* Below are a few editorials and commentaries
honoring Daniel Patrick McGibbeny *
Savran, WWSW commentary, 9/7/77.
So your sitting there, filled with
hope, after having watched or listened as the Pirates handcuffed the
Phillies 3-1 in the first game of a double-header, only to have your
hopes dashed as the Bucs get bombed 11-1. So your heart is attuned to the
impossible as the Pirates bounce back to beat the Phillies and stay alive
And you worry about the Steelers'
injuries, and whether Pitt can beat Notre Dame Saturday, and you go to
sleep at night wondering whether Al Savill will make some trades. And
your son is only second string on the high school football team, and
your daughter didn't make the cheerleading squad.
Unfortunately, it always takes a
tragedy, or impending tragedy, to shake these superficial worries from
your mind to concentrate on what's important. At least it does with
That's the way I greeted the
terrible news that Danny McGibbeny died in Presbyterian Hospital
yesterday. Twenty-six years old!
In case you've forgotten,
McGibbeny was a member of the Pittsburgh Triangles, and more importantly,
realized that I too had a job to do. A friendship developed. Not
necessarily a social one, but one that was based on mutual
How can you ever get used to a
26-year old dying? How can you swallow the fact that a life is gone, in
essence, before it was fully lived? I guess you can't.
I can still see Danny sitting on
the Triangle bench, coaching a sport he never played. But he smiled all
through it, realizing how ludicrous it all was, him coaching people like
Evonne Goolagong and Vitas Gerulaitis. That was his way.
I hope he was able to smile in
the last few days. Maybe just a little bit. Danny was a true Pittsburgh
sports personality, and I for one will miss him.
Browne, Columnist - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/9/77.
The death of a young person,
unlike the passing of an older one, stirs something deep inside all of
When I left a funeral home where
Matty Rumin was laid out, I didn't feel too sad. Matty, a grand old
reporter who helped break me in as a cub was 71 when he died and he had
been suffering the last few months. "A blessing." That's what a lot of
people said of his death.
But when I stopped in at the
office and somebody said that young Danny McGibbeny had just died, it
almost knocked me over. Only 26 years old! And what a good young guy! His
whole life ahead of him. Like everybody in the office, I thought of his
young wife, Dawn, and of his father, who works in our sports department,
and of his mother.
Almost instinctively I said a
prayer for young Dan and his family. It was just like a wise rabbi
explained to me once - the value of ritual, all those things you learned
as a kid, is that in a time of crisis or panic the right things come to
And, though the death of a young
person does sadden me, it also strips away the superficialities and
meanness and selfishness and weaknesses of the world. Not so strangely,
you and I are better persons because of the death of young McGibbeny. And
of Patty Veri and Denny Dougherty and of all those other young ones. I
think of them and of what I should never forget.
The poets try to express it -
"Death is a door that leads to light"..."The anchor of a love is
death"..."Death breaks every bond"..."Well blest is he who has a loved
I don't really understand it all
but right now I'm looking through a darkened glass.
Richard S. Caligiuri, Mayor of Pittsburgh, Proclamation,
By virtue of the authority vested
in me as Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, I do hereby proclaim Saturday,
October 8, 1977, "Danny McGibbeny Day" in the City of Pittsburgh in
recognition of a young man who participated at an early age in Little
League baseball, going through his childhood in the various steps of his
league to become a manager of one of the teams in his adult years, and to
a neighborhood boy who participated at Brookline Field and pursued his
education and career as General Manager and Coach of the World Team
Tennis professional Pittsburgh Triangles, and continued to come back and
give of his time managing a Little League team until his
Danny McGibbeny's life exemplifies
the activities of the City of Pittsburgh Parks and Recreation Department
program, maturing through the years with the responsibility and desire to
put something back.
It therefor gives me great
pleasure to name the new Brookline Park field "Danny McGibbeny Memorial
Field" as a reminder to all those who knew Danny and to serve as an
inspiration to the future generation of boys who will participate in the
In witness whereof, I have
hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the City of Pittsburgh to be
Currie, KDKA TV commentary, 10/5/77.
If the situation were reversed and
Danny McGibbeny sat down to write something about me, you may be certain
he would lace it with humor and in the finale slash his point across with
an incisive thrust of style and talent.
Danny, who had so much style, so
much ability, so much versatility and so much class that before his face
knew the regularity of a razor he was commanding respect in a man's
He made a national reputation as
Sports Information Director at Point Park with the most imaginative
centerfold to his information brochure in recorded history. As Triangles
publicity man, he moved to General Manager and Coach...and he did 'em
all - commanding deference from snerd athletes who knew respect for
Danny died a couple of
weeks ago. He will be honored on Saturday with a day proclaimed in his
memory by Mayor Caligiuri. They're calling a recreation field after him.
They are having a parade. That's well and good.
But I don't need a
parade, nor a field bearing his name to perpetuate Danny McGibbeny in my
heart and mind. He was my friend, who, without hesitation walked that
second mile. We understand that all things are not good, but that all
things work together for good.
In the inscrutable wisdom of
Divine Providence it was decreed that Danny's life was to be brief, but
glowing with a light of friendship and warmth. Danny will never be dead
to me, but always alive and with us...enthusiastic, vibrant, and
reaching for tomorrow.
Bogut, KDKA Radio, 10/26/77.
"I was so sorry to hear about
Danny. He was always one of my favorite people. To say that he was unique
in his abilities and wise beyond his years would be a gross
understatement. He continually amazed me with his ability to step up to a
new challenge and hit home runs every time."
"No one can understand the grief
and sense of loss, but for what its worth, this has made my relationship
with my own son that much more poignant and immediate. Danny McGibbeny
will continue to stand as a symbol for many young people to follow and
will make many more father-son relationships come that much more in
Currie, KDKA TV commentary, 9/10/78.
Danny McGibbeny left us a year ago
on September 6, and the reports were that he had died. But Danny
continues to live, sharing his infectious smile and the force of his
unique, multi-faceted abilities yet provides the impetus for positive and
progressive innovations in the world of professional tennis where he made
almost unbelievable contributions as General Manager, press agent, and
finally, even coach of the Triangles.
Wednesday night in Boston when the
WTT playoff begins between Los Angeles and Boston, the league will
present for the first time, the Danny McGibbeny Memorial Award to...the
best publicity man in the league. It's a good thing Danny is not in the
running for he would surely win his own award annually.
The WTT had invited Dan
Sr, Danny's mother and the beautiful girl with whom he shared so precious
few years, Dawn, to be there as guests of the league. I think more of the
WTT for it.
I knew Danny almost from the
first day I got to town. He was a big guy with an incisive thinking
apparatus; a skilled writer; a guy bursting with ideas, and capable of
almost unbelievable amounts of exceptional work.
Barely past 26 when he
left, Danny has a baseball field named for him, and his countless friends
talk of him in the present tense. I don't miss him; I feel as though he
is still around, and I feel even heaven is a better place because Danny's
cannot say and I will not say
that he is dead, he is just away.
With a cheery smile and a wave of hand
He has wandered to an unknown land,
and leaves us wondering how bright and fair
it needs to be since he lingers there."