Michael Samuelson, a giant Twins fan who’s battled health emergencies for years, is heading home from the hospital Friday after cancer treatments and entering end-of-life hospice care.
“Sammy” railed against the Dome but still attended games there because he loved the team.
Jay Weiner wrote a touching MinnPost piece about “Sammy” in 2009, when his total of kidney transplants already topped the number of Twins’ world championship pennants.
Sammy had been a longtime community organizer and activist. He and his wife, former St. Paul City Council Member Kiki Sonnen, live in St. Paul.
This note went out this week from Sammy’s fellow Twins fan Julian Loscalzo:
There comes a time when every veteran ballplayer realizes he can’t catch up with the fastball & it’s time to hang up the spikes. Sammy’s cancer is terminal. His heart, soul and spirit wants to fight on but his body is just plain worn out. He and Kiki have decided it is time to wait for the closer on their own terms. He’s hoping to foul off a few more pitches over the next few weeks but if it is all fastballs, he’s cooked.
He’s lived a great and full life. I’ve been blessed to have shared so much of it with him & many of you. He comments daily that his friends have given great meaning to his life and wonderful memories. Hopefully, all of us will carry those forward and share those laughs as well as the ‘cringes’ with others. The guy celebrated life every day and his battles with health issues gave many of us strength when we faced our own challenges.
I realize by writing this with Sammy’s admonition to use ‘proper grammar,’ he’s got me saying something nice about him but hell, I don’t care especially since he recently forgave me for abandoning him in a hospital in Detroit in 1998!!!!
And Sammy says in a Facebook post and email to friends:
I have treasured my time knowing all of you these many years. It will be tough but I’m sure that with the love from you, other friends and family I’ll make this transition work as best it can. Please read the attached message from Julian. What a beautiful note it is.