J. Douglas Creighton was 75. He founded The Toronto Sun in 1971. Under Creighton's leadership, the "little paper that grew" became a national chain, including Suns in Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa.
Tug McGraw was 59. He's the zany relief pitcher who coined the phrase "You Gotta Believe" with the New York Mets and later closed out Philadelphia's only World Series championship.
Earl Hindman was 61. He played Wilson, the neighbor of Tim Allen's character on the long-running sitcom "Home Improvement".
Ivan Calderon was 41. He played 10 seasons in the major leagues with the Seattle Mariners, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos, finishing his big league career in 1993 with a .272 batting average, 104 homers and 444 RBIs.
Sir Alan Bates was 69. He starred in films such as "Zorba the Greek", "Far From The Madding Crowd" and "Women in Love".
Back in late November, I read about Jonathan Brandis' apparent suicide. I semi-recalled the name as one that was bantered about as a teen idol of sorts a decade ago, but his list of credits were less than impressive. In the end, I decided that he wasn't enough of a celebrity to make my list.
Apparently, my brother Steve is just catching up on a month's worth of celebrity deaths (of which there were eerily few) because he wrote me last night to chastise me for this omission. I'm used to being chastised, and this action on its own isn't nearly enough to get me to go back and add a death for the first time in history, but he reminded me of a story that made me change my mind.
Back in 1993, the Toronto Maple Leafs advanced to game seven of what would be the last ever Norris division final against the St. Louis Blues. As was the norm, my brothers and I gather to watch such games, only one brother was noticeably absent from what would be a 6-0 blow out in favour of our team. My brother Ryan somehow thought it was okay to miss a game seven in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs featuring our beloved Maple Leafs. You're probably thinking he had a good reason for his absence. Maybe he watched it with friends? Maybe he was trapped in an elevator? Maybe he was performing CPR on a drowning victim? Nope. He went to the movies to see Chuck Norris and the recently deceased Jonathan Brandis star in the forgettable Sidekicks. To this day we joke that Ryan did see a Norris final that night.
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