Roy Riegel and Tom McDonald had been childhood friends ever since growing up in the same neighborhood in Queens.
Unfortunately, Riegel passed in 2008, but his presence in the world is still very strong, as McDonald as undertaken quite an unusual juncture to honor his dead friend. Riegel was cremated, and his family agreed to share some of the ashes with McDonald so he could travel around the country and flush some of the remains in ballpark toilets across America. Their neighborhood in Queens was not far from Flushing Meadows, where the NY Mets played, so this seems a fitting tribute for any baseball fan.
McDonald said, “I know people might think it’s weird, and if it were anyone else’s ashes, I’d agree. But for Roy, this is the perfect tribute to a plumber and a baseball fan and just a brilliant, wild guy.” Roy’s brother Hank agrees. “He’d be like, ‘Oh, yeah, do that. He would definitely approve of it. Never once did Roy follow the rules.”
So far, Roy has been flushed down toilets in 16 ballparks across the country, as well as at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, as Roy was a big music fan. McDonald has enough ashes, which he carries in an old peanut can wrapped in Mets ticket stubs, for one more flush. He hopes to flush them at at Durham Athletic Park in North Carolina, where the 1988 movie “Bull Durham” was filmed.