Why Did the Chicken Cross the Plate at Midnight?

   There was an interesting story in the Denver Catholic Register.   I’ll paraphrase and quote our way through it.

   Rich Donnelly was a Catholic school student and a server at daily Mass.  But in his 20’s and 30’s he began to live for himself in the pursuit of fame through sports.  He became a Major League player and later a 3rd base coach.

   While coaching the Pirates in 1992, he got a call from his daughter, Amy, and  during their conversation she told him that she had a brain tumor.  Shortly after that call she went into a coma and then died.

   When Donnelly and his family cleared out Amy’s hospital room, they found a $500 check she had written and a note that said “Dear Dad, make sure every kid has their own wagon.”  The children in the cancer ward were her primary concern while she was on her deathbed.

   “She showed me how to live and she showed me how to die.  She didn’t do it by talking.  She did it by her actions.”

   One question Amy asked her dad while battling the tumor was unusual and led to something well beyond a coincidence.  When watching her dad crouch down, cup his hands and give direction to a runner during a game, she asked, “What are you saying?  The chicken runs at midnight?” 

   This peculiar question became the family motto and was later placed on her tombstone.

  Four years later, when her dad was coaching the Florida Marlins in the World Series, the Series clinching run crossed the plate at the stroke of midnight.  The player who scored it was Craig Counsell, nicknamed “Chicken” because of the unusual way he raised his elbows when he ran.

   So why did the Chicken cross the plate at midnight?   To let Amy’s father know that she was doing just fine. 



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