In 2017 on a Saint John Sea Dogs broadcast Aaron Kennedy told an hilarious story about David “DK” Kelly and his thrilling adventure at Veterans Stadium.
DK was seventeen at the time and had purchased a full sized Louisville Slugger bat with his named engraved on it.
Near the end of the game DK went to go pick up the bat and returned to the box seats where the entire Saint John Flames team was sitting.
They were gone.
There’s a seventeen year old kid carrying a bat in Philadelphia.
Thankfully DK made it back to the hotel.
Aaron Kennedy, AKA “The Voice” is an incredible storyteller and I was fascinated to hear this behind the scenes American Hockey League story.
Voice knew DK was watching that night.
Kelly was hospitalized taking treatment during that time and what better way to give a shoutout than that story.
Fast forward to July of that year.
DK agreed to come on Sports Inclusive my Sports Talk Show on Rogers TV.
On that beautiful summer day DK drove all the way to Moncton for a 25 min interview.
As always DK delivered the goods.
He was truly amazing.
It was my time to ask him first hand about the bat story.
That November Rogers Hometown Hockey came to Dieppe.
DK and Dominique Leger were coming down to Moncton on the Sunday after the broadcast for supper with Ron and Tara and few other people.
I was asked to chose a restaurant that would be semi private that could hold at least forty five or so people.
You see when the broadcast wraps the entire crew usually meets Ron and Tara for beverages.
My brother and another mutual and life long friend of Ron’s were also to attend.
I had put the kids to bed that night and rushed down to the Gate.
Parking is sometimes an issue but it was a beautiful chilly fall night so I parked the car around 5 mins away.
I’m almost in full on sprint to get there so I would be early to get things set up.
I had booked the room and let me tell I couldn’t screw this up.
Everything was set.
I got a phone call from my brother who was just arriving.
As I hung up with him I turned my data on and boom a Facebook Messenger Notification.
“Hey Eags was that you that just walked in like you owned the place.”
I quickly replied “yes that was me.
By that time I’m outside greeting my brother.
I look up the street and there’s Dominique and DK getting out of their car.
DK gets out of the passenger side.
I hadn’t seen him in a while.
Dominique had something in her hand and passed it to him.
It was dark and clear that night, but I couldn’t make out what it was.
In the split second I thought it was perhaps a cane because DK’s back was hurting and his mobility wasn’t the greatest.
As DK approached my brother and I, on that cold clear fall night I quickly realized what he was holding.
As he approached, I saw the unmistakable outline of a Louisville Slugger.
We did quick introductions and DK promptly said “Eags I want you to have this.”
I was in shock, are you sure I said, the look on his face said it all.
Read the note DK said.
In that moment I thought I was going to start to cry.
You don’t know how much this means to me, I told him.
We went into the Gate and I showed them where we were sitting and decided to take the bat to the car.
I crossed Main Street and was walking towards my car when I see Ron, Tara and one of their producers walking towards the Gate.
I yelled across the street, hey Tara hey Ron he gave me the bat, he gave me the bat, I’ll be right back.
They looked up in confusion and waved.
They didn’t know who it was.
I started to run to put the bat in the car and cover it up so people wouldn’t see it.
When I finally got back to bar, Ron looked at me and smiled.
“I didn’t know what to expect some guy dressed all in black carrying and waving a bat yelling our names,” he said laughing.
I didn’t want to take a picture with DK or the bat that night.
It’s one of my biggest regrets.
I told him that there’s some things don’t belong on Twitter.
So why am I sharing this now?
Every time I walk downstairs I look at that bat.
I remember my friend and what he meant to me.
David DK Kelly always put other people first.
Always lived in the moment and inspired others to do the same.
Our friendship taught me so much.
Thanks DK, I miss you, we all miss you
Forward is Forward.