Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Passing of a Salt Lake Bees Tradition

With the baseball season a little more than a week old there are many items about which I could write. The Royals surprising 5-2 start, the struggles the Angels are having with injuries, the Salt Lake Bees bolting out of the gate to a 6-0 record would all be interesting topics. But the game on the field is going to move to the side today because a Salt Lake Bees legend Dave Pratt passed away last week.

If you ever attended a Salt Lake Bees game at Franklin Covey Field you knew who Dave Pratt was. He wasn't a player, concession worker, or usher. He was the famous "Net Man" who was adored and loved by the Bees fans and players. Net Man sat in the front row, down the right field line between first base and the Bees bullpen. With a ball glove on his left hand and a fishing net in his right hand, Net Man was ready on every pitch to make a play on a foul ball.

And make plays he did. A hot smash down the line close to him would be scooped up with his net. A line drive or foul fly near him was caught. But he never kept a single ball. After getting the ball Net Man would give it to a small child sitting near him. He would often ask for the child pose with him while his wife would snap a picture. My daughters loved Net Man. On nights that I worked at the ballpark, the girls would find seats close to his and spend the evening enjoying the game with him and his wife. Net Man truly enjoyed seeing the smiles of the children when he gave them a baseball and t
hrough the years Net Man blessed hundreds young fans who attended games at Franklin Covey Field.

Through the years I got to know Net Man. He was a Christian man who lived his faith with a loving heart and a positive attitude. More than anything else, he loved life and doing what he could to make others smile. He was part of the enjoyment of attending a Salt Lake Bees baseball game and he will be missed by everyone.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From Sec 7, Row 2
I always looked forward to bumping into Dave at the ballpark--a man positively beaming with life, joy and humility. He asked for so little and gave so much of himself. No electric scoreboard can make up for the brightness of his personal light. At last year's BP, we shared a laugh about our duty as middle-agers to show up the youngsters whenever possible. My heartfelt sympathy to Janet and the rest of the Pratt family for their loss. Love, Anita.