Devin Pike has throat cancer.
Now, let me back up a second.
If you’re among the many who have come to Newberg Report Night or our book release parties over the years, you’ve met Devin, and if you’ve met Devin, you know Devin. The imprint he makes on people is in Sharpie; the impact immediate, and durable.
If you’re not part of that demographic, maybe you’re among another many who have bought the annual Bound Edition for any one or more of the last 15 or so years, in which case you’ve picked up a copy of Devin’s artistry. If you go way back on the books, then I’ll give you one guess what year the production team went from Without Pike to With.
Devin was diagnosed with throat cancer long before I knew him. It was 1994, and he was 23.
Another 23 years later, it’s come back.
That pisses me off.
In the last few days, I know some of you have read the Dallas Observer story (which is complete with an awesome clip from Devin’s 1998 appearance on “Win Ben Stein’s Money”), and a bunch of you have contributed to the GoFundMe fundraiser set up (against his will) to help out with his medical bills. That’s really cool.
Do those things. But I’d like for us, this little community of ours that bears his stamp as much as anyone else’s, to do more.
It’s hard to tell what Devin doesn’t like, as his energy is impossibly positive, always. But I do know one thing he hates. He hates handouts.
So this is what we’re going to do.
If you’re coming to Newberg Report Night (Day) in a couple Saturdays, on November 18 at the Ballpark, we’re still going to benefit the Puerto Rico disaster relief effort, as planned. But there will be a separate table set up in the lobby, next to the check-in and raffle ticket posts, where I will have copies of every single Bound Edition, from 2000 to 2017. Even the really lousy, early ones from the A-Rod years (lousy because the team was bad and, more to the point, I was basically dumping a Word document on the printer and asking them to put a cover on it — in other words, I hadn’t yet had that first meeting with Devin at Tin Star, the one at which he said: “Hey. My name is Devin. I have an idea.”)
I’ll have the two World Series editions there and all the editions before it and all the editions since.
They will all be $20 (or more, if you wish), and every single dollar of it will go to Devin and his battle against that asshøle, cancer.
It’s basically the same, I think, as putting up a sign saying “Donate here for Devin” — but again, Devin hates handouts, so we’re making this a quid pro quo, one that he’ll protest but that I think he’ll have to give in on. It’s not charity. You’re paying for Devin’s work, those books. A fair exchange, I think he’d eventually admit.
Again, every single dollar paid for those books on the 18th will help with chemotherapy and radiation costs.
And I will find a way, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, to get out to two or three spots around town, for maybe a couple weekend hours each, to sell more of those books to help Devin. At least one time in North Dallas somewhere, and another in Tarrant County.
Finally, all net proceeds from the 2018 book, which I’m still working on — because Devin is making me — will go toward his health care as well. That book should roll out, as usual, a week or so before Christmas, as long as I stay on the schedule he’s put me on.
I hope you’re coming to the gathering on the 18th. The auction looks awesome and JD will answer our questions for an hour and a half and we’ll have the chance to help, in a few ways.
Devin Pike — and this is no exaggeration — may be the most tireless, industrious, dependable person I know. Let’s let him, as much as he’ll resist it, depend on us for a change.
We can decide another 23 years from now how to celebrate a handful of World Series titles and how Devin, once again, kicked cancer in the junk.