TRIBUTE TO AN INSPIRATION
They say that baseball needs more fans that are women. The real fact is that baseball needs more women like Norine Devine, who passed away suddenly on Monday morning at Toronto East General Hospital. Norine is my aunt and in the absence of my late mother, became my conscience and my inspiration as the Star's baseball columnist. Lorne and Norine Devine raised nine children in the same small home in Scarborough. The nine children, 20 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren have many things in common in addition to an incredible love and respect for one another. One of the Devine family's other attributes that was ingrained in them from infancy was a great love of sports, including baseball. Even though Norine was not an athlete herself, her kitchen radio was forever tuned to the FAN and she remained an avid Star reader, especially the sports, and a fan of Bob McCown. A staunch and practicing Catholic, any time that one of my columns may have strayed into questionable territory in terms of respect or double entendre, I would hear about it the next time I talked to Norine. She raised her own children the same way. When I was a struggling 23-year-old assistant in the Expos' public relations department, while my mother was encouraging me to find work as an accountant or some other "legitimate" business, my aunt Norine was encouraging me to stay the course if I really loved baseball and was happy. I am still happy, but also, now, devastated by the news of Norine's passing. I will continue to write with the constant thought of "What Would Norine Say?" Rest in Peace.
by Richard Griffin