On Saturday night at about 11pm, the world and Birdland lost a very good and kind man. Michael “Weams” Williams, Managing Editor of Orioles Hangout, passed away following a battle with stage-4 kidney cancer. He passed with his wife Denise by his side and with the joy of seeing the Baltimore Orioles defeat the New York Yankees by a score of 4-3.
Michael asked me to join him at Orioles Hangout a few years ago and told me that I was “hand-picked” by him to continue in his absence as he fought his illness. I was honored then and I am still honored by that. I am forever grateful to him for the opportunity he presented me with. (Site owner, Tony Pente, deserves my gratitude as well). My intention was only to keep Michael’s seat warm and that he would beat the cancer and return to the Hangout, God had another plan, however.
I never met Michael in person, something I will forever regret, but his passing has affected me deeply. I truly am at a loss for words. We communicated via email and Twitter mainly, but I did have a telephone conversation with him back in July. We shared similar tastes in music and even had a Twitter exchange of Yes song lyrics. I will forever consider him a friend and will miss him dearly.
You may ask, “how can the loss of someone you never met affect you so?”. Tony Pente’s tribute to Michael explained how that could be very eloquently. Michael had that way about him to connect with everyone. He genuinely was a kind and good person, humanity needs more people like Michael Williams.
Birdland lost one of their most devout fans on Saturday night. Michael loved the Orioles but not more than he did love his wife Denise, who he met fittingly at an Oriole game. Fate has a way of making things like this happen.
Orioles Hangout will never fill the void left behind with Michael’s passing. I know I will never be able to equal the standard he set for me; my goal now is to make him proud and live up to the confidence he had in me.
The outpouring of love and good thoughts for “Weams” are best read on this Forum thread at Orioles Hangout.
To Denise I want to send my deepest condolences, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
To Michael, Rest In Peace, my friend. Until we finally meet…..