At the bar after the first night of the Cubs Convention, things can get a little crazy. It’s a small space, there’s a ton of people, the beer is flowing, and you don’t always have a sense of who is there and where they are. A few years ago, through the chaos, I knew that John Arguello was there, at a table to my left, even though I couldn’t see him.
I could smell his scotch.
John, for those who don’t know, was the man who started Cubs Den, a prolific and thoughtful writer, and a far better scout than I could ever dream to be. More than all that, though, John was simply one of the nicest guys you’d ever meet. John passed away yesterday.
There’s a hole in the hearts of so many – search for John’s name on Twitter, and you’ll see how many readers, writers, Cubs personnel, and Cubs players and prospects are missing him – and it’s not one that will be filled.
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
John Arguello had such an incredible impact on so many people's lives. Rest In Peace John thank you for everything you did.
— Dylan Cease (@DylanCease) July 30, 2017
So sad to hear of the passing of John Arguello (@CubsDen). He was a fixture on our back fields and will be missed. A good man. RIP John.
— JasonMcLeod (@CamLaneyLogan1) July 29, 2017
John and I also shared a kinship because of the smaller universe of nerdy-online-Cubs-writer-people in which we lived. Knowing what I do about writing daily about the Cubs – about the grind it can sometimes be, and about the reasons we do it – I have a special affection for people like John. Because of what he wrote, and for so many other reasons, he had such a positive impact on so many people. I am thankful to count myself one of them.
I was lucky enough to know John a little bit in his time in Chicago, and after he moved out to Arizona. Sitting with him at the back fields, talking about prospects, seeing the game for a moment or two through his eyes – these are things I’ll always carry with me. It all helped fill out the guy you knew in the words on the screen; the guy who seemed so passionate and kind, and, sure enough, he was. And, yes, he liked his scotch.
I don’t think any of us truly know how many people we touch, or appreciate how many people touch our lives on a daily basis. Unfortunately, it can take something like this to jar us just enough to really reflect, if only for a passing hour. Take that hour, reflect on the ones you love, the ones who love you, and the connective tentacles we all send out into the world.
To be honest, I’m still in a little bit of shock that when I next head out to Arizona, John won’t be there. I know I’ll think of him, though, when I hear the persistent crack of bats at the back fields, or any time I smell a particularly pungent scotch. Thank you for everything, John. Rest in peace.