the crash.

Sometimes, it's hard to find the bright side of life.
   638. base ball chick Posted: April 10, 2009 at 04:11 AM (#3133011)
i understand what you are saying.

so in honor of john (and easter) here's a joke for all yall

Three blondes died and found themselves standing before St. Peter. He told them that before they could enter the Kingdom, they had to tell him what Easter was.

The first blonde said, "Easter is a holiday where they have a big feast and we give thanks and eat turkey."
St. Peter said, "Blondes," and he banished her to hell.

The second blonde said, "Easter is when we celebrate Jesus' birth and exchange gifts."
St. Peter said, "Booboo," and he banished her to hell.

The third blonde said, she knew what Easter is, and St. Peter said, "So, tell me."
She said, "Easter is a Christian holiday that coincides with the Jewish festival of Passover. Jesus was having Passover feast with His disciples when he was betrayed by Judas, and the Romans arrested him. The Romans hung Him on the cross and eventually He died. Then they buried Him in a tomb behind a very large boulder

St. Peter said, Verrrrry good."

Then the blonde continued, "Now every year the Jews roll away the boulder, and Jesus comes out. If he sees his shadow, we have six more weeks of basketball.

and one good turn deserves another, so here goes:

This Preacher was explaining that he must move on to a larger congregation that will pay him more. There is a hush within the congregation. No one wants him to leave.

Sadie Jones, age 88, stands and announces with a smile, "If the Preacher stays, I will give him sex!"

There is total silence.

The Preacher, blushing, asks her "Mrs. Jones, whatever possessed you to say that?"

Sadie's 90 year old husband Jake is now trying to hide, holding his forehead with the palm of his hand and shaking his head from side to side, while his wife replies "Well, I just asked my husband how we could help and he said 'Screw the Preacher!' "
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