A Good Man Lost…

About the Author: Eric Cressey

I just wanted to give everyone a heads-up that this week’s blogs won’t start up for a few days, as I’ll be flying out to Ohio tomorrow to attend the funeral of Chet Rodgers, who passed away on Saturday afternoon after a courageous battle with cancer.

My friendship with Chet was a perfect example of just how powerful the internet is.  After reading one of my blogs about training pitchers, Chet contacted me last fall to ask some questions about baseball training – and these interactions led to his son, Chad, coming to train at Cressey Performance all winter.  Chad was a third round pick by the Atlanta Braves in 2006, and he had a phenomenal off-season – gaining 17 pounds and completely changing his body.

I’ll never forget the excitement in the email I received from Chet when he saw the before-after pictures and read about the pre-post testing numbers in power and flexibility improvements from Chad’s off-season.  Chet was the best kind of Baseball Dad: one who respected and understood the game, and would do anything to make sure that his son was set-up for success – but without ever coming close to being overbearing.

Chet was an avid exerciser – and actually completed the Maximum Strength program this winter, including a few visits to Cressey Performance himself.  On each of those visits, Chet made a point of rocking the Cressey Performance beanie around our facility, making sure to console me that going bald wasn’t so bad, as it means that you can always wear a CP beanie.

A regular reader of this blog, Chet and I emailed back and forth almost every day.  He was a regular churchgoer, long-time baseball coach and fan, and most importantly, a fantastic husband, father of two, and friend – and one of the most unconditionally positive and genuinely friendly people I’ve ever met.  Chet was, very simply, an incredible guy.

It is all too ironic that Chet would pass away this weekend, as it was the weekend I helped out at Fantasy Day at Fenway Park to benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  It seems only fitting that I could be involved in helping to raise money for cancer research with baseball as a backdrop.

And, perhaps more significantly, my own father had (successful) surgery this morning.  I can say without wavering that hearing of Chet’s passing on Saturday made it all the more important to me to be back in Maine to see my Dad and be there to tell him I love him before the surgery.

To that end, while I’m sure only a few of you knew Chet Rodgers, I’m sure a lot of you have had a “Chet Rodgers” in your life at some point.  So, I’d encourage you to make a donation – of funds or your time – to support cancer research.  And, for those of you who can, I’d encourage you to give your father a call when you read this.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been set up in Chet’s honor to benefit the family.  For more information, please visit www.RodgersFund.com.