By the time the Olympics end, chances are the story of the American murdered at the Drum Tower on will be lost beneath an avalanche of stories about Michael Phelps, Dara Torres, Tyson Gay and the rest of the probable heroes of the Beijing Games.
But that’s a shame. Todd and Barbara Bachman, both 62, parents of the wife of volleyball head coach Hugh McCutcheon, were stabbed by a Chinese national on Saturday. Todd Bachman died and his wife sustained what were described as life-threatening injuries. Their daughter, Elizabeth Bachman McCutcheon, an Olympian volleyball player in the 2004 Games in Athens, witnessed the entire tragedy, which included the alleged murderer’s leap to his death from 130-feet from the tower.
Reports are that the man was wearing a red shirt and laid on the ground, face down, for two hours before he was removed from the scene.
More strangely, American writers were on the scene covering the murder in great detail before sending the stories back to their papers and onto the World Wide Web. But reports are that the Chinese government made no mention that anything happened on the state-run news broadcasts.
As far as the Chinese government was concerned, nothing happened.
For us, Phil Sheridan and Marcus Hayes delivered riveting accounts of the scene and circumstance of the tragedy. In a time of anguish and despair, Marcus and Phil stepped up.
Read the accounts:
Phil Sheridan: Fatal China stabbing raises questions
Marcus Hayes: Thunderous Silence
Meanwhile, back to the relative tranquility of the United States…
Back in 1984 in the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C., I stepped onto an elevator with Robin Roberts. We chatted about the Olympics, which was topical since the L.A. Games were approaching and since he was working for USA Baseball as a consultant. The next time I had a chance to talk to Roberts was tonight just as the Phillies were starting the game against the Pirates.
Twenty-four years between chats is too long.
Anyway, aside from the talk about the 1950 baseball season and his ability to pitch nine innings seemingly every time he took the mound, I asked Roberts about that 1984 Olympic team.
“Man, we had some good players,” he said.
They sure did. Mark McGwire, Will Clark, Barry Larkin, B.J. Surhoff and a catcher from Philadelphia named John Marzano took the silver in the first year baseball was re-introduced to the Olympics.
Strangely, the next time I talked to Roberts about Olympic baseball was before the last time the sport will be a part of the Olympic program.
Talk about the circle of life…
Regardless, seeing Roberts wasvery fun. I even wrote about it.
Baseball fans should treasure guys like Roberts for as long as they can.
Coming tomorrow in full, blow-by-blow detail:
Charlie vs. Myers.
Don’t mess with Charlie.
Plus, Kobe, LaBron and Darfur.