Baseball fan honors friend's memory by flushing his ashes at MLB parks
A baseball fan is honoring his friend’s memory by flushing in more than Flushing.
The New York Times reports Tom McDonald has been depositing the ashes of his friend and fellow Mets fan Roy Riegel in restrooms across the MLB landscape.
Riegel passed away nine years ago, and McDonald has been fulfilling a vow he made to his friend. Some of the ashes were scattered at Shea Stadium’s original home plate, now marked in a Citi Field parking lot.
“The game has to be in progress — that’s a rule of mine,” Mr. McDonald said one recent weeknight before entering a Citi Field bathroom, holding a little plastic bottle containing a scoopful of Mr. Riegel’s cremains.
He stepped into a bathroom stall and sprinkled the ashes into the toilet with as much decorum as the setting allowed. A couple of flushes later and Mr. Riegel’s remains were presumably on a journey through Citi Field’s plumbing.
“I took care of Roy, and I had to use the facilities myself,” Mr. McDonald said, emerging from the stall with the empty container. “So I figure, you know, kill two birds.”
The tie between the toilets and baseball is that Riegel was a plumber. He passed away on April 8, 2008, at age 48. That date also happened to be the final home opener for the Mets at Shea Stadium.
Thus far, his ashes have been flushed at 16 venues.
“I know people might think it’s weird, and if it were anyone else’s ashes, I’d agree,” he said. “But for Roy, this is the perfect tribute to a plumber and a baseball fan and just a brilliant, wild guy.”
The ashes are in a Planters peanuts can. They then are spooned into an empty Advil bottle, which is wrapped in Mets ticket stubs.
There’s enough for one final tribute: McDonald plans on taking those to Durham Athletic Park, where “Bull Durham” was filmed in 1988.
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