[photopress:steinie.jpg,full,alignleft]I was really saddened today to hear of the passing of my friend, former National Post colleague and Fan 590 business commentator David Steinhart.
Steinhart was an original. Easy to love, maddening, smart, callous, crude, and fascinating, all at the same time. We shared a mutual love of baseball, especially players from the first half of the 20th century. He had no interest in golf and couldn’t figure out why anyone would care about such a sport. However, he had an uncanny ability to recall obscure baseball stats from 100 years previous.
Steinie was also remarkable for his obsessive behaviour. A one-time smoker who was overweight, he stopped smoking about six years ago and became obsessive about his physical fitness. He dropped a ton of weight and began heading to the gym twice a day. He never did anything by half measures.
David moved north of the city last year, and had recently married. He was expecting his first child in July when he passed away in his sleep on Thursday night. I don’t know the cause, and it doesn’t really matter.
He was one of the last of the old-time journalists — larger than life, outrageous and calculated. When he decided to reinvent himself, he emerged as a television reporter, working on air for Global for a couple of years. The Fan 590 gig, where he spoke about business developments each morning, was his most recent work.
I’ll never forget Steinie asking me to take over his morning business broadcasts on CTV in 2002. I did them for a month. Of course David was paid for them, but in exchange for subbing in, he said he’d buy me a steak. Took me nearly two years to get it out of him — but he did eventually buy me that lunch.
The last time I saw David was over a lunch last summer. He was happy — and I briefly met his wife. I hadn’t seen him much since he left the Post in 2003, but we picked up like he’d never left, immediately talking baseball. He was my firend and I’ll miss him.
One thing is for sure – there wasn’t another like him and we were all better for having known him.