A little over a month after his death, on December 26, Derek Aucoin still inspires. Benoît Rioux, the author of his biography, Heads up, sees it every day by measuring the wave of love which is sweeping over his friend and by reading the messages concerning him which he always receives frequently.
Just last week, Aucoin admirers winked at their idol while making his biography, Heads up, the winning book of a nice clicks championship organized on Twitter by the show JiC, at VAT Sports.
In the week of January 25, Monday through Thursday, viewers had to choose their favorite sports book from three available each day. The four winners faced each other on Friday in a final round, at the end of which the book Heads up narrowly slipped into the lead, with 27.8% of the vote, ahead of books devoted to Ken Dryden (The Game), Éric Gagné (Game over) and Jacques Demers (Fully spelled out).
Obviously, Benoît Rioux took the fun competition and its result with a grain of salt, but nonetheless saw once again the positive influence that the former Montreal Expos pitcher, who later became a host and sports analyst. , left in its wake.
“I’m glad to see that the book, like Derek, is reaching people. This is what gives me the most pleasure. Derek is a guy who touched people so much, but so much. People loved the man he was, not just the athlete. The human, the radio host, the guy who, every time we met him, managed to make us feel better after talking to him, ”says Benoît Rioux.
“Derek had a tendency to downplay his athletic achievements at times. Whereas just the act of hitting major league baseball is amazing. But it’s rare to see an athlete with a career like the one he had been so honored. The reason is simple: he was a man larger than life, in every sense of the word, ”continues the one who is also a sports journalist at the QMI Agency.
Photo QMI Agency, Joël Lemay
Journalist Benoît Rioux and Derek Aucoin in March 2020
“To live is to give”
Benoît Rioux spent hundreds of hours, in the summer and in the fall of 2019, laughing and crying with his friend Derek Aucoin, while the latter, knowing he had incurable brain cancer, brooded over all his memories to leave as a legacy to the public, but especially to his beautiful wife, Isabelle, and his little boy, Dawson.
Derek Aucoin – Heads Up was published in mid-March 2020, at the very beginning of the pandemic, and Benoît Rioux defines the collection as “a story of baseball and gratitude”.
Heads upis the story of a boy from Boisbriand who, while training with a rock in front of his house, “his” rock, dreamed of Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, and of wearing the colors of the Montreal Expos. A giant with the immortal heart of a child, turned baseball pitcher, who made his way in the professional circuit, who taught his discipline to the children of Susan Sarandon and those of Jerry Seinfeld (who in fact wrote to him a letter of thanks, mentioning that the teachings of “Coach Derek” had guided his entire household). A fellow with an incredible baggage of life, who protected Jennifer Lopez from an assault by Tim Commerford, the bassist of Rage Against the Machine, at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2000.
The friendship between Benoît Rioux and Derek Aucoin made them brothers. And Rioux continues to make his own and to propagate the sweet philosophies of his old friend, who constantly repeated that “to live is to give”, that “when one gives, one receives”, and who knew how to make the best lemonades with lemons that life sent him.
“Even gone, my friend Derek continues to do good around him. Honestly, I’m proud to have made this book, to have been able to do the interviews with Derek, at a time when he was in good shape to do it. Since he left, I have found the outpouring of sympathy there to be incredible. ”
Benoît Rioux also recalls that Derek Aucoin was one of the rare missing personalities, along with Roger Taillibert and Rusty Staub, for whom the Olympic Stadium was illuminated to salute the memory, on December 30.
It is also enough to remember Derek Aucoin’s acclaimed passage at Everybody talks about it, on May 17, and the emotional reactions generated by his optimistic words, to remember the greatness of the man.
Benoît Rioux also suggests that other great initiatives in tribute to Derek Aucoin will emerge shortly.
You can always get the book Derek Aucoin – Heads Up, published by Éditions de l’Homme, in physical or digital format. An audio version, narrated by the voice of Derek Aucoin himself, is also available.
Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7116