Although they call them an “every down back,” no running back is in the backfield for every single offensive play of a football game.  It’s too hard, too taxing and physically exhausting. 

The work of a sports writer can feel similar, minus the the violent hits.  Baseball writers have it the worst, covering a 162 game regular season schedule that includes an absurd amount of travel, rain delays and other annoyances while only allowing for a few days off per month, and even on those off days, your paper or website still requires a story, regardless of whether or not a game is played.

That is what makes the story of MLB.com’s Kansas City Royals beat writer Dick Kaegel so impressive.  Fellow MLB.com writer Anthony Castrovince’s story is less about Kaegel and more about the importance of becoming an organ donor; saving someone else’s life after losing your own.  While it is a scary and depressing thought, thousands of lives are saved every year because of organ donations, and thousands are lost as well due to a lack of donors.

A few years after receiving a life-saving liver transplant, Kaegel, who recently turned 72, offered himself quite the challenge by attempting to cover every single game on the Royals 2011 schedule.  Like an every down back, even baseball beat writers skip plays from time to time, missing a few games here and there for various reasons.  But Kaegel did no such thing, fulfilling the promise he made to himself to work every single day required to fulfill the needs of his employer.  No calling in sick, no vacation days, just pure baseball and hard work.  All 162 games, plus most days in between. 

This is a very sweet, informative and inspirational story that is perfect to read on Thanksgiving.  Check out Anthony Castovince’s story about his colleague Dick Kaegel here:  http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111123&content_id=26032706&vkey=news_kc&c_id=kc

For information on organ donation, visit www.organdonor.gov and www.giftdonor.org

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