Note to readers: This eulogy was presented at memorial service for Mark Hindy.

Rememberences of Mark
By John Miller

It was 1990, and it was August, and it was hot. We were not where I wanted to be - on some beach in Rockaway, or Sagaponack, where we had spent the previous August. We were on a ballfield, in Brooklyn, smack in the middle of a doubleheader...and Mark is pitching. And on this particular Saturday, we were playing quite a talented team, who had eeked out a 20-0 victory in the first game, and now felt poised to sweep the afternoon away from us. Mark kept us in the game. I was playing third base, and I do remember thinking, "Mark has some good stuff today." And I remember being envious, of his talent, and of his moment, since he was pitching in front of an audience that included his father, who always found a way to see Mark pitch no matter where it was, and also, in front of about four scouts who had come to find the latest and greatest baseball prodigies of Brooklyn. So, he's cruising along, against this fear-inspiring team, and up stepped a kid by the name of Manny Ramirez, who just happens to make his living these days playing for the Boston Red Sox and will collect about $170 million dollars to do so over the next six years. Well, Manny stepped in to hit, and Mark geared up and threw possibly the finest fastball...that was promptly hit halfway to Queens. Manny circled the bases, not in a jog, but not in a flat out sprint either, as I picked my jaw up off the grass. Mark intermittenly smiled sheepishly and cussed to himself, and still held out hope that this ball could be FedExed back to Brooklyn in time for a play at the plate. And then a funny thing happened. Manny missed 2nd base by about three feet...and Mark saw it. He held his tongue until Manny crossed home, and a new batter stepped into the batter's box. He then followed the hallowed traditions of baseball by appealing to the umpire regarding Manny's casual relationship with 2nd base. The umpire agreed... "out" at second base. No home run, just a harmless single. Mark was floating on air the rest of the day. And for the next 12 years, we heard about this miraculous non-homer. Which proves two things about Mark...and this understanding is essential: He repeated stories a lot, and more importantly, he always focused on the positive side of things, no matter what. It was a single, darn it! Not a homer!

In that way about him, his constant positiveness, his continuous unwavering support for friend and family member alike, and his unending smiles and laughter for nearly every day of his life, Mark David Hindy is my role model. In so man ways, he was the person I strive to be. The loving son of two wonderful parents, the wide-eyed younger brother who bronzed every footstep of his brother, and more recently, the welcoming brother-in-law and the doting uncle. The proud grandson, nephew and cousin to his many, many, many, many relatives. The selfless, happy-go-lucky friend, who always came along with no strings attached. The gym partner who constantly exhorted me, and others, to "put some more weight on the bar" while he himself attempted to bench press approximately 730lbs. The rising star of the Cantor listed equity trading desk, whose actions helped push and pull the largest marketplace on the globe. The owner of a waterside apartment. The owner of a Corvette.

For a guy so darn big - and when I tell you he's had six inches on me since we were 4 years old, you better believe it - there is a gentleness, innocence and untouched purity that is the unquestionable essence of Mark Hindy. I sometimes find myself making mistakes, not handling a situation as will as I could, or hitting some other bump in the road. It is amazing that, without fall, I always come back to the essential questions, "What would Mark do? How would he handle this?" Only the most special of people evoke such thoughts, I think.

I have known Mark as long as I have known myself, and so many parts of my life are entwined with his life. There are people in you life that you know as well as yourself. You know who they are, and what they mean to you. You know where they are every single day of your life. I can account for the whereabouts of Mark Hindy on any given day since 1979.

You see here today many of Mark's friends, and I will try to represent our feelings for Mark in one voice, as Mark would surely appreciate. Mark fostered a unity in groups such as ours, with welcoming smiles and a big outstretched hand to shake. He would be the first person you would want to see if you were the new boyfriend dating one of the girls in the crowd, or if you were the vistiting cousin of one of the guys, in town for the weekend. Immediately, he tacitly embraced you, drew you into an undoubtedly spirited conversation ( I am not sure if Mark had any unspirited conversations), and gave you a sense of belonging, and comfort. Mark never demanded anything from anyone, except maybe the requirement to listen to his Manny Ramirez story, and that is truly an exceptional quality. To be accepting of others, and to face new relationships with no pre-conceived expectations...that is to be admired, and copied.

He loved these friends of his. He moved so easily from group to group, it is easy to see why so many of his friends are here today. The Bay Ridge crowd, the Regis crowd, the Poly guys, and everyone in between were special people for Mark, and he is, and continues to be, a very special person for all them.

The Vanderbilt crew was a great source of pride for Mark, as he traveled to Nashville, not one friendly face from Brooklyn joining him there, and soon found himself surrounded by wonderful men and women who befriended him for probably three reasons, if I had to guess: they had to get the know the "Brooklyn kid;" they needed a guy to find the best Italian food in the state of Tennessee, and then, to drive them there; and because they immediately recognized the goodness and luminance of Mark, just as we all had done years before. They have all traveled here and shared this past weekend with many of us "locals." Mark's legacy of togetherness, and inclusiveness will never fade.

The only people he cherished more than his friends were his unbelievable family. It is easy to see where Mark developed, and inherited, his easygoing nature. Mr. and Mrs. Hindy have welcomed all of us into their home for the last 20 years, always offering food - and making us fell like on of the family. Mrs. Hindy always knows what is going on in our lives, and constantly asks about our families. When we were younger, Mr. Hindy would let us hang out when Mark was helping him under the hood of one of the myraid of cars in the Hindy driveway. I even went to the racetrack a couple of times with Mr. Hindy and mark, and although I am not sure Mr. Hindy will be needing by limited pit crew abilities any time soon, it was always really a fun day, and Mark often talked of those days with his father as genuine good times.

Greg is the older brother you read about in fairy tales. I almost wanted to pinch him each time I saw him to make sure Greg was a real person, and not some perfect dream of a brother. Mark loved Greg with such intensity that no words I write can quantify. Greg was his guy, his idol, and his best friend. Theirs is the relationship that all brothers should have, and I strive to have with my brother.

Lorraine, his sister in law, became the sister he never had, and his dentist. Then, Olivia came along and stole his heart. It was amazing to see this big, strong man cuddle with his niece like he was a real life Winnie the Pooh. I know she will understand who her uncle was, as she grows up and I am sure he has applied for guardian angel status already.

His whole family meant so much to him. How many times we were treated to stories of the Hindy clan from Atlanta, how his uncle would gather the entire family for Christmas to New Year's Day cruises in the Caribbean. Mark looked forward to those cruises for months, and enjoyed the chance to see his cousins. He would rush home from anywhere and cancel everything else to be at a family party, be it in Bergen Beach, Bay Ridge, New Jersey, or Atlanta. He saw himself as a big brother for his cousin Adam, and delighted in all of his athletic triumphs and college activities. I know of few people more committed to family than Mark, and I know of fewer families that are as special as the Hindy family.

He reached the pinnacle, you know. He did what he always wanted to do, and not many of us can say that. He played baseball for a couple of months a few years back, and people paid him to play. He was a professional baseball player in 1995, in Utah, and he savored every moment. He framed his first paycheck, and vowed never to cash it. He had started a slow climb to that moment in Utah as a young boy, and his determination never wavered. He worked hard, and took chances and broke down walls to get there, and no one deserved Utah more than Mark Hindy. Baseball is a metaphor of life, some argue, and for Mark, a pure man pursuing a pure dream of playing a pure game, that was never truer. With dignity, quiet ferocity and sheer guts, he chased down a dream until he clutched it with both hands, and made that dream come true. I was never prouder of a friend than I was the night he called me to say he pitched in his first professional game.

My memories of us together, through the proverbial thick and thin, both alone and within this extraordinary group of people we called friends, will never fade. He was my confidant, a trusted friend who I could turn to for advice, support and a good laugh, and he will remain that way in my heart for the rest of my days. I did not deserve a friend as wonderful as Mark, and I know now that he was truly God's gift to me, and many of us here.

I would need another couple of days to completely define Mark, and recall the wonderfulness that was his life. But I think I found some words, from a movie that was one of his favorites that begin to get at who Mark was, and how lucky we were to have him for as long as we did: "Sometimes it makes me sad though, Mark being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds were not meant to be caged - their feathers are too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock him up, rejoices. But sill, the place you live in is that more drab and empty once they're gone."

I guess I just miss my friend.


Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)