|Darin and Allan|
I first met Allan in 2003. I had overheard some co-workers at the time discussing baseball, and being a huge baseball fan, I immediately struck up a conversation. I quickly learned that they were in a PC baseball league, which used a game called Diamond Mind Baseball to simulate outcomes of the games that were played. It is a descendant of dice and charts baseball simulations such as Strat-O-Matic baseball and Pursue the Pennant. I expressed my interest in joining the league, and I seem to recall that the league was full at the time, but one of the “Owners” quit after the season, and I took over that team. I met Allan at the annual draft of debut players and free agents that next year.
Allan loved the art of the baseball deal. In Allan’s eyes, no one was untradeable. In fact, the other guys in the league would joke that Allan would win multiple championships if he held onto his players. He would agonize over trades, and then literally days after making the trade, he would trade away the player he just agonized over away, only to begin the process again. I think he got a thrill out of seeing who he could trade for. As proof of this, you can visit the league trade page, (http://midleague.com/trades.htm), pick a random year and see how many trades that Allan’s team (The Westville Warriors) made. After learning of his passing yesterday, many of the other members of our league have shared similar stories of Allan’s love of wheeling and dealing and their experiences with him.
Allan was a great man. I remember when I was Den Leader for my youngest son’s Cub Scout Webelos den, we needed to visit either a fire or police department for one of the Webelos Pins that the kids needed for that rank. Allan was a captain with the Westville Police Department, and when I asked if I could bring the den over to visit the police department, he answered yes without even clearing it with his supervisors. Allan worked the night shift, but he was there to greet us that day, even though he had only had a few hours of sleep. He arranged for the K-9 unit to put on a demonstration, introduced the kids to the chief of police, and showed off their squad cars. Allan was a kind, generous and genuine person. Not only did he serve his community as a public servant, he also was heavily involved with the Westville Recreation Baseball League, serving as board president for a number of years and he played an integral part in getting additions added to Zamberletti Park in Westville for youth sports that used the facility.
Allan was optimistic regarding his health even up to the end, I think due to his strong faith in God. I really believe that he believed that he was going to beat cancer, and he maintained his belief up until the end of his battle. He had many of us convinced that he would too due to his heroic and optimistic attitude. I hope that if I’m ever facing a similar battle that I can battle it with as much grace and courage as Allan. There will be a huge hole in my life with his passing, and I’m sure that everyone that knew him has a similar feeling. It’s funny after hearing the news yesterday, and being pretty devastated by it, I was able to find our texts and messages on Facebook and emails, and I felt some comfort in having them. It’s like having special moments between us frozen in time, and that gave me reassurance for some odd reason. Allan leaves behind his wife Marla, and two daughters Ally and Myla.
Requiescat in Pace my friend and brother. You will be missed.