On Memorial Day, Michael San Phillip got the news he had waited years to hear. His oldest daughter, married 11 years, was about to make him a grandfather for the first time. The discovery reduced him to tears, no small task for a man who had spent 34 years rising in the rough and tumble world of Wall Street finance. Though he had catapulted himself to vice president at Sandler O'Neill & Partners, an investment house on the 104th floor at 2 World Trade Center, the title he craved was that of grandfather. It was as big a moment as if he had won one of his beloved tennis and paddle matches, the ones he has for decades been so devoted to organizing. Folks in Ridgewood, N.J., had nicknamed him "Captain Paddle."
"He was really looking forward to seeing his first grandchild in December," said Jill Abbott, Mr. San Phillip's daughter. "He had the hope in his heart that it would be a little boy, a little Mikey."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 1, 2001.