On The Fence
Bobby Leach "The Rooster" | 3/4/2015, 4:57 p.m.
What makes a person great? I suppose the definition of greatness differs as many times as there are those who would offer an opinion but for me personally, I equate greatness with sacrifice. In almost every instance I can recall meeting who I considered to be a great person, the common thread each shared was the sacrifices they were willing to make in order to achieve their goals. For instance, I consider my parents to be great as only a few would know of the sacrifices they each made ensuring that not only would I grow to be an adult but become a productive one. Above all my faith in God and His sacrifice for me that I choose to celebrate every day including Easter. There are varying levels of greatness but I have not ever met someone I consider to be great without personal sacrifice attached in some way.
Last weekend the local sporting world and indeed the greater community at large lost one of the greatest sport icons to ever grace our area. Athletic giant Gordie Gillespie passed away at his home in Joliet after enduring a long illness at the age of 88. Gillespie amassed 2,402 victories in four sports but if you ask anyone who played for him, the victories Gordie counted had little to do with the scoreboard.
I have had the pleasure of speaking with Gordie on several occasions and to say he a gentleman would be an understatement of the highest order. Coach Gillespie once told me that scoreboards had little relevance when recalling memories of past glories. The real relevance was recalling those moments when athlete preparation met opportunity and the lessons learned from them could be applied in their everyday lives.
Coach Gillespie was never one to accept the accolades that came with success in athletics, he was unassuming and always gracious. If ever a man should be honored it would be how Coach Gillespie chose to live his life and what he gave to so many in the process.