"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

A Death in the Family

It is with a heavy heart that I pass along the news that our colleague and friend Todd Drew passed away last night. According to his wife, “Todd lost the last game of the season in the bottom of the 9th inning just after midnight. His dear friend Michael and I were with him and he went very peacefully. While we were sharing the ipod listening to Regina Carter (jazz violinist), he opened his eyes for just a moment.”

I didn’t know Todd well. We spoke over the phone about a dozen times and exchanged many e-mails over the past few years. I have an e-mail he sent me last February of his favorite sports writers tacked up in front of my computer.

I met him just once, a few months ago, at a dinner with the rest of the Bronx Banter crew, minus Bruce, who lives upstate.

Todd was a gentle, compassionate man, but no pushover. He loved sports writing, loved baseball, and was an unyielding optimist.

This is a great loss for our community and he will be missed dearly.

Todd Drew: May 13, 1967 – Jan. 15, 2009

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1 Raf   ~  Jan 15, 2009 12:13 pm

aw, f--k...

If you hit me with a time and place, I'd be more than willing to pay my respects.

2 Kermit   ~  Jan 15, 2009 12:16 pm

Oh, no...I didn't expect that.

I love this whole site, but Mr. Drew's "Shadow Games" series was my favorite.

I will miss him, and wish peace to his wife, family and friends.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 15, 2009 12:25 pm

His wife will pass along info about a memorial and I in turn will let you guys know. Thanks, Raf.

4 ms october   ~  Jan 15, 2009 12:33 pm

wow, this is really sad.
i really enjoyed todd's writing and his love for people and for the yankees was inspiring and touching.
my deepest condolences.

5 Yankee Mama   ~  Jan 15, 2009 12:34 pm

I'm so sorry to hear that.
He added poetry to the Banter. His blog, upon discovering he had a pernicious form of cancer was one of the most moving pieces I've ever read. I was too blown away to respond.

Only concession is that the poet went gently. How graceful. He will be missed.

6 Bobtaco   ~  Jan 15, 2009 12:37 pm

I'm sorry I only knew him through his writing, but I'm glad I was able to "meet" him that way. He was a hell of a writer. It's a real loss. My condolences to his family too.

7 rodg12   ~  Jan 15, 2009 12:37 pm

Wow, very sad and unexpected. I'm really going to miss reading his stuff. He was a great writer and as far as I can tell a great man. His perspective on things was often different than my own. He frequently made me think about things from a different angle and kept me grounded with many of his stories. Please send my condolences to Todd's family and friends. He will be missed.

8 Emma Span   ~  Jan 15, 2009 12:39 pm

I can't think of anything to say, except yes, he will definitely be missed -- and I'm very glad I got to meet him, even just the once. This is awful.

9 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jan 15, 2009 12:40 pm

I only met Todd in person the one time Alex mentions above and never spoke to him on the phone, but we hit it off immediately over email upon his joining Banter in the fall. Beyond mourning for the loss his wife and family have suffered and for the loss we will all feel here at Banter having lost such a strong, unique, intelligent, and compassionate voice, I feel the loss of a budding friendship. Todd and I had plans for some debates in this space—on the new Stadium (we were both opposed, but Todd had a far more compelling, big-picture point of view) and Manny Ramirez (Todd for, me against). In response to my tirades against the A.J. Burnett signing, he had invited me to join him at the new Stadium for Burnett’s first start in pinstripes. I very quickly developed a great fondness and respect for Todd as both a writer and a person, for the work he did both in his writing and for the ACLU, for his optimism, and again for his intelligence and compassion. I’m thankful to have known him even as briefly as distantly as I did and will miss him greatly as a colleague, a reader, and for the friendship we didn’t get to have.

10 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 15, 2009 12:41 pm

What sad news. All my best to Mrs. Drew and Todd's family and friends. I'll miss his voice and his unique take on the Yankees.

11 antonello   ~  Jan 15, 2009 12:42 pm

What a terrible tragedy. My deepest regrets.

12 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 15, 2009 12:46 pm

Very well put, Cliff.

13 tsengsational   ~  Jan 15, 2009 12:54 pm

This is sad news. I enjoyed reading his writing here. Condolences to his family.

14 The 13th   ~  Jan 15, 2009 12:58 pm

I always enjoyed the optimism I sensed from his writing. My condolences to his family.

15 The Hawk   ~  Jan 15, 2009 1:03 pm

My condolences ... All I knew of Tood Drew was what he wrote on this blog, and I always found his pieces to be full of humanism. It was a nice change of pace from the typical sports discussion (which I love of course). Not an easy thing to do, bringing that kind of compassion into this topic, but he did it well.

16 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 15, 2009 1:08 pm

This... really... hurts. I've been having music run through my mind, one song in particular that I've commented on or quoted from several times in the past year or so and especially recently, but now it seems more appropriate than ever to listen to:


These two remind me of the spirit of his posts, which I genuinely loved:


And this one to encapsulate what he did for us here at Banter, one of the songs I would want to be played for me when the time comes:


And finally, this is just for the ride, Todd.


We'll miss you... <:'(

17 The Hawk   ~  Jan 15, 2009 1:11 pm

Shoot, sorry I said "Tood" ...

18 Jehosephat   ~  Jan 15, 2009 1:35 pm

So sorry to hear. Thanks to Todd for the amazing "Shadow Games".

19 Jon Weisman   ~  Jan 15, 2009 1:37 pm

Very sorry to hear this - my best wishes go to his family and friends for coping with this. I only got to read him for a short time, but I very much enjoyed his writing.

20 Just Fair   ~  Jan 15, 2009 2:10 pm

Damn. I really enjoyed reading Todd's Yankees For Justice site. He was always able to make my worries seem trite b/c of the people he wrote about. I wish his family the best.

21 Alfred   ~  Jan 15, 2009 2:22 pm

My deepest condoleances to Todd's family and all you guys at Bronx Banter.

I was really struck by Todd's post (titled 'Baseball and Me') just before he went into the hospital to have his surgery. I had some hard times with cancer in my family and I could really relate to his post.

When I saw this news it felt like I've been punched in the stomach.

Once again, my deepest condoleances to Todd's family and friends.

- Alfred

22 ny2ca2dc   ~  Jan 15, 2009 2:26 pm

What terrible news. Todd was the best part of the new Banter (no offense Dianne, you're great and getter even better). In him and Alex we had two great humanists. Cliff was right to twice point out his compassion, and I agree. His empathy for people, and his seeming ease with folks of many types, really came through the pixels. And of course, he was feisty, a great combination.

Like many I'm sure, I am too far away to pay respects in person - perhaps one of the remaining Banter authors would be willing to accept contributions toward some sort of flower arrangement to be delivered to Mrs. Drew and family on behalf of the Banterers?

23 Evil Empire   ~  Jan 15, 2009 2:29 pm

This is Jeb from the Old Bronx Banter at the Toaster.  Godspeed to Todd and his family.  I read the Yankees for Justice Blog for a long time before Todd joined the Banter as a regular and so many others discovered his wonderful talent of story telling.  I loved his writing ability and the way he wove stories about the need for Justice in our country with stories about life in the Bronx and the Yankees.  Todd gave us vivid images of Juan Carlos and his coffee cart on cold mornings in the Bronx; he gave us the voice of wide-eyed optimism from residents like Javier, whom I know in spirit because of our mutual love of the Yankees.  And, you always knew where Todd stood because he picked sides in his writing and he never picked the wrong side.
I like to think that Todd is just now arriving at the Old Yankee Stadium and entering through a turnstile on a crisp April afternoon....Holy Cow, the flags are blowing right to left.  The sunshine from the frieze adorning the rim of the Big Ballpark in the Bronx makes him squint.  A polite, tie-wearing, usher will show him a reserved seat along the baseline with a great sight line for all the action.  The stands are full of happy fans ready for the game and Todd sees Casey Stengel, Joe McCarthy and Miller Huggins discussing the day's lineup for the double-header against the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Lou Gehrig is trotting out to first base, smiling his youthful grin, while Babe Ruth runs past him into right, all the while teasing the rookie first basemen about wanting to play every single day.  There's the Mick and Joe D heading toward the monuments, laughing at whose going to patrol the centerfield canyon and whose headed to left.  Billy Martin, playing less because of his hitting eye and more for grit (and in that lineup .257 isn't that bad!) is trying to figure out the best place to play Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn's lead-off hitter today, while Phil Rizzuto is telling Billy about the best place for Cannolis after the game.  Red Rolfe kick the dirt and looks down to Thurman Munson, who spits as he lowers his mask and squats in front of Jocko Conlan, who screams, "PLAY BALL!"...Roger Maris, Bill Dickey, Elston Howard, Bobby Murcer, Charlie Kelleher, and Tony Lazzeri all clap from the dugout steps as Allie Reynolds deals.....and it's a strike one to Robinson, the game is underway. 

24 DaveinMD   ~  Jan 15, 2009 2:58 pm

My deepest sympathy to his family. Todd was a great writer and his compassion always came threw in his writing. I was an avid reader of his blog and his voice will be greatly missed. This is a huge loss for the Yankees family and all of humanity.

25 Will Weiss   ~  Jan 15, 2009 3:00 pm

[23] Todd, from what I could gather, also having met him the one time, was an observer and a processor of information. He was quiet, but when he spoke, we all listened because what he said was poignant. That translated into his writing, which showed the humanity of our experience as fans. I'm sorry we weren't colleagues prior to this.

26 saucy   ~  Jan 15, 2009 3:09 pm

a great writer and person who will certainly be missed. i really feel like i knew him from his blog and a messageboard that we both used to post on.

very nice, Jeb/Evil Empire [22].

27 Yankee Fan in Boston   ~  Jan 15, 2009 3:11 pm

Sad, sad news. My condolences.

28 SteveAmerica   ~  Jan 15, 2009 3:17 pm

Todd's loved ones should know that on a site defined by it's great writing I found Todd's voice the most lyrical, soulful and touching. I'll miss reading his work immensely.

29 bronxborn   ~  Jan 15, 2009 3:19 pm

This is indeed very very sad news. I have been in touch with Todd through Yankee Justice and now here. Todd is and always will be a gentleman who fought for the rights of the little guy. His words were filled with honesty and Todd is one of the most genuine individuals I have ever met. My sincere best wishes to his family. I wish Todd the best on his journey.

30 bronxborn   ~  Jan 15, 2009 3:29 pm

I meant to write Yankees for Justice. Sorry.. am a bit upset.

31 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 15, 2009 3:42 pm

RIP and Godspeed.

32 murphydog   ~  Jan 15, 2009 4:04 pm

Goodbye, Todd, too, too soon. My condolences to his family and friends.

33 Diane Firstman   ~  Jan 15, 2009 4:06 pm

41 is just too young .... barely half a lifetime.

For one of the few times in my life, I'm struggling for words.

This is just so unfair ...

34 rbj   ~  Jan 15, 2009 4:20 pm

I'm so sorry. Deepest condolences to his wife and the rest of his family.

41 is definitely too young.

May he and Jim Dean get TheOtherSideBronxBanter going.

35 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jan 15, 2009 4:24 pm

Pete Abe and his readers remember Todd here.

36 Steve Lombardi   ~  Jan 15, 2009 4:52 pm

There's a line from "Tuesday's with Morrie" that I like to share at times like these and it goes along the lines of "Death only ends life, it does not end relationships." And, in case they're reading, I'd like to offer that to Todd's family.

While his physical presence has passed, Todd is not gone. He will always be with you, in your heart and minds.

I hope this thought helps, in some way, during this difficult time.

37 OldYanksFan   ~  Jan 15, 2009 4:54 pm

Jesus... I'm stunned. It's great meeting friends on the internet. It's terrible to hear news like this. My deepest condolences to his wife and family.

I second the idea of being able to contribute for something for his wife, or if he had children, maybe something for the kid(s) would be nice, so they can understand how many people their Dad touched.

Alex, I don't want to pry, but what happened? Was this from the surgery itself? I simply wasn't prepared to hear this.

38 LAJ   ~  Jan 15, 2009 4:55 pm

I can neither add more to the sentiments here nor find words to express the terrible sadness that afflicts me: Having never met Todd, I can't claim to be a friend, yet the loss I feel is as acute as if he & I were "real world" friends. But if not a friend, I will remain a great fan: His talent as a writer cannot be overstated & I looked forward to his contributions to the SNY version of Banter more than any other columnist, which is saying much given the great Web destination Banter is.

To Mrs. Drew, Todd's family & friends, my deepest condolences. Certainly, I cannot guess as to your loss & anguish; please know that Todd's talent greatly effected me & his absence will echo permanently for me. My daily desk routine will continue, commencing with a check of Banter. But Todd's absence will now be part of that routine too; enjoying the other writers work will remind me how much I'm missing Todd's view from the 2 Train. Please accept condolences and my thoughts and prayers are with you and Todd.

39 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 15, 2009 5:30 pm

Wow. Honestly, I've been here sort of sporadically lately, and I didn't even know Todd was ill. I really enjoyed his Shadow Games stuff.

Very sad.

40 RIYank   ~  Jan 15, 2009 5:44 pm

Oh, man.
I'm sad, too. I really loved Shadow Games and I'll read them over, for sure. I think I'll go read some Yankees for Justice right now.
Damn. Goodbye, Todd.

41 scottygelbs   ~  Jan 15, 2009 6:05 pm

My condolences to Todds family and friends. I just learned of his passing from peter abrahams blog. Are there any good links to Todd's stories???

42 Bama Yankee   ~  Jan 15, 2009 6:08 pm

Man, this is terrible news. As others have said, Todd's writing was great and something I looked forward to reading each day. We are all a little better for having a chance to read his stuff, even for only a short time. He will surely be missed. My prayers go out to his family. I hope they can take some solace in that fact that Todd's writing touched so many people.

43 bp1   ~  Jan 15, 2009 6:38 pm

What a shock. I wish there were some comforting words I could offer to help people through their grief. He was taken from the world far too soon. My deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and to all of you Yankee fans who enjoyed his writing here and elsewhere. May he rest in peace.

44 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jan 15, 2009 6:39 pm

Todd's contributions to Banter can all be found via this link:


His Yankees For Justice blog can be found at:


45 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jan 15, 2009 6:44 pm

Also Chyll Will's comment above at #16 got stuck in the filter. I thought I'd point it out as Will offers some tunes (via youtube links) in memory of Todd.

46 edoubletrouble   ~  Jan 15, 2009 7:39 pm

My condolences to all Todd Drew's family and all the friends here at Bronx Banter.

47 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jan 15, 2009 8:18 pm

Oh man..just onto the Banter this morning and saw this..am at least glad to hear that his family and friends were there at the end..reading all the responses here, makes me feel that the Banter really IS a community..[23] Jeb/EE, love what you wrote there, and I hope it's where I end up when it's my time..good trip, Todd, sayonara... :(

48 Evil Empire   ~  Jan 15, 2009 8:21 pm

Guys -- it's been a real sad, yet somehow uplifting, reading through everyone's comments today. I just wanted to comment again to say that I see so many screen names that -- I've chatted with, debated with, argued with -- and ultimately respected over the last few years discussing the Yankees at the Banter (here and at the Toaster). Knowing people who you discuss baseball with online is such an impossibility, but we do sometimes get each others' personalities and we all have a common bond that connects the different voices. I'm so sorry that one of those voices has been silenced today; and we've lost a truly unique and special viewpoint. When Todd Drew wrote something, you knew it was going to have purpose, and meaning, and depth.

I am deeply saddened by Todd's death for all the reasons everyone else has stated. As someone who's only 6 months older than he was, this really hits home for me; and my Father died of the same horrible disease that took him from us.

49 Evil Empire   ~  Jan 15, 2009 8:23 pm

[26][47] Thank you both. Something came over me at work. I really want it to be true times 10.

50 Jay Jaffe   ~  Jan 15, 2009 8:27 pm

My deepest condolences go out to Todd's family and friends as well as his Bronx Banter colleagues and fans. What a truly sad loss.

51 edeaton   ~  Jan 15, 2009 8:39 pm

This is such sad news. He was far too young. My condolences go out to Todd’s family and friends.

52 pugzilla   ~  Jan 15, 2009 9:04 pm

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918, Canon of St Paul's Cathedral

'The King of Terrors', a sermon on death delivered in St Paul's Cathedral on Whitsunday 1910, while the body of King Edward VII was lying in state at Westminster:

published in Facts of the Faith, 1919

IMO, this says it all....

53 lisaswan   ~  Jan 16, 2009 2:34 am

I've been sad all day since hearing this. I wrote on the Subway Squawkers blog about Todd today: http://subwaysquawkers.blogspot.com/2009/01/sad-news-from-yankee-blogging-world.html

As Jane Heller, writer of Confessions of a She-Fan, put it: "It's amazing how connected we can feel to people we only know through blogging about our teams." How true.

While I didn't know Todd personally, I felt like I knew him - at least a little - through his Yankee writings. And it makes me sad to think I'll never get to read his vignettes of conversations with Yankee fans again.

41 is way too young to die.

54 Patrick   ~  Jan 17, 2009 11:51 pm

Very sorry to read this. :( My thoughts are with all of those who were close to him.

55 _ajd_   ~  Jan 18, 2009 10:39 am

How incredible sad, and my best to Todd's family and the BB community.

I passed along this post to a friend of mine who knows Regina, and she forwarded it to her. She was quite touched that her music could provide some modicum of comfort to Todd and his family.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver