I suppose in many ways, the logical side of me knew that, when he announced that the cancer had returned, and then I saw that he hadn’t really written anything in almost two months, John Arguello’s days were numbered. Having studied biology (in particular cancer biology) most of my professional life before I decided to go into teaching, I knew how evil the disease was, but there was always a bit of hope for any patient, no matter how bleak the outcome. If there was ever a guy who deserved to keep going as that beacon of hope, it was John.
John was one of the first Twitter users to follow me on that website. I had no idea why, other than the part where I helped Anno run this little corner of Cubdom. I knew him only from his blog at the time, a blog called Cubs Den that I frequented because he wrote so well and described baseball in a way that I could consume at a time when I was actively learning more about the sport that I grew up watching but didn’t really think as deeply about. What I, and many Cubs Twitter brethren, discovered was how open and kind John was in talking, teaching, and generally living baseball. We at WSD certainly were in favor of the rebuild when it was announced, but John really bought in and eloquently explained the process the entire way. It was a shame that guys like Ron Santo and Ernie Banks were unable to witness last year’s Chicago Cubs World Series champions while on the mortal plane, but I feel at peace knowing that John could tell his maker that he got to experience it.
There were a few times that John really interacted with and supported our blog community. I was grateful when he agreed to come on our original Dreamcast when Mauricio was first getting it set up (you can still find the episode in the list, although I think the file has disappeared into the ether now that Mau is off doing bigger and better things), and while I could not participate directly at the time other than inviting John to talk prospects during the heart of the rebuild, I know Mau was impressed with how much he knew and how sharp he was. So much so that eventually, Mau left and joined Cubs Den with our blessing. Later on, I got to chat with Mau and John on the Dreamcast when he came back for a second round, and I got to experience his pearls of wisdom. And some time after that, John did a series about smaller Cubs blogs in which he featured one of our articles (I don’t remember whose blog it was, just the honor that Cubs Den would care what we had to say). So in many not-so-small ways, John Arguello was a friend of WSD.
We can’t really do him justice because we aren’t immediate family, but I don’t think heredity is important in this case because of how welcoming of a personality John was. I know his Cubs Den family misses him almost as much as his real family does, but to John, I guess we were all his family and he treated everyone like a true friend. The ultimate honor seems to be when the team he loved shows that love in return…
The Chicago Cubs organization sends its condolences to the family and friends of John Arguello.@CubsDen, you will be missed.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 29, 2017
The mark of any person is in how they influenced the people around them. Those tweets, as they say, are just the tip of the iceberg. John Arguello was a great fan, a great friend, and just a wonderful, stand-up guy. He will definitely be missed, but never forgotten. Keep reading Cubs Den, folks. They can’t replace John, but they will still do good work and are worth your time.