Tim Russert, the moderator for NBC’s “Meet The Press”, and a board member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, has died suddenly of an apparent heart attack today while preparing for his weekly broadcast. Russert was 58.
While the broadcast, and political world passed on their condolences, so has the baseball community as Russert was a fan and supporter of Major League Baseball.
"We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of Tim's sudden passing," said National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Chairman Jane Forbes Clark. "He was an integral member of our Board of Directors and its executive committee, and he cared about the Hall of Fame and its mission so much. We'll miss Tim's critical thinking and his unsurpassed passion for the game tremendously."
“I am deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Tim Russert,” Commissioner Selig said through a statement. “He was one of the great journalists of our generation and a great fan of baseball. His untimely passing leaves a great void for our nation and Major League Baseball. All of us in Major League Baseball mourn Tim, and we send our sympathy and condolences to his family and friends.”
In Washington, D.C., home to the Nationals, the club released a statement regarding him as a renowned journalist.
“Tim was a dedicated friend and fan of the Washington Nationals. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Russert family during this time of great loss.”
George Steinbrenner said, "I join millions of others in mourning Tim's passing. He loved the game of baseball and was a true friend of the Yankees and mine. Tim always batted in the cleanup spot for the media and always hit for the fences. May God bless him and his family."
While Russert was a Yankees fan, he also was part of activities involving the Red Sox, going as far as being the moderator on NESN for a debate among the candidates that were running for the President of Red Sox Nation in September of last year.
At the time, Larry Lucchino, the Red Sox’ President/CEO said, “For decades, Boston has had a reputation of adoring its sports and its politics. We are honored that one of our top fans in Washington will moderate this discussion about baseball.”
On receiving the news of Russert’s passing, Lucchino said, “On behalf of John Henry, Tom Werner, and the entire Boston Red Sox organization, I express our deep sadness and profound grief at the news of the passing of Tim Russert. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family including his wife, Maureen, and his son, Luke, who always made him so proud. Tim was a passionate fan of baseball, a great friend of the Red Sox, and a dear and beloved personal friend to many of us. He left us far, far too soon, but he leaves a gigantic legacy of professionalism, journalistic excellence, authenticity and friendship that will inspire us and generations to follow us. Red Sox Nation mourns the loss of Tim Russert more than we can express.”
Russert had dozens of honorary college degrees, and numerous professional awards.
He won an Emmy for his role in the coverage of President Ronald Reagan's funeral in 2004.
He was married to Maureen Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair Magazine. The couple had one son, Luke.
Source: Press releases, Major League Baseball, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, National Baseball Hall of Fame. The Associated Press.