Marie Olbermann, 1929-2009

(Much of this post is based on a script written for tonight’s television show)

marie olbermann smiles copy.jpg


My mother passed away Saturday night.

This remembrance is not going to be a medical history – though lord knows Mom was the world’s foremost authority on her own health. Nor is it going to consist of me telling you she was the proverbial saint; although I can hear her saying: “go ahead; I‘m not going to disagree with you.Who’s going to contradict you? It is not going to be a full biography – suffice to say she was a gifted pre-school teacher and a legendary authority on opera and, somewhere, she is going to be genuinely disappointed that I didn’t get Placido Domingo to sing at the memorial service.I thought instead it was best to focus on something for which she became, and remained, pretty famous, literally until the day she died.

My mother was one of the best-known baseball fans in this country. She attended Yankees from 1934 through 2004, and she watched or listened to every one she didn’t go to, up until last month. My guess is, she went to at least 1500 of them, most in Box 47E in the suddenly “old” Yankee Stadium.

As recently as March 13th, Mets Manager Jerry Manuel came over to me before his team’s exhibition game against the Tigers in Lakeland, Florida, and asked me how she was. He was the fifth or sixth active baseball figure to do so, this year. They have averaged at least one or two a month, for nearly a decade. Last Saturday afternoon, not six hours before Mom died, a New York Yankees executive made reference to that which had made Mom famous in the ballparks.

And trust me: Mom loved being famous in the ballparks.

Even if that fame had to be achieved in the way it was, on June 17th, 2000, when the sudden, and growing, inability of the ill-fortuned second baseman Chuck Knoblauch to make any kind of throw, easy or hard, to first base, culminated in him picking up a squib off the bat of Greg Norton of the White Sox and throwing it not back towards first, but, instead, off the roof of the Yankees’ dugout where it picked up a little reverse english and smacked my mother right in the bridge of her glasses.

Chuck was in the middle of losing his beloved father at that time and though I thought I “got” what that meant to him, I didn’t really understand it until today as I wrote this, and struggled to find the right keys, let alone the right words.

In any event, for three days in 2000, Mom was on one or both of the covers, of The New York Post and The New York Daily News and Newsday. She was somewhere in every newspaper in America.

And all this happened, while I was the host of the Game of the Week, for Fox. Literally sitting in a studio in Los Angeles, watching a bank of monitors with a different game on every monitor and recognizing instantly what must have happened (based on a lifetime of knowing the camera angles in the ballpark in which I grew up). I said, maybe too matter-of-factly, “that probably hit my mother.” The crew laughed and I repeated it. More laughs. Then the next shot was of an older woman being led up the aisle towards an aid station – my mother.

I actually got to do a highlight cut-in for the broadcast by Joe Buck and Tim McCarver of a game at Dodger Stadium, and said, as I remember it: “Chuck Knoblauch’s throwing problem is getting personal. He picks up Greg Norton’s grounder, bounces it off the dugout roof and hits… my mother. I’ve talked to Mom, she’s fine, she’ll be back out there tomorrow. Joe? Tim?


The next week we pre-taped an interview, me in our L.A. studios and Mom in my childhood home (the photo of her above is from that conversation, and my thanks to my old boss at Fox Sports, David Hill, for letting me re-run the interview tonight on tv). I concluded it by noting my status as a memorabilia collector and asked her if she’d give me the baseball with which she was hit. She said I could bid on it like anybody else. For the rest of the year, any time Fox broadcast a game from Yankee Stadium, Mom got on tv. We even talked about her during the World Series broadcasts that fall, during which began the ritual that continues still: players – players who were at the game, players who only heard about the game, players of all kind – ask me about my Mom.

Since the day it happened, I’ve been told Chuck Knoblauch has been mortified by it. Chuck: give yourself a break.You made her famousShe loved it. She couldn’t have been happier if they had let her pinch-hit for you.

A full circle, that is.

It was my mother who was the fan in our family. My Dad likes the game enough, but the Yankees traded his favorite player and he’s still mad at them. This happened late in 1948. But it was Mom who introduced me to the game, and in my teenaged years when we went nearly every day, it was she who trundled me and my sister to the ballpark. It was on her tv that I came to love the sport, and by her side that I began to understand it. And, sitting next to her, that I began to understand that I was not going to be any damn good playing it and if I wanted “in” – maybe I’d better try talking about it.

Thus was born a career, the results of which you see now. At least half of the ham comes from her – she was an aspiring ballerina – and when I keep talking and talking – for good or for ill – that’s pretty much all her. What I don’t have evidence of, are the thousand hours she spent driving me to and from school so I could work on the newspaper or announce the hockey game. In retrospect it’s obvious she was – to adapt a phrase — a Media Mom.

It was the proverbial “sudden illness” – in the best of senses: She had no apparent symptoms until two weeks ago; she was not severely afflicted until ten days ago; the treatment she received lessened her pain; and she never awakened and thus never had to hear – nor did any of us have to say – you have terminal cancer. I’m not going to end with a harangue about how you need to go see your doctor (because not feeling so bad does not mean you aren’t sick) though you should keep that in mind. Knowing that those who have watched or read my work have always overwhelmed me with their support, and how personally they take all this – if you are so inclined, instead of flowers or cards, make a donation to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, or St Jude’s Hospital, they do such important work there.

Marie Olbermann is survived by her husband – my Dad, by my sister Jen and her husband, and their two kids, Jacob and Eve – Mom’s grandchildren. She’s survived by her cousins Robert and Bill Schlumbohm, and their families; by just about everybody in baseball… and… by me.

Good night, Mom, and good luck.


  1. Casey

    I very sorry to hear about your loss, Keith. I can tell she really loved the game and raised you to love it the same.

    As long as baseball is being played somewhere on the planet, her spirit will live on.

    Rest in Peace…


  2. Casey

    I very sorry to hear about your loss, Keith. I can tell she really loved the game and raised you to love it the same.

    As long as baseball is being played somewhere on the planet, her spirit will live on.

    Rest in Peace…



    I couldn’t help but laugh while watching the interview with your mother; she reminded me so of many fiesty, peppery great ladies who have passed through my life and left such memories. My condolences to you and your family.

  4. Cockroach

    Words are always hollow at times like these, and I won’t say “I understand” because I don’t know you, I don’t know your mom or your family or any of a hundred million other things, and therefore I can’t understand. But it was my mother who got me hooked on baseball, too. And I’ve lost my grandmother, who essentially raised me. So, at least surface deep, I’ve been through similar. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman, and the world is poorer without her.

  5. jarchive

    My most sincere condolences go out to you, Keith and your family. I hope I offer this in good taste, but there is something very sweet and fitting that your mother’s passing took place so close to such an appropriate day for a baseball fan, Opening Day.

    I stated on my blog that this is a day fantasy owners need to share our game with regular fans and realize there are many people love the game without any concern for stats.

    I will keep your mother’s passion for the game in mind as I watch the games this evening, remembering just how important fans like your mother are to baseball and the world.

    Again, I’m sorry for your loss.

    -Johnny Archive

  6. 1948braves

    My deepest condolences to Keith Olbermann. I saw so much of my own mother during Keith’s beautiful tribute. They were very special women from that generation. Very special. They were so full of life and optimism, despite the hardships.

    Mothers and their own childhoods & baseball. 1930’s and 40’s. Depression and World War and Babe Ruth and Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio and Warren Spahn and Bob Feller. They saw the best of the best back then. Their childhood memories are a wonderful gift. A gift that lasted not only a lifetime for our moms, but will in turn last a lifetime for us – their children – as well.

    May You Rest In Peace Mrs. Olbermann.
    Pat K., MA

  7. salthebarber

    Keith, I’m so sorry about your mom. She did a fine job raising you, so she must have been a wonderful woman indeed.

    My mom passed away 21 years ago. My first memory of baseball was watching the ’68 Series with her. She had lived in Detroit and was a big Tigers fan, so this was the beginning of my baseball education. She taught me to pitch, catch and hit, but more importantly, taught me to love the game.

    Everytime I watch a baseball game, I think of Mom and smile, knowing that she’s watching with me. I suspect your’s will be watching with you, too. May time heal your pain, Keith, but never dim your memories of her.

  8. giantsteps

    As another motherless child (as of 2005), my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Baseball was your mom’s sport — football was mine, mostly once she started participating in the football pools that floated around the office where she worked (she even won her share of them, a tradition I upheld in my own working days). Even in her last month, the TV in her hospice room would be tuned to the Game of the Week on Sunday afternoons, even though she was only partially aware of what was going on.

    Blessings and peace to you and your family, and to all who knew and loved her.


    Well done. Some words are read, and some words are felt. It’s an easy call on this one. Well done.


    Hi Keith, my deepest sympathies and condolences for you and your family. Your tribute on your show tonight was moving and beautiful. It made me think of my dad who I lost to cancer 16 years ago and his love for baseball. He passed his passion on to me. It is a torch I proudly bare. I am sure you understand and feel the same way!

    Your mom’s love for the game serves as a reminder that we are all united here for a greater good…and that greater good is baseball.
    Much respect,


    Keith, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. My thoughts go out to you and your family.

  12. michelleann

    May God be with you and your family. Your mom was a beautiful lady and obviously so very proud of you.

    With love,


    Keith, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and was heartbroken when I heard it on Countdown. It was such a beautiful tribute befitting what was an amazing mom. My sincerest condolences go out to you and your family/friends. You’re a legend Keith!!



    My condolences to you and your family, Mr. Olbermann. She was truly a Mom to be proud of. I, too, lost my mother to breast cancer. Thank you for the wonderful memorial on tonight’s show about her. The footage of you both many eons ago took me back to my mom and I’s days together. She past in my arms; still hurts three years later. This life is just one of many journeys ahead.
    Peace always,


    Keith, and I hope you’ll forgive me using your first name though we’ve not been introduced personally, I just wanted to express my sorrow and let you know that I grieve with you.

    I lost my mother to cancer nearly fourteen years ago. It’s never easy. But know you have well-wishers, those who you may never meet who think a great deal of you, and who share your joy in her love for you and your grief at her death. They say joy shared is joy multiplied and sorrow shared is sorrow halved. I hope it is so for you.

    Be well. I so appreciate all your wisdom and all you’ve shared with the world. Your mother was a special lady, and she gave us exceptional offspring. Thanks, to both of you.



    I am so sorry for your loss; your Mom seemed like such a wonderful, amazing, funny and witty woman! I love that she reveled in the spotlight, her joy was genuine.

    You did a great job tonight; that was a beautiful and meaningful tribute. It was also very entertaining (in a very classy way) and very generous of you to extend your blessing to Chuck K. I hope he smiled! Everyone watching tonight could tell you and your Mom loved each other dearly.

    What a wonderful Mom to have shared her passion so much so that it became yours too. My sincere condolences to You, your Dad, your Sister and her family, and all who knew your Mom. I know she will be missed and that is good.

    Peace and Love to you and yours.

  17. (This is a picture of Yankee HOF'er Whitey Ford & I)


    The baseball community is very sorry for your loss. You must be honored to have a mom like yours. She and your dad raised a great son. She can look down from above and smile.

  18. phillygirl64

    The apple obviously did not fall far from the tree. You are the best tribute to this wonderful woman. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

  19. bllove

    Sorry about your Mom. I lost mine about 10 years ago. The grief gets easier to live with over time, but you always miss them.


    Thanks for allowing us to say goodbye to your mom along with you. Best wishes and condolences to you and all your family.



    My own mother passed away on March 9th of last month. She had cancer as well. It wasn’t diagnosed until a couple of weeks before she died. I think we all knew that when she went into the hospital she wasn’t going to come out.

    My mother was a great fan of yours. She always had your show on. My mother took care of my son from the age of two months until as recently as the end of last year while I went to work. She was always there for me. Hopefully, our pain will lesson and we can remember the good times. I’m 50 years old as well. That’s a lot of good memories….. I’ve been going through and sort out a lot of her papers (15 boxes full). I came across a note that she had written to me quite a few years ago. It said, “Leave your worries on the doorstep.”. I think I will frame it…


    I was so sorry to hear about your Mother’s passing. Your Tribute to your Mother did her proud! She seemed like a Grand Lady! Your family is in my prayers.


    Keith, I’m sorry I didn’t get to send my condolences sooner to you. The tribute to your mother on your show Monday night,was beautiful. It made me laugh a little and cry a little. My mother is battling cancer as well. I won’t say ‘I know how you feel’, because I don’t, but I do sincerely feel for you and your family. Your mom sounded like a great lady, tough and strong, but a mom and avid baseball fan to the end. She will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her personnally,or of her through her famous ‘hit’ at the ball park. I am sorry for your loss.

  24. historymike

    A lovely tribute. As the song says in “South Pacific,” you’ve got to be carefully taught, and she clearly taught you a love for the game and for life. As Ken Levine commented on his blog, at least she does have the pleasure of listening to Mel Allen broadcast again. I’m sure she’s enjoying Red Barber and The Scooter, too.


    Keith, my dad started taking me to Atlanta Braves ballgames in 1967 when I had just turned eleven, and every aspect of the experience, from memorizing the little pocket game calendars (particularly the blue dates which were home games!) to the great anticipation of arriving at the ticket offices before everyone else, to the breathtaking feeling of exiting the stairways into the beautiful, massive arena of Atlanta Stadium, the players below practicing on that beautiful and perfectly mowed bright green field, to watching the man who instantly became my favorite player from the very first game (where he, Joe Torre, hit a grand slam against the Phillies), to the crunchy-skinned “Kosher” hot dogs, to the utter magnificence of Cap Day and, oh boy especially Bat Day, man, it was the most magical thing, that Braves baseball phenomenon. And my hero Mr. Torre did alright for himself all these decades.

    In 2005, my wife and I moved in with my parents in Georgia for two years to take care of my mom and dad, mainly because Dad, who was by then 83, had come down with Parkinson’s syndrome and could no longer walk or take care of matters, but he was still totally lucid and rarin’ to do as much as he could. By then, his sports emphasis had shifted completely to Georgia Bulldogs football, a world he had known firsthand since his attendance at Sanford Stadium’s inaugural game as a kid in 1929, when the Bulldogs beat their namesake (the Yale Bulldogs) in a shutout. In 2005, what with his having missed a few years of using his longtime season tickets, I got him a Red and Black scooter, moved his ticket location to an upper level handicap section on the 50 yard line, and I took him to every Bulldog game for the next two years, including the GA-FLA games in Jacksonville.

    In the meantime, Dad had become a regular listener of yours on MSNBC, and he so loved your adoption of Edward R. Murrow’s sign-off, that he began to use it on me every night, with a chuckle. As we became more ritualistic when I tucked him in at night, I would end the night, just before clicking off his lamp, with, “OK Dad,…. Good night, and good luck.” And he would, with a smile, say it right back.

    Dad died in October of 2007, his last fully conscious act being watching the Dogs squeak past Vandy in overtime on TV, with two disappointing losses already under the Dogs’ belt already that season. If only he could have seen how Stafford, Moreno, Massaquoi and company manhandled Florida, Auburn, and everybody else the rest of that season and end up #2 in the country- but something tells me he was there with ’em the whole way. We had put a musical keychain in his blazer pocket when he was laid to rest, and, swearing they’d not touched that pocket in the process, the workers in the mortuary nearly jumped outta their skin when, just after placing him in the coffin, the keychain blared forth with its rousing rendition of “Glory to Georgia”.

    Dad, like your mom, had taken a sudden change for the worse in his health and was given medication to make him more comfortable, finally spending his last few days unconscious before nodding away for good. The last thing I said to Dad at his burial, which was also the very last thing I said to him when he was still conscious, was a simple phrase, which, thanks to you, had become our favorite: “Good night, and good luck.” When I heard you sign off Monday evening by wishing “Good night, and good luck” to your mom after that wonderful segment, I could have sworn I felt a pat on my back by Dad’s hand, almost as real as the tears I most certainly I felt, at the same instant. My mom was also touched equally by this, as she was fully aware of the importance of that phrase to Dad and me.

    Our hearts are with you, Keith, and thanks for all that you do on MSNBC- man, are you sorely needed and appreciated, especially by those of us who try to observe this world with some semblance of intelligence. From the bottom of my heart, Good night, and good luck to you, Keith.

    Perrish D’Andrea (

  26. beearl


    When I first saw this yesterday I just passed it by, because I didn’t know what to say. I still don’t. I’m so very sorry for your loss and I feel your pain.

    From one who has gone through it, I give you my belief that things will get better. From one who has gone through it, I know that means almost nothing.

    God bless.


    The love between you and your mother is obvious, and I believe that love never dies. I can only pray that I have done half the job of raising my sons that your mom did with you. She must have been an incredible mom to raise a son with such strong integrity and respect. I hope that your memories comfort you, and please keep standing up for “left thinking” Americans. Wherever Mom Olbermann is, she’s smiling. May God continue to bless you.



    a moving tribute keith my mom passed 10 years ago after
    a stroke she brought me my love for baseball and politics.
    my deepest condolences to you and your have my respect and admiration.


  29. pagevalnat

    Having seen the broadcast the other night, reading this was better.
    It was my Dad who got us boys (my two older brothers and me) prepared for baseball watching. He always loved to tell about how he and a buddy went to Griffith Stadium (in ’46) and saw Bob Feller record the fastest ball ever pitched (at that time). You can’t take THAT memory away from someone, believe me.
    Years later (7/31/64, to be exact…my older brother’s birthday), he took us boys to see the Senators play the Red Sox (I believe). I still have the pennant he bought each of us, and I looked at it a few years ago when they announced the Expos were moving to Washington. That’s when I noticed something strange.
    Don Zimmer…in a Senators uniform. As a PLAYER, yet. Some day, I’ll put up a picture of that pennant and PROVE it.
    Anyway, my point was (and is) we lost Dad to cancer last July…6 days after he turned 79. So I know what it feels like to lose a parent…even though we’d known since the previous November he was dying.
    The picture of the pennant (with Zimmer) gets put up SOON. I promise. I just don’t know when, though…
    Nasty Nats Live Here (and Everywhere)


    Dear Keith,
    As a loyal learner and watcher of Countdown, I was deeply moved by your tribute to your beloved mother. I, too, am an avid opera and baseball fan, so I can truly feel the importance of your mother’s influence in your life. I grew up (born in 1936) as a Brooklyn Dodgers fan; went to games at Ebbets Field; and loved baseball until the Dodgers left after the 1957 season. The love of baseball–even if it is for the Yankees–and opera handed down from parent to child is incalculable. I believe that your mother’s grace and vitality live on through her children, which makes me very grateful for her presence in their lives. To watch the excerpts of interviews you shared of your mother will keep me smiling for a long time. She was my kind of gal and I wish I had know her! At least I know of her through you! My deepest condolences to you and your family, dear Keith.
    Elaina Rose Lovejoy, Berkeley, CA

  31. justanothercoed

    My deepest sympathies for your loss. Your mother sounds like a wonderful person who had a great lover of life (she actually sounds a great deal like my mother from what I have seen and heard about her). Again, I am sorry for your loss.


    My sincere condolences for you and your family. Despite your loss, you’re fortunate to have that kind of connection to your mother.

    My father died last November.. suddenly, an unexpected heart attack… he had already beaten cancer a few years before. As a kid, he took me to my first ballgame, at Yankee stadium, though we drifted apart a bit on sports (I like Hockey, he was a big Tennis fan), though we had fun busting chops over football (he was a Giants fan, I follow Pittsburgh and Philly).

    But we had a lifelong connection through photography. After his passing, I learned just how valueable this kind of thing can be, since that connection, whatever it is, lives on. I did a few video collages of his photographs for the memorial service, here’s one of them, for anyone interested:


    Dear Keith,
    My sincere condolences for you and your family. Despite your loss, you’re fortunate to have that kind of connection to your mother.
    My father died last November.. suddenly, an unexpected heart attack… he had already beaten cancer a few years before. As a kid, he took me to my first ballgame, at Yankee stadium, though we drifted apart a bit on sports (I like Hockey, he was a big Tennis fan), though we had fun busting chops over football (he was a Giants fan, I follow Pittsburgh and Philly).
    But we had a lifelong connection through photography. After his passing, I learned just how valueable this kind of thing can be, since that connection, whatever it is, lives on. I did a few video collages of his photographs for the memorial service, here’s one of them, for anyone interested:
    Gerry Haynie Memorial

  34. bradcombs

    I’m fortunate in that I have no idea what you are suffering through. In fact, tomorrow my Mother celebrates one of those “0” birthdays. Out of either respect or fear of retribution I won’t mention which.

    My Mother (and Dad) taught me how to be fiercely independent, how to stand in the face of adversity and stare down those who actively campaign for what I campaign against. She taught me to relish the battle, and to fight back against what seems to be fundamentally wrong. They both taught me this as well: If you feel that strongly, if your opponent has a platform and you don’t, don’t complain…build a bigger platform. Sound familiar?

    One day when I was at work my Mother called me to ask a question. “Did you write something to Channel 9?”, she asked. She explained that she was watching Harry Caray’s funeral on WGN Chicago, and that a quote of mine had been used in the closing credits. Hence our baseball connection was born.

    I don’t know if our Mothers would have liked one another. My Mom has never been to New York, nor does she want to go. But, they clearly loved “The Game”, their sons, and the platforms we have built.

    Thank you Mrs. Olbermann. The fruit of your labor inspires us.


    Dear Keith, My deepest sympathy for your loss. I am a baseball fan but also a fan of your MSNBC show. I lost my mother 6 years ago on Thanksgiving Day.There’s not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. There’s something to say about the mother, son relationship. It is the greatest “BOND” between two things that has ever existed. And even though she has passed, the connection will never be broken.
    John R.



    I don’t make it a point to write/reply to posts, but was compelled, even at this late date, to convey my condolences to you and your family on your mother’s passing. I saw your loving tribute on “Countdown”; I was in tears at its end (the home movies and old photos put me over the edge). I never really watched your show until I spent time with my parents last December in Chicago; they are in their early 80’s. They watch Chris Matthews, you, and Rachel Maddow just about every night, and so I did as well. Your commentaries on Prop 8 and Michelle “Mindless in Minnesota” Bachman, clinched me as a fan. Living in DC, I hear and read about politics all the time, and yet I tune into your show because of your intelligence, humor, thoughtfulness and integrity. I have no doubt your mother influenced these qualities, and with what I saw of her in your tribute, she must have been quite a force of nature.


    Keith –

    Brilliant memories – thank you for sharing. Our thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

    – J. Silber


    Keith – I wish I had been your brother, if only to have this lovely woman as my mom.

    As my brother would say, Blessings on you.

    David from Waterford CT


    Mr. Olbermann:

    I found your tribute to your mom to be touching. Despite your control, I shed a tear.

    My mother became a rabid San Francisco Giants fan in her 70’s. I don’t know what caused this but all of a sudden she fell in love with the game and developed a strong loyalty to the local team.

    She was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 82 and given a prognosis of about 4 to 6 months to live. When it was apparent that she would be gone soon, the parish priest called and suggested that he come over to administer the last sacraments. He was taken aback when she told him that it would have to wait. Didn’t he know the Giants were in the playoffs?


    Keith, I’m very sorry for the loss of your Mom. Your tribute to your Mom was very special. Joyhollywood


    Keith – My deepest condolences to you and your family on the loss of your beloved mother. It was so heartwarming to see the obvious love and respect you have for her and it was especially touching that you allowed those of us who ‘know’ you only through television to share in your remembrance. Thank you.


    Keith, just came to this site after seeing you talking baseball with Rachel and came upon this. Such a sweet, funny, touching tribute. Condolences from this longtime fan. -Terry in LA


    I wanted to express my sincere condolences to the loss of your mother. She had a bright personality, even when she got smacked with a speeding baseball. When I watched your tribute on that episode of COUNTDOWN, I could only think of my mom, who has Diabetes, and how much she has supported me for almost 22 years of my life (me being 21, going on 22 on the 24th of August), and how devastating it would be for me to lose my greatest source of strength and courage. My mom has been through a lot, but she still goes strong today and I can’t imagine how much emotional pain it must be to lose someone like a mother. I tried to contain the tears in my eyes while I watched that tribute, but by the end of your mom’s tribute, I had to let my tears fall. I’m so happy that your mom was an inspiration to you as my mother is to me. I’m currently a college student who runs a political blog, studies, sings, writes, writes, and writes some more. All the things I’m doing right now are because of her. If it weren’t for my mother being there for me, I don’t know where I’d be. Thank you for taking the courage to tell your audience how great of a mother yours was. Take care Keith, and best of luck!

    – Bryan Elder


    I was deeply touched by your beautifully moving tribute to your mother, Keith. I know that she enjoyed tonight, as did I, your perfectly clear explanation of the “balk” and especially the joy with which you conveyed it to Rachel. Your love of what you do both in sports and on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” is obvious and a joy to watch, but that which I appreciate most in “CwKO” is your speaking out against injustice and speaking up for equal rights for all. Your commentary, beautifully expressed and delivered, against California’s Proposition 8 was a gift not only to all lgbt, but to all of us who repect the dignity of every human being. Thanks for all you do, and know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers.



    I know a lady just like your mom over here on the west coast. Die hard Padres fan. Been to easily over 1000 games not just here either, but travels to see them everywhere. After all that time she was hit by a foul ball two seasons ago – first time ever. Now she sits in her seat wearing a shocking pink helmet! Anyway, your tribute on your show immediately made everyone in my house think of her and so we can really appreciate who your mom was and how much she loved the game. She sounds like she was a true gem. I sent a donation in her name to Susan G Komen as you requested last week. As a 3 time 3day walker it is a cause I support regularly. I hope you and your family feel the love from all of us. I think you honored your mom’s memory brilliantly.

    -Christina in San Diego


    Very sorry to hear about your loss. I lost my dad in 1977. He took me to my first baseball game at the late Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. It was game 4 of the 1966 World Series. Frank Robinson’s home run went 6 rows over my head in the left field stands. On our way home down 33rd street, people were in the streets banging metal trash can lids together and celebrating (yes people they used to have metal trash cans). It is a memory that I will always have. Thanks for reminding me!


    Dear Keith,
    The tribute you gave to your Mom moved me to tears. It
    was a perfect description of what love means and what it means to lose someone you love. I taped your tribute and have since replayed it several times, gaining new insights each time I watch it.
    What a shock it must have been for you and your family to learn that your mother was terminally ill when she only admitted to “not feeling so bad.” In February of 1981, My sister, Marion, confided to me long distance that she had discovered a breast mass the previous August. My sister died in December of 1982. Fast forward, in December of
    1984, I discovered a lump in my breast. For two weeks following my discovery, I could not touch this area again nor could I tell anyone including my husband until New Years Eve. My sister appeared to me in a dream, saying, “Go to the doctor” which I did. My treatment included a bilateral mastectomy and radiation for breast cancer. The urge to deny the discovery of the lump in my breast was very strong despite the fact that I am a Master’s
    prepared registered nurse. I believe I sought treatment in
    a timely fashion as a result of my sister’s legacy to me, Not To Deny. Fortunately, I am cancer free for 24 years. Keith,
    your suggestion to seek medical attention when you are “not feeling so bad” is so very important. I hope that through her loving son’s tribute, this will be Marie Olbermann’s legacy to other women. Our hearts ache for you, Keith, in the loss of your Beloved Mother, Marie, but know that memories of her will live forever in your heart. Our Deepest Sympathy to you and your family, Maggie and Larry Kohne


    Keith,I will say along with ALL your other fans that I am truly sorry for the loss of your mother.Like you I am VERY close to my mom as well.You can rest assured Keith,your wonderful mom is in a much better place! I watch Countdown EVERY night and ALWAYS love it!! I cant think of a reason of why I would ever miss it! Your tribute to your mom was so heartfelt and geniuine that when you wrapped up the show I found myself weeping!Sitting alone and weeping for a woman I did not know.It was the way you honored your mom and the profound sadness in your eyes that brought those tears.It made me call my mom up and tell her how much I love her!Thank you for allowing us,your fans into your personal life,if only for a few minutes.Thank you,and God bless.


    My Mom, asked me to make sure I come and express our condolences on your loss. I have always felt that the bond between a Mother and Son is stronger than steal. Thanks for making that so abundantly clear!

    God Bless you and your family!

  50. intrigo

    A fabulous memorial piece, Keith, I watched you present it on the show; saw your love and experienced pain. I lost my father on Opening Day last year, coincidentally his 80th birthday, and thought perhaps now that he has the ear of the baseball gods his beloved Cubbies might have done the deed for him last fall… I know, you’re laughing — hard. That’s good. I realized there IS life after death, ours, we the living.

    I miss him, I know you miss her. The first season’s the hardest, you want to pick up the phone and say ‘How about that catch? Did you see Reed Johnson rob Fielder of his first career grand slam?’ It doesn’t get easier, but that’s ok. It keeps them with us, especially at this time of year.

    Bravo to you, Keith, from someone who understands your loss from a first-row seat.

    With affection,

    debi lee



    I just wanted to pass along condolences on the passing of your Mom. We lost my Dad unexpectedly in November. This spring my Mom and I went to see the Indians spring training (something she and Dad always talked about doing but never did) and last Friday went to my first opening day without him. We’d done 11 in a row for our Indians, always as a family outing– it was still a family outing but with one really important piece of the family missing. Watching your piece about your Mom on Countdown (and then reading the blog again) made me appreciate even more the connection we had around baseball.

    As a long time fan of your work in all forms, I just wanted to let you know that I both feel your loss and feel for your loss at the same time.

    Bob Carrothers
    Ada, OH


    After losing my own mother in a rather quick, similarly sudden manner about a year and a half ago, I remember the fog I wandered around in.

    My mom, like yours, was the big baseball lover in OUR family and helped instill in me some of her energy and enthusiasm for the game. I became a Red Sox fan. She would watch any game on TV, but continued, once they came to Phoenix, to love her Diamondbacks till the end. I found an old D-backs ticket stub in her purse a few days after she died and it made me laugh…..she kept absolutely EVERYTHING!!!

    I have enjoyed watching you, lo these many years and always refer to you as Keith Olbermann, the thinking woman’s David Cassidy! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts about your mom and I could relate them to my own and it made me appreciate her gift of the game and I missed her just a bit more that day.


    Keith…Please accept my prayers and condolences on the death of your mother. Your tribute on Countdown brought her to life, and me to tears.
    My late grandfather (whom I affectionately called “Pappy”) died suddenly in a car accident while I was a freshman in high school many years ago. It was shocking and sudden and sad. I was affected as profoundly as my parents at his death because he was a Phillies fan and he promised me that the following summer, he would take me to a game. He was under the impression that since I was a teenage girl, that I was not interested in baseball or spending time with him. I dispelled that myth and was looking forward to going to my first Phillies game with him in the summer of 1982. But, the first Phillies game I attended was in 1986. And as I sat in my seat at Veteran Stadium, I looked up to the sky, and said “Pappy, I finally made it to a game, and I’m sure it won’t be my last!” And it wasn’t. Even though I have not been to Citizen’s Bank Park yet, I am still a Phillies fan and remember my Pappy always watching or listening to the games on Sunday afternoons.
    I miss him a little more during baseball season, but I know he is still able to see “his beloved Phillies” because he has the best seat in the stadium!
    May God bless you and give you comfort and strength!


    Sorry for your loss and Your tribute to her was beautiful. I hope your family is doing well! I love your show and keep doing what your doing best! Your mom seemed to be one of the most sweetest and best baseball fans ever! God bless you and your family!


  55. Meghan

    My condolences to you Keith and your family during this difficult time. My father passed away about 3 1/2 years ago and it took losing him to remind me how much I loved baseball. He took me to my first game at the Kingdome where I saw Griffey Jr. for the first time. I remember being completely enamored with the entire aspect of it all. But I was on the cusp of teenage angst and I became a girl and forgot about the strongest bond I had with my dad. I miss sitting with him and cheering for our teams. Every time I go to see a game I know he’s there with me. Thank you for sharing wonderful memories of your mother with us.


    My Condolences Kieth.
    Your Mother was special.
    You are special.
    Baseball is special.


    As a long time viewer of your show I was touched by your beautiful tribute to you mother. I thank her for the gift to my life that is you.
    Know you are in my prayers.


    Mr. Olberman, Thank you for your brave and splendidly written tribute to your mother. How wonderful to have spent so much time together and to have grown so close. I think I feel your loss, your mother and the chances to discuss the beloved game. You have my deepest sympathies.

    Scott Larkin, El Dorado, Arkansas


    I read your tribute to your mother. Beautiful. She loved you and you loved her. This is a very special story. Thank you for sharing.
    I miss, you, Keith, please come back.


    This is a great inspiring article. I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post.
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  61. flemming22

    I miss him, I know you miss her. The first season’s the hardest, you want to pick up the phone and say ‘How about that catch? Did you see Reed Johnson rob Fielder of his first career grand slam?’ It doesn’t get easier, but that’s ok. It keeps them with us, especially at this time of year. admin@cheap tiffany jewelry .com


    y mom passed away 21 years ago. My first memory of baseball was watching the ’68 Series with her. She had lived in Detroit and was a big Tigers fan, so this was the beginning of my baseball education. She taught me to pitch, catch and hit, but more importantly, taught me to love the game. Flour Mill


    y mom passed away 21 years ago. My first memory of baseball was watching the ’68 Series with her. She had lived in Detroit and was a big Tigers fan, so this was the beginning of my baseball education. She taught me to pitch, catch and hit, but more importantly, taught me to love the game. Flour Mill

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