Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dying for Michigan

Have you ever been sitting around after a few beers and said to yourself: "I wonder how many Major League Baseball players kicked the bucket in the Great Lake State?" I know I have. Many times.

Or maybe you mention that you're from Flint to a hardcore baseball fan and they ask, "Didn't Red Bluhm die in Flint?" Well, thanks to Baseball Almanac, a website that proves once again there's nothing too obscure to find a place on the internet, you now have the knowledge to quickly reply: "Oh, you mean the Red Bluhm who went hitless in his only major league at bat for the Red Sox in 1918? Yeah, he's buried in Sunset Hills Cemetery."

Of course, not even the Baseball Almanac can explain what the hell Norm Cash was doing on Beaver Island when he died there in 1986.

1 comment:

  1. Norm Cash had a condo in Charlevoix, Michigan where he lived with his second wife. He was a familiar figure in Little Traverse Bay area as was Bill Freehan who lived on Walloon Lake near Charlevoix.

    Cash frequently took his boat out to Beaver Island which is about 35 to 40 miles due north from the shores of Charlevoix. He was having some drinks with his wife and a friend of theirs at the Shamrock Bar -- a favorite watering hole on the island. One of Cash's favorite spots after a nice long boat ride out on Lake Michigan.

    After a few too many drinks, Cash went out to check on the boat for a moment because a storm was brewing. The boat docks were slippery from the cold rain and it was highly speculated that he slipped and hit his head on the dock, rendering him unconscious, and he fell in the water that evening. He was found floating in the St. James Bay at the boat docks of downtown Beaver Island.

    I remember that morning well, I was eating breakfast in Charlevoix when the news came across the radio that Detroit's beloved "Stormin' Norman" was found dead in the water at Beaver Island.

    24 years earlier, I was a boy growing up in Flint. Norm Cash was signing autographs at a IGA store on Lapeer Road. I was there. I have a picture of Norm and me from that day and his autograph. That day was cool . . . the day in Charlevoix the morning they found him was not so cool.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at