Father of Temple pitcher: 'He fought hard to hang on'

Posted: August 10, 2007

The last time Rich Gargel talked on the phone with his son, 19-year-old Temple pitcher Richie Gargel was asking for money.

"I said, 'Dude, I'm eating my salad right now, but as soon as we're done I'll go and wire you some cash.' He said, 'Thanks,' and that was the last time I spoke to him," Gargel recalled yesterday in an interview with the St. Cloud Times.

Richie Gargel, who was pitching for the St. Cloud (Minn.) River Bats in the summer Northwoods League, died following a swimming-pool accident at the home of one of the team's host families. He died shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday, with his parents, three sisters and a brother at his bedside at St. Cloud Hospital.

Rich and Sherri Gargel received a call about 3:30 a.m. Monday at their home in Brigantine, N.J.

"I woke up, and Sherri was crying on the phone," Gargel, 50, told the newspaper. "I knew instantly I'd better brace for whatever it was. All we kept hearing was there had been a 'terrible accident,' and we should come as soon as possible."

During the first 36 hours after his accident, he remained on life support, but there were some encouraging signs with his breathing and other bodily functions, Gargel said.

"His numbers were good," he said. "Maybe it was because we were all sitting around him talking about baseball. He fought hard to hang on until the whole family was there. I think once he heard us all together again, he knew he felt he could go in peace." *

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|