Sometimes, everybody cries
Seriously. This is a sad piece. It starts with Alex Scott and her Lemonade Stand and the famous tie to Afleet Alex, and gets sadder from there. You may need a tissue. If harm to children or animals affects you deeply, you may need many. I'm talking to everyone, but I'm looking at you, Mom.
Frank DeFord does let one particular whopper go in this segment, though. He makes a comment that "sports writers aren't supposed to be sappy." Oh phooey they're not. I love good sportswriting because it's idealistic, emotional, subtly symbolic, a mix of the crystal individual moment and the sweep of history... in short, it's sappy. And don't ever change.
(I'll spare you my hero-worshiping tribute to the stable of artists in the Washington Post sports section, and just concentrate on the granddaddy of them all, Shirley Povich, who has a posthumous collection of columns out in book form. If you speak English and have half a soul, read it.)