Former 'phenom' Hurdle finds true calling as manager
DENVER -- For so long, a magazine cover photo defined Clint Hurdle. Here was Hurdle, frolicking on a spring afternoon in Florida, his thick black hair tousled in all directions, his clean, white Kansas City Royals uniform pulled over a blue Windbreaker, rippling in the breeze. And in his right hand he clutched a dirtied batting glove.
--Sports Illustrated photographer Heinz Kluetmeier, who shot Hurdle for the March 20, 1978, cover.
The couple had another child, Christian, in 2004, and then threw themselves into philanthropy. This season Hurdle counseled a local teenager named Kyle Blakeman, who was struck with cancer. The two became close friends -- Hurdle scripted the No. 64, Blakeman's football number, on every Rockies scorecard -- until the boy's death in late August."If you have an opportunity to have a position where maybe people will take more notice, I just feel for me personally I have to move upon that," Hurdle said. "That comes with the responsibility of having the job. If you can make a little bit of a difference I think that brings value to everything. It brings value to your life, it brings value to the people you've touched, it brings value to your community." Hurdle has began pondering a new ending. What if his Rockies win the World Series, and during a raucous celebration, Hurdle is photographed, and that snapshot appears on the cover of another national publication? That's a cover shot he might keep. Jorge Arangure Jr. is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.