Herbietown - R.I.P. Dad

R.I.P. Dad

Dad and I at the White House

My father, Mickey Herbert, died on May 31, 2022. I’m still not quite ready to write about it, but I thought I’d post a few things.

Here’s the obituary that appeared in the Connecticut Post.

Here’s a story the Post ran a few days later. Some really nice quotes in there from people that knew him and loved him. Warning: paywall.

And here’s the eulogy I delivered:

My Dad knew that if you want to make a difference, you have to take big swings, and be willing to strike out.

One of the biggest swings he took was founding a company at age 32. He grew PHS from nothing, and sold it 22 years later. It was a grand slam home run. Over the years, I’ve met so many people who worked with my father who went out of their way to tell me how great a leader he was, and how they would follow him anywhere he went.

After that, he took another big swing and started a minor league baseball team.

There were some magical seasons for the Bluefish, especially 1999 when we won the Atlantic League championship. I had a front row seat to this chapter of his life and I will never forget it. My Dad LOVED the ballpark and all the interesting characters in it.

He proved that if you build it, they will come…even to Bridgeport, which was NOT obvious at the time. The Bluefish gave people a reason to take pride in the city, and he loved to see fans wearing
jerseys which read “Bridgeport” on the front.

The economics did not work out, but I don’t think he regretted taking that swing. Thousands of people now come to Bridgeport every year to watch hockey games or concerts. That all started with the Bluefish and is part of his legacy, and I couldn’t be prouder.

Many of the best memories of my Dad revolve around sports. He took us to countless Yankees and Mets games – which is kind of astonishing when you think about how much my father hated sitting in traffic. I’ll never forget as a very young boy walking out of Shea Stadium with him, down countless flights of stairs, after Daryl Strawberry hit a walk-off home run in extra innings…the stairs swayed precariously as the crowd chanted Dar….yll, Dar…yll. It was exhilarating and terrifying – I held his hand all the way down.

And later, in 1999, we traveled to Tampa and saw the UConn Huskies upset an undefeated Duke team, 77-74, to win the National Championship. We sat 2 rows in FRONT of the governor of Connecticut in that game. It was the best sporting event I ever attended.

And finally, Disney World. He took my children, Jack, Charlie and Sam, on at least 5 weeklong trips there, riding rollercoasters, watching fireworks shows, and working the system to avoid long lines (which he hated almost as much as he hated traffic). Since we live so far away in Atlanta, these trips were precious, and he developed a great relationship with my wife and 3 boys.

To close, something I appreciate most about my Dad is that he didn’t push me too hard in any particular direction. On some level, he understood the unique challenge of growing up in his shadow, even with so many incredible privileges that he had made possible. He didn’t push me to go to his alma mater or
to pick any particular line of work, he just supported me on my journey. He was even proud that I work for CNN, which I can assure you is not his favorite channel!

Through his words and his example, he taught me to make the most of my gifts, to be responsible, to provide, to give back, to finish what I start, to take big swings and not to be afraid of striking out.

Thank you, Dad, for giving me every opportunity I could ever wish for.