<p>He bought me my first baseball mitt, and taught me to field grounders in a paved park in Parkchester, in the Bronx, NYC. </p>

<p>He read constantly, and I used to spend hours thumbing through his volumes on sports dynasties, and how to win at betting on them. </p>

<p>He took me to Shea Stadium, where I met Bud Harrelson and Rusty Staub.  I&#8217;m fairly certain he was more excited about it than I was.  He took photos that day, and we watched a Met game.</p>

<p>He took me to Yankee Stadium, which I enjoyed a lot more, much to his chagrin.  To his credit, all subsequent baseball games we went to together were Yankee games, even though he hated the Yankees. </p>

<p>He could not operate a screwdriver or any other tool, which caused me much frustration.  Guess my mechanical skills come from the mother&#8217;s side.</p>

<p>He taught me about the differences between thoroughbreds and standardbreds, and took me to Yonkers Raceway and Belmont Park for &#8220;field trips&#8221;.  It was there that I learned what a wheel bet was.  </p>

<p>He made me watch a guy get beat for $60 at three card monte on a sidewalk in Manhattan.  I was about seven at the time, so that was a lot of money.  Later he showed me how to cradle the top card in your knuckle joint, so you can easily slip it out and make it look like the bottom card.  I never lost a nickel to card hustlers because of him.</p>

<p>He taught me that life was for living, so live a little, for crying out loud.  </p>

<p>He was my grandfather.  </p>

<p>He will be missed.</p>

<p>He died today.</p>