Remembering Richard Durrett: Todd Wills

We all have our Richard Durrett stories.

The times Richard would call me and we'd spend 30 minutes going over the "Stock up, Stock down" blog post on the Rangers, which only illustrates how much he cared about every detail and everything he wrote.

He called me a few weeks ago to make sure he was picking the right player in ESPN.com's "Best Baseball Player" Draft. Richard settled on Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman if I recall right. He's a Braves homer by the way.

I can't count the stories in the last decade-plus he would email me to take a look at before he turned them in to his editors. He would text me -- "Hey, read this." It was usually to make sure something he wrote was fair, including one in April during the Stars-Ducks playoff series about the physical play in what was a very physical series.

Because Richard was above all else a man of integrity. And he cared.

The late night phone calls because we both had to drive long distances, talking about the game, our careers or just life.

I'll miss those calls that always ended with, "Call me later."

The meals. The laughs. How it drove him crazy when my phone, or two phones, would vibrate in the press box with text message after text message.

Richard had one of the best laughs -- ever. Which made it fun to make him laugh.

We could go on and on. We all know the great man, husband, father and friend who we have to say goodbye to now.

I had the opportunity to fill in for Richard on the Rangers beat for ESPN Dallas last season when he was asked to do a daily radio show on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. He could have thought of anyone to replace him. He called me.

I sent Richard a text the morning he found out he was going to fill in for Hall of Famer Eric Nadel on the Rangers radio broadcast last month against the Tigers.

His response: "It's one game. Not sure why [Rangers vice president John] Blake is going a bit nuts over this."

Because it was a big deal and Richard was a huge deal. To all of us.

Rest in peace my friend.