Wednesday 9 January 2008

Paul Heming's ashes

Paul Heming, the late, great Toronto Sun copy editor we talked about Monday, did attend the 1993 Blues Jays championship game, says Sandra Macklin, a close friend.

"I took Paul in my pocket to that final game," says Sandra, a former Sun news editor who shared Paul's keen interest in baseball. "He was there when Joe (Carter) touched them all."

It was Oct. 23, 1993, game six against the National League's Philadelphia Phillies. Carter won it with a three-run homer in the ninth, giving the Jays back-to-back World Series wins.

Paul's ashes would have been spread on the SkyDome field three weeks earlier after he died of a heart attack at age 53, but . . .

In Monday's post, we mentioned how the newsroom hatched the plan to spread his ashes on the field in a secret ceremony, taking advantage of an insider's access to the stadium after hours.

But the ultimate sendoff was called off when the Jays organization learned of the plan and said Latin American players would refuse to play on the field because of their religious beliefs.

Sandra says TSF's replay of the secret ceremony plan was "a great reminder" of Paul, who was a much-admired Sun Family member.

And then came the kicker in Sandra's e-mail.

"Do you know I still have that capsule with his remains? Some day I'll find a ball diamond that deserves his ashes.

"When I first moved to Port Hope, I thought I'd sprinkle him here in a small town where kids play baseball. But I never see kids playing baseball. In fact, I never see kids playing much of anything at all."

Here's a thought: Spread Paul's ashes on the field at Tiger Stadium before the Detroit landmark is demolished. The Tigers haven't played there since 1999, but a women's baseball tournament was held there last August.

TSF didn't mention Paul's name in the post Monday, but Sandra said "I think Paul would be pleased to be remembered."

Sandra also said "no problem using both of our names."

"It would be great if more (TSF) people believed in stuff enough to sign their names."

Amen to that, Sandra. Thanks for the update.

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