Love, Honor, Appreciation: A Memoriam For Spitter Writer Scott Kelly

As a Spitter co-founder, I learned there’s a whole community of website writers who know each other well, but have never sat down together due to the geography that separates them. So, when I traveled to Cincinnatti in the spring of 2016 for a horror convention, you best believe that I reached out to Spitter writer Scott Kelly to let him know that I’d be in town for the weekend and that we had to grab a beer. He was all about it, but then things got busy —family visits, sporting activities with the kids— and it didn’t happen. We agreed, “Next time.” On Thursday morning I received word that Scott had passed away. We had lost touch over the past year or more, which saddens me because now I know there won’t be a next time. You always think, we’ll reconnect down the road. Occasionally, he crossed my mind. I thought about messaging, but failed to do so. “Next time,” I said. Now, this news: His death a week ago. It isn’t until a moment such as this becomes reality that you comprehend with perfect clarity the idea of forever missing someone whom you had not seen or talked with in ages. Scott came to The Spitter (then known as Bugs & Cranks) with gusto. His enthusiasm extended well beyond the Reds —interacting and joking with everyone on B&C’s administration page about everything from baseball to hot wing challenges. The man was fiercely funny. Over time, he and I came to realize that we had a lot in common, and before long were texting one another regularly, but not just about the national pasttime. Sure, we would joke back and forth about random things to crack each other up, but more than anything, I’ll remember our conversations about faith and life, and how much his wife and children meant to him. When we first began talking, I was struggling with my faith, but it wasn’t a topic we shied away from. Scott’s was strong, and he kept after me, offering different perspectives that truly made me think. It was invaluable. I’ve once again found faith, and Mr. Kelly had something to do with that. He also shared with me the highlights of his life, often with pictures: Visits with his wife in and around Great American Ballpark, or nights out to enjoy live music and dinner, or boasts of the latest exploits of their children. He also shared his frustrations, especially with the Bengals. Without fail, those images were either funny or touching, and always made me smile. Thoughts of his life have flooded my mind this morning. Scott embraced life with enthusiasm and a smile, and in his memory, we ask that all of you do the same. Hug those you cherish and tell them that you love them at every opportunity, because you never know when “next time” will be the last time. I never met Scott face-to-face, but with all we shared about ourselves through modern technology, I considered him a friend. I will miss him, and The Spitter will miss him. Former B&C grand poobah, Patrick Smith said, “I never met anyone who loved his team more than Scooter loved the Reds. No kidding. And he loved his city, too. Shortly after he joined Bugs & Cranks, Scott sent a package to my home. In it: Several cans of Skyline Chili and a package of spaghetti, which I learned is ‘Good eatin’ in Cincinnatti.” It’s not an overstatement to say that the Reds lost their greatest fan in Scott Kelly. This Opening Day, I’m going to take some time to remember him and his love for the Reds. Our hearts go out to his wife and children, and all who cared about him. Rest in peace, my friend.
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