Jump to content

potthole

Brian Bluhm Plaque Dedication

Recommended Posts

I got a call today from a reporter with the Grand Rapids Press. He's going to have an article in Wednesday's paper about the event. It'll be interesting to see if this brings in anybody from the general public.

He's also hoping to have a photographer with him on Thursday.

thefunk, I will be very happy to post photos of the event here. I'll have my fiance on the camera while I'm speaking, and after the event I'll be sure to get some nice photos of the plaque. If any television crews are there, I'll ask them if there is any way we'd be able to get raw footage of the dedication online, so it can be shared with Brian's family and you guys here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am dinner cook on Thursday--not able to get away. If I had been laundry, I could have played with my schedule a little more. I will be thinking about it though

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your a great poster, and a better man, Matt. I'm sure Brian is not only honored, but proud to have you as a Friend. You've really done a great thing here, and it's not lost upon us jaded Tiger fans! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm able to come out I'll bring my video camera and put up something on youtube.

Still about 50/50 that I can make it. Depends on work tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is an article about the plaque that will be in today's Grand Rapids Press.

Whitecaps to remember Virginia Tech fan

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

By Gary BondThe Grand Rapids Press

Matt Philpott and Brian Bluhm never met, but the two, separated by hundreds of miles, had a common interest.

Both were passionate about the Detroit Tigers and their minor league organization, sharing an interest with nearly 3,000 others through daily postings on the motownsports.com Web site the past two years.

Philpott, a Hudsonville native and a senior at Cornerstone University, considered Bluhm a friend. When Bluhm was one of the 32 people who died in the Virginia Tech shootings on April 16, Philpott wanted to do something to remember his friend.

Philpott and a group of his Web site friends came up with a permanent reminder of their friend, who will have a plaque placed in two of the Tigers' minor league parks in his honor.

The West Michigan Whitecaps will be the first to hold a plaque ceremony, which will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Fifth Third Ballpark.

"The day Bluhm was killed, many of us, who only knew him through the Web site, began to ask what could we do to remember him by," Philpott said. "Since we all were Detroit Tigers baseball fans and loved following players through the Tigers' minor league system, we thought having a plaque in his name at each minor league park would be a great way."

Philpott said the Whitecaps definitely were interested.

"Right now, there will be a plaque at Fifth Third Ballpark, and something will be done at Lakeland, but that's it. The remaining of the $6,000 raised for the Bluhm Fund will be sent to Virginia Tech in his name."

One of the things members of the motownsports.com followers did each season was pick a Tigers' minor league player to follow during the season.

Philpott said Bluhm's player was Whitecaps second basemen Scott Sizemore, who helped West Michigan captured its second consecutive Midwest League Championship.

The Whitecaps will place the plaque on a bench, which fans can see as they enter the park through the main gate.

Send e-mail to the author: gbond@grpress.com

http://www.mlive.com/sports/grpress/index.ssf?/base/sports-1/1195047925111300.xml&coll=6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A quick heads-up for those attending the plaque dedication on Thursday. If the weather is too poor to do things outside, the ceremony will probably be moved to the Pepsi Stadium Club, which is back in the outfield.

If this winds up happening, I will try to make sure we have some sort of signage up at the main concourse, to alert people of the change in location.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To Matt and the others that made this happen, you are what draws our community together and shape our future. Thank you so much for always giving of yourselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today is the big day. I've got my speech written, and ready to go. I'm very excited to see this plaque in person for the first time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm probably not going to be able to make it. I have a cub scout meeting tonight and we have to set up for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem, Rob. I appreciate that you even were going to try to come. This afternoon I will post a transcript of my speech and photos of the event.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt did an amazing job. Special thanks the the Whitecaps and staff for their time. We had a nice crowd there, Press covered it, as did ABC and Fox. Should be on WZZM at 6pm, and WXMI at 10pm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was very impressed with the turnout today. Thank you so much everybody who was able to stop by! The photos Becky and I took at the event are currently loading on Flickr right now.

Here is the transcript of the speech I gave at the dedication:

Let me begin by saying thank you and welcome. Thank you to everybody here today, it’s wonderful that you were able to take time out of your day to come pay respects to our friend Brian Bluhm. Even though Brian’s family is unable to be here, I know that they are very appreciative as well.

Seven months ago the world lost a lot of good people. Many people lost friends, family and loved ones on that April morning, and those of us on the Motownsports community are included. The news of Brian’s death in the Virginia Tech tragedy struck close to home for many of us- and even though most of us never did get to meet him in person, he was still a close friend. I know for myself, a college student, the events of that day struck a nerve which still effects me to this day- even now, if I’m in class and I hear a door open behind me, I find myself doing a quick head check to see who is entering the room.

Brian had three big passions in his life- love of God, love of his family, and love of the Detroit Tigers. That last passion if how we here got to connect with him. Brian not only loved the Tigers, he knew the Tigers. He was one of the most well informed fans I ever ran across. The insight he had to baseball was something that astounded me- when I saw him write his opinion on something, anything, I stopped and paid attention. It didn’t matter if he was discussing his views on the opera singing hotdog guy at Comerica park, or where in the lineup he felt an aging Pudge Rodriguez should bat- Brian had wisdom and confidence that was surpassed by very few.

Brian didn’t just know the Major League aspect of baseball, he also followed the Tigers’ minor league clubs closely too. As has been documented, Brian was a big supporter of the Whitecaps and the players who came through West Michigan. As the spring unfolded this year he was especially excited about Scott Sizemore, the Whitecaps second baseman this season. Brian had hoped one day to attend a baseball game here at Fifth Third Ballpark, and it’s a shame he never got to, because I would have loved to sit and talk baseball with him for nine innings.

Although Brian will never get to grace the ball field with his physical presence, starting today he will always be here in memory. Almost immediately after news of his death broke, numerous people on the Motownsports community felt the need to try and do something to memorialize our fallen friend. After some thought and discussion it was decided that we would create our own “Brian Bluhm Memorial Fund” where we would raise donations to help do something in tribute of Brian. The outpouring of generosity was amazing. Nearly $6000 was sent in, by nearly 160 separate individuals. It was with a portion of those funds that we were able to work with the West Michigan Whitecaps to create this memorial plaque which we are dedicating today. The plaque will be placed on a bench up in front of the main entrance of the ballpark, where it will remain as a tribute to the memory of Brian.

In my correspondence with Angela, Brian’s sister, I asked if there was anything specific his family would like read at today’s dedication ceremony. They asked that I read a passage from Jeremiah. This passage, Jeremiah 29:11, was read at Brian’s funeral.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

This passage to most might seem sort of ironic. Brian was just weeks away from completing his Master’s degree, just weeks away from starting a job in the civil engineering field- how could God say He has plans for Brian to prosper, and to have a future? That’s just the thing, however. God knew all along what He had planned for Brian. Without turning this into a sermon, I’ll explain. Brian loved the Lord, and as such today he is in Heaven, eternally at peace with God. God didn’t have earthly plans for Brian, God had plans for a future with Him, plans for Brian to prosper for all of eternity in a personal relationship together.

Now it is time to unveil the memorial plaque. With this plaque, Brian’s spirit and memory will forever live on at one of his favorite places- the baseball field.

The plaque, in case you can’t quite see the text very well, says this:

In Memory of

BRIAN R. BLUHM

M.S. Civil Engineering, Virginia Tech

1981-2007

Devoted Tigers Fan

We Miss You!

Motownsports.com

Before we wrap up this dedication I have some thank you’s. First, I want to especially thank Jim Jarecki and the West Michigan Whitecaps. The eagerness to work with us and help us create this tribute to our friend is very, very much appreciated. You did a fantastic job in getting in touch with Valley City Signs to create this memorial, and thank you so much for everything you’ve done.

As mentioned, I also want to thank Valley City Signs for actually creating this plaque. It is beautiful, and I know Brian’s family is very proud of the work you have done.

Finally, I want to thank everybody who helped give to our memorial fund. As I mentioned earlier, 160 people donated close to $6000, and that is no small feat. Brian’s family is just overwhelmed at the efforts of everybody, and touched that so many people want to help the memory of their son live on. I’m also very happy to say that well over $5000 will be able to be donated to the Virginia Tech Fellowship Fund, in Brian’s memory. Thank you everybody who gave of your financial resources, thank you everybody who gave of your thoughts and prayers to Brian and his family.

Thanks to all of you for joining us here today, I really appreciate the time you took from your schedules to be here, and I hope you all have safe travel, for those of you who have travel, and just all have a wonderful afternoon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done. I couldn't be prouder to be a member of any community than this one right now and am truly happy to have been able to contribute.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i wish i could've been there. i'll have to check the news sites for their stories.

any chance we could get id's of members in those photos? there are some unfamiliar faces there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i see some Whitecaps staff in attendance:

2035711422_a104bcb91a.jpg

The guy who is farthest away with the Whitecaps jacket is Scott Lane--one of the head honchos

The lady to the right of him (somewhat hidden) with the dishwater blonde hair is Jamie Farber who is head of Public Relations.

2034991433_eaa595c4f7.jpg

The guy in the right side of the picture with the tan suit coat is Lew Chamberlin who was one of the two guys instrumental in bringing the Whitecaps to Grand Rapids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...