Former Cardinals relief pitcher Ray King was traded to the Colorado Rockies last Thursday, for equally useless spare parts Aaron Miles and Larry Bigbie. King had once been a popular Cardinal — his rotund nature is a sure-fire crowd pleaser; after the Cardinals clinched the World Series trip in 2004, he jumped on manager Tony LaRussa's back and rode him around the clubhouse, inspiring one "scribe" to say the scene looked like "an ant carrying a Cocoa Puff." Last year, however, King's ineffectiveness — along with a reputation for much late-night carousing — eventually wore out his welcome; his trade was not protested.
Not least of which by Wilma Eckert, of Millstadt, Ill., who died Saturday, December 10, at the age of 88, two days after King's trade. Her obituary points out that she made several quilts, enjoyed cooking and baking, was an avid Wednesday night bingo player at the VFW and was glad to see Ray King traded.
It was as if her wish had been granted, and she could finally take that final ride home. We salute you, Wilma Eckert: To steal a phrase, now you can die in peace.
Wilma Eckert Obituary [Legacy.com]