Tom Giordano, better known as T-Bone, longtime major league super scout and baseball executive, is truly one of the most interesting men in the world.
T-Bone has kissed the ring of the last three popes, dined with presidents, joked with the Queen, and entertained some of the biggest movie stars ever.
Even at age 94, he has one of the greatest baseball minds ever.
He was able to do everything one could possibly dream of in this great game called baseball. The one thing that he has been the most proud of is the fact that with all of his success, he has been able to help so many people along the way.
Whether it was someone looking for a job or someone needing to get into a drug rehabilitation program — without the money.
"No" was never in his vocabulary.
When it came to his baseball life he was a lion, and took no prisoners.
When it came to his normal life he was all about making this world better.
He reminds me of someone that a lot of you have heard of — George Steinbrenner.
One of my biggest satisfactions was when I put these two great man together for lunch. As they talked, I remember just having a big smile on my face because these were two of the three most wonderful figures that I had ever met in the game.
Billy Martin was the other. And you know what? They were my true friends.
Now I take from a passage of a Frank Sinatra song ("I Did it My Way"): "And now the end is near," and soon T-Bone faces the final curtain.
The mind is strong but the body has just given up so he was sent home with hospice care to be with his family and close friends.
One of his close friends, John Hart, senior analyst for the MLB Network, and his beautiful wife, Sandy stood by Tom (T-Bone) Giordano’s bedside and they looked at each other with true love and affection. T-Bone looked at John the way a father would look at his son after hitting the game winning home run and Sandy held Tom’s hand the whole time.
Their relationship has been one filled with love, loyalty and respect.
When Tom was inducted into the Ted Williams Hall of Fame, John gave the presentation to him. The thing that T-Bone loved the most about what John said in his presentation was when John said, "My friend, my father, Tom Giordano." TBone said to me, "Did you hear that?" "Yes I did.” I told him. Then he gave me a wink.
T-Bone has given so many people opportunities in baseball, but the one that gave him his most satisfaction was John Hart and his great success in the game and a very big deal to Tom was the fact that John never let him down. T-Bone has done things throughout the years for people and has been disappointed because sometimes people just don’t do the right thing.
T-Bone has taken many chances on people even after being warned that the opportunity given to such individuals might backfire. He would take a chance anyway hoping that he could change a life. I know, I witnessed a few of them.
Tom Giordano would never say it because he is too humble of a man, so I will say that John Hart was TBone’s greatest discovery and even to this day when The Bone would see Hart on the MLB Network, he has the greatest smile of pride on his face.
This past weekend, John and Sandy came over twice to see him. I am so saddened because of the fact that that was probably the last time the Mentor would ever get to see his pupil. Before John and Sandy left, T-Bone tried to tell them something but due to his illness the words didn’t come out.
When T-Bone woke up from his nap I asked him what it was that he had tried to say to John before he left and in a barely audible and raspy voice he said. "Tell them I Love them."
John Hart has been a very lucky young man because he has had a truly wonderful baseball father in Tom Giordano. I’m even luckier because I had three baseball fathers, George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin and of course Tom “Tbone” Giordano.
A couple of months ago, T-Bone signed a new three year contract with the Atlanta Braves.
The thing I find so great about T-Bone is that he wanted to work with the Braves until he was 100 and then he said, "After that I will figure out what I will do with the rest of my life."
Through it all, T -Bone always did it his way.
Ray Negron is a sports executive with over 40 years of experience in baseball. His first job came from a chance encounter with George Steinbrenner as a youth. He has become an American film producer, a best-selling author, and a philanthropist. His memoir is entitled, "Yankee Miracles: Life with the Boss and the Bronx Bombers." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.