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Jim Northrup
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Jim Northrup

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December 20, 2014
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January 05, 2014
Dear Northrup family,

My name is Kevin Svetcos and I have a story to tell. My dad was my t-ball team coach and he promised that at the end of the year he would get every one on the team an autographed baseball from the Detroit Tigers. At the end of the season he bought a case (24) of Rawlings baseballs and took them to a Sears near where we lived. Mr. Northrup was there that day and my dad and I were in line. We got to the front, dad put down the case and basically said here ya go. Mr. Northrup looked at my dad and basically said what the heck. :^D My dad told Mr. Northrup of his promise of signed baseballs for the team and that he was going to make good on it. Mr. Northrup basically told my dad to go pound sand because he wasn't going to sign all those baseballs. Dad said not happening, he made a promise to a bunch of 6 y/o boys and he was going to deliver, and don't you know that Mr. Northrup actually signed every single blessed one of those balls? He wasn't happy about it, but he did it. He was cussing like a drunken sailor, but he did it. Every last one.

I served in the military, and my career eventually took me to the Washington, DC area where I have worked with all branches of uniformed members of the DoD since 9/11. During both my active duty days and with working with the men and women in uniform (most who have served at least one rotation in Iraq and/or Afghanistan) we hold a man's character and integrity as the true measure of the man, and I am here to tell you that I often think of Mr. Northrup and the integrity and character he showed on that day signing all of those baseballs for all those kids. Unsurpassed. After that day, Jim Northrup was my favorite Tiger and he was an inspiration to me on how a person should live their life. I remember dad handing out those baseballs and the looks on everyone's faces and I remember how I felt when I got mine. That was the talk for YEARS after. Because of his integrity and character, Mr. Northrup impacted not only 12 other boys but also their families because dad told the story to every single kid and parent, not to spread the news of dad's "tenacity", but to tell everyone of how Mr. Northrup handled the situation

Ironically, I grew up in Holly and graduated from there. I just saw that Mr. Northrup spent some time towards the end of his career on earth there, and I feel somewhat cheated because I have wanted to thank him for some time for doing that. To find out he has passed 2.5 yrs. ago disappoints me to know I can't thank him; to know that he lived his last days in my home town and in a facility so near to where I lived as a boy just rubs salt into the wound.

I don't know if you'll even see this entry, but I had to leave it regardless of if you see it or not. I don't know how Jim Nortrup lived his life in general, but I do know that on that day and in that situation, he shone bright. He made an incredible impact on me not as much as a ball player as he did a human being and I am forever grateful.

If you have any questions or comments, I can be reached at ksvetcos@yahoo.com. Otherwise, I'll thank you for your time in reading this. Take care and God bless. Mr. Northrup may be gone but as long as I live, he will never be forgotten.

Respectfully submitted,

Kevin Svetcos
July 03, 2011
Dear Jim Northrup family.

I found out he passing tonight from newspaper. Jim Northrup! He is so great good man and played in whole sports. I’m very sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers Lived formerly Grand Blanc. Please accept my sympathy My heart goes out to you during this difficult time. Do you want do anything for you? I would like keep in touch with you. I know his son Jimmy, Jim Northrup and Jim (his son) we played golf with me and my Dad (Joe Reske) Landscape designer, Jimmy - maybe you could remember me? I had lost (your Dad) phone numbers then disappear for a while. Also good memories played during low puck hockey every Sunday morning in Southfield hockey rink. Also wonderful attended to ballpark. I would like to for Jim (young son) Check with me and contact me. I will tell you more where am I now. God bless you! Jim Northrup is peace in rest. May God bless to Tiger team won World Series 1968 Championship. Keep in touch. Thank you!

Sincerely
John Reske (deaf and low vision).
June 16, 2011
To all of Jim's family I pray that you all make it through this tough time. Just hold your family close and stay strong.

I Beverly Northrup Rhodes, and my family Roy and Gloria Northrup used to love the visits from Uncle Jerry and Aunt Pauline and Jim, Jerry and Micky. Even though I was one of terrible teenagers when the boys were younger....LOL...The three of them loved to torment me, but they really were closer with my sister Connie as they were of approximately the same age.

Again Patti, am so sorry you lost Jim so soon. The loss of a loved one is never easy and when that loss is your partner in life, no one can know how much that loss can hurt.

Much love to your family from Bev and Bill Rhodes, Jody & Den Walker, William A and Kim Rhodes

Would it be possible to send me a copy of Jim's memorial card so that I can put it in Grandma Northrup's Bible? I would appreciate that more than you could ever know.
June 15, 2011
sorry my e-mail address was printed wrong.if jim jr would use gophergreg2004@yahoo.com i would really appreciate to here from u.i know that u were young at that point and time but i m 55 now and remember the northrup family like it was yesterday. once again i m sorry for your loss and may good health be with you all.
June 15, 2011
Jim, you lived the story of EVERY kid who ever played sandlot ball. Bob Gibson, a triple, and a world series.

You seem to give alot of yourself when you had the chance, your Family Loves you.

Many Good Memories, Peace to Your Family, God Bless you and yours.
June 15, 2011
to the Northrup family, Jim has been great to me watching him in the stand or interveiwing him Tiger Stadium , he was a class person my thoughts to the family on the loss of a great man

Butch Davis River Rouge,Mi, DSBA member
June 14, 2011
peggy im sorry for your loss.i ve been thinking about jim and u all very reciently for some unknown reason and now i know y. jim was and is still my idol and hero as u guys lived behind us in detroit and jim took me and my brothers to several games.jim jr and the mclellan gang played together all summer long for two years that u rented the place on biltmore in detroit.please have jim jr get ahold of me @ gophergreg@yahoo.com once im sorry a great man is gone.long live the memories
June 14, 2011
Detroit Tiger Jim Northrup,
I (Roy Shankel) was in boot camp for the Navy during the fall of 1968 and our company commander let us watch the series. Most of us were from Michigan and we persuaded him to let us watch, it was great! I will always have these memories provided by you and the Tigers as heroes of the sport and I take pride that you are my mom's cousin, which gave our family some bragging rights! Love to all of the family from Duane and Barbara (Northrup) Shankel, Roy and Linda Shankel, Dan and Rita Shankel, Raymond and Sue Shankel and Mary Shankel and families.
June 13, 2011
Always MY Tiger!.....the reason the #5 has alway been my favorite number.....he was GREAT in '68, but I loved him in '67 too, I was 10. When the city burned around me the Tigers played on! Jim was my asbestos shielding me from the heat of life. The Guard through your yard, or Northrup tracking one down. So many players from that team excelled because they wanted to win. My buddy Moe was in Louisville, KY on May 22, 2011 and per my request he picked out an Ash bat for me.....couldn't get the 35 oz. I requested but picked out a 33 oz. instead. A few minutes after he called to tell me only 33 oz. was available, he called back to ask if I wanted my name on it, after all it was free!, my response was immediate, NO!, please have them put Jim Northrup and if possible add the #5 after. He laughed and said O.K.. A few days later it was in my hands.....SWEEEEET! it was suggested I should have him autograph it and I thought it may be possible, I knew he still lived in the area. June 8, 2011 the thought of the autograph ended.....but not the glory of having a hero! Cherished not only for his skills on the field, but also for his honesty and determination! he wasn't afraid to tell the truth as he saw it, even when others didn't see it the same way. The team nicknamed him "Sweet Lips" for just that reason. Even Al Kaline said he was the backbone of the 1968 team! I hold the whole team of Detroit Tigers of 1968 as a special memory, and everyone knows I love my Tigers, but I will only have one favorite Tiger forever.....Jim Northrup! May he rest in peace!
June 13, 2011
As an Orioles fan all my life I would like to send my best wishes to all his family and friends. I just lost my Father today and was looking over the notices and found Jim's.My Dad was a huge Orioles fan, and anyone who played for us was is always in our thoughts. God Bless

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