Like most professional people, the majority of sportswriters have a career path they try to follow. They start out covering local amateur sports, usually on a part-time basis, then start climbing the ladder to cover high schools, then colleges and, finally, the big time – professional sports. Most sports writers want to cover the Philadelphia Eagles, not the Smyrna Eagles.
Then there are people like Buddy Hurlock, whose ambitions took him in a different direction. Like most sport writers at The News Journal, Buddy started out as a part-time news assistant and when he was finally hired full-time, he took over the high school beat from Kevin Tresolini.
Buddy was home.
For more than a decade, Buddy Hurlock has connected with Delaware high school athletes, coaches and administrators and because of him, the rest of Delaware also connected with them. Buddy never looked at the high school beat as a mere stepping stone to bigger and supposedly better things. Buddy loved covering the local kids and promoting the local schools. He loved covering the big state championship game attended by thousands of people and he loved covering the not-so-big field hockey game that a few moms and dads showed up to watch. That never mattered to Buddy because he cared about everybody and everything.
And now Buddy Hurlock is very, very sick — he has brain cancer and the prognosis is not good and that is very, very sad, because Buddy is one of those people who make a difference in the lives of other people, and that’s something we always need.
Buddy also covered the Blue Rocks for The News Journal and he did it the same way he did everything else – he treated a Single-A minor league game in June like he was covering Game 7 of the World Series. And it wasn’t the event that mattered so much to him – it was the people.
That’s why the Blue Rocks are hosting a benefit for Buddy this Sunday, when a portion of ticket receipts from their 1:30 p.m. game against Myrtle Beach will go toward helping defray some of the mounting medical bills that have hit Buddy and his family. Fellow journalists will be there to support their friend and there will also be many coaches, athletic directors and administrators from all three counties. Buddy Hurlock touched all of those people and now they want to do something for him.
That’s not a surprise, because everyone likes Buddy and everyone respects him and the way he always did his job. Sports writers are, by nature, a cynical and sarcastic bunch, but not Buddy. I never heard him rip another writer or coach or athlete. He’s always upbeat and positive and that did not change after he learned the extent of his illness and what it meant. When you talked to him you never would have known he was battling a terrible disease, a battle he knew he couldn’t win. He was, well, Buddy.
So, if you’re not doing anything this Sunday, take a ride to Frawley Stadium and support a good cause for a good man. And if you happen to go to church on Sunday before the game, please say a prayer for him, too.
Contact Kevin Noonan at [email protected].