A Good Man.
My sole sibling lived to love his wife, his dogs, the New York Yankees, and soccer. In many ways we could not have been any different from one another though sports was definitely our tether.
His knowledge of baseball was remarkable. At one time before the onset of free agency, he could name every starter on every Major League Baseball team and at an instant recall statistics from most. The Yankees were his passion, especially since the Yankees’ cable network was carried on his cable system. He coached youth baseball for many years, tutoring youngsters in the Miami area whose parents came from all walks of life. He touched the lives of Rafael Palmeiro, Jose Canseco, and Alex Rodriguez, who went on to massive Major League Baseball careers. His pet peeve with youth baseball was not the kids he coached but the parents, whose behavior to him was unacceptable…..and most of us would absolutely agree with his assessment.
He supported and followed my soccer career starting early on at Coral Estates Park. My brother had a way about him, his pure size sometimes intimidating but always the demeanor that I still wish I had. He processed quickly and though he never played, his ability to watch and absorb the game often surprised me. Our father worked long hours and most of my high school games were in the late afternoon. Often, minutes into most of my high school games, I would take a quick look to the sidelines and notice that my brother was there, with his presence felt by most on my team. He watched me closely, and though he criticized me, he was always positive and very supportive. Only once did he come down hard on me and I will never forget that moment. At halftime of a game that I thought had gone well, and after our coach had addressed us about a tactical change for the second half, my brother waved to me to come speak with him. Instead of the supportive speak he often offered up, he went off on me about my work rate, inability to hold the ball, and lack of effort to track back. It was one of those moments where you realize that my massive brother could have picked me up and crushed me with one hand. That moment stuck with me throughout high school and college, especially the comment about my lack of effort during the first half of that game.
My brother was liked by everyone. He was smart, kind, and opinionated. He had passion for the Miami Hurricanes, the Miami Dolphins, and the New York Yankees. His passion carried over to soccer. My last text to him, yesterday afternoon, was to try and get a reaction from him on the effort Iceland put in yesterday against Argentina. He never saw the game but I know that the effort Iceland played with would have put a smile on his face.
RIP Alan Levitt.
Happy Father’s Day to all.