In A Tribute To A Plumber, Flushing His Ashes

May 6, 2017
Originally published on May 6, 2017 10:39 am
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Tom McDonald of New York tours America to give a unique sendoff to a childhood friend who died nine years ago. He flushes Roy Riegel's cremated remains down toilets in baseball park restrooms. The friends grew up together in Queens. Roy Riegel became a Mets fan and a plumber. I know people might think it's weird, and if it were anyone else's ashes, I'd agree, Tom McDonald told The New York Times. But for Roy, this is the perfect tribute to a plumber and a baseball fan and just a brilliant wild guy.

So far, Roy Riegel's ashes have been flushed down the drain in 16 different ballparks including where the Mets, the White Sox and Cleveland Indians play. Tom McDonald hopes to flush away the last ash of his friend at the Durham Athletic Park, where the Durham Bulls used to play and where Annie Savoy in "Bull Durham" said, I've tried them all, and the only church that truly feeds the soul is the church of baseball. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.