The Wisconsin sports world suffered a big loss today with the passing of a man by the name of Ron Taylor. Most of you won't recognize the name, since he wasn't on the air. I've known Ron for the better part of 20 years. He served as my eyes and ears in the Milwaukee area. He covered every sporting event in that city (Brewers, Bucks, Marquette, UW-Milwaukee, Admirals, PGA Tour, Auto Racing and more). Ron would have his microphone and tape recorder with him at all times and the result of his work would end up in my sportscasts the next morning.
Ron is what people in the sports business call a stringer. But Ron was more then just a stringer to me. Ron Taylor went above and beyond his responsibilities as a stringer. I remember when the Bucks announced a trade while they were on the west coast. They had called a news conference for the next day, but Ron drove to the airport and met the coach and general manager as they got off the plane. We had audio from the two key players from the organization and had it well before everyone else.
For most of the time that I knew Ron, he was retired and did this work as a hobby. I knew he couldn't have been doing it for the money, because he didn't get paid much. He loved sports and was great at his work.
He was always asking me how the audio was. If something didn't seem right, he'd ask me and then he'd bug the sound people at the ballpark or arena until it was to his satisfaction. Most stringers I know wouldn't go through that effort.
I don't know much about Ron's personal life, other then the fact that he was married to a wonderful woman who was OK with allowing Ron to take the time to enjoy what he liked to do. That was to cover Wisconsin/Milwaukee Sports.
Ron passed away at his home early this morning and I've received a number of calls already concerning his death. He was well respected for his work and passion for his job by his peers. Many if not all of you never knew the man, but knowing what I know, I think you would have loved the little guy.
Ron is headed for his final resting spot and I'm really going to miss him. No doubt he left this world with a microphone and tape recorder in hand.