RIP Chuck Schick

If you’ve spent much time here at Redleg Nation over the years, you likely encountered “Chuck Schick.” For years, Chuck has been one of the most prolific and thoughtful commenters here at the Nation. He was always respectful of others’ opinions, and willing to engage in a conversation about his favorite club, the Cincinnati Reds.

I’m sorry to report that Chuck — his real name was Chris Esberger — passed away unexpectedly on August 22 at the age of 46. Chris was survived by his wife, Lisa Esberger and two children, Raegan (5) and Cavan Esberger (3).

Chris’ wife and brother both reached out to us to let us know the sad news, since Redleg Nation was important to him. I think it’s safe to say that our collective hearts go out to Chris’ family during this time.

Last September, Chris wrote a piece that was published here, entitled “Random, worthless facts and clown-like observations.” I encourage you to go read it. He wrote more comments than I can highlight in one post, but here’s his last one, posted the night before he passed away.

We spend a lot of time in our little corner of the internet, and those of you that take the time out of your day to join us regularly feel like a part of the family. “Chuck” certainly fit that description. He represented the best of what RN hopes to be, and he’ll be sorely missed around these parts.

The thoughts and prayers of Redleg Nation are with Lisa and the Esberger family. If you’d like to make a donation in Chris’ name, those can be made to Lindner Center of Hope, 4075 Old Western Row Road, Mason, OH 45040 / (513) 536-0317.

RIP Chuck Schick…

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 49 Comments

  1. This is quite shocking. I’m very saddened by his loss. He will be sorely missed. RIP.

  2. I looked forward to seeing his comments and am also sad for his family, all who knew him, and for those of us at Redleg Nation who only knew him from his posts here.

  3. The Nation is definitely a little darker today and will forever be less than what it was or could be without Chuck Schick here.
    RIP Chris

  4. Sorry to hear this. I always enjoyed Chuck’s comments. Prayers to the family.

  5. This is extremely sad news to hear. Like myself, “Chuck” was very into the business side of MLB. We seemed to gravitate to each other’s comments and carry on what often amounted to personal conversations and debates about these aspects of baseball. I will miss having new exchanges of viewpoints with Chuck but long remember the interactions we shared. Thank you Chris. Condolences your loved ones.

    • I enjoyed the colloquies between you two.

      You sometimes just agreed but often it was just different points of view or different areas of knowledge.

      He was courteous to everyone and was often a question answer, at least for me. I miss him too.

  6. Condolences to the family of Chris Esberger.

  7. Redleg Nation is, among many other good things, a family. I’m saddened to read this news and send my condolences to Chris Esberger’s family and friends. He made the RLN family a little richer all the time.

  8. RIP Chuck.My condolences to his family.

  9. This is so sad. Such a relatively young guy, 46. Baseball and being a Reds’ fan brings us here, but we are reminded some times of things much larger, deeper and more important than baseball fandom.

  10. RIP, Chris. Thanks for making us part of you life. Our hearts go out to your family.

  11. Sorry to hear . Our Prayers are with the family.

  12. Shocking and very sad. I, too, really looked forward to his comments. Heartfelt condolences to his family. We’ll miss him here.

  13. RIP Chris. I’m shocked. 46 is way too young. RLN won’t be the same. Condolences to his loved ones!

  14. Dang! The loss to our online family here pales to the loss of his family endures. My heart breaks this morning for his wife and very young children. These personal tragedies always leave me reaching for words, but finding nothing.

  15. Stunned. Just absolutely stunned. When I first saw the headline, I thought “This can’t be serious, can it?” Sadly, unbelievably, it’s true.

    Chris “Chuck Shick” and I didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, especially with his insistence that managers play no role in the success of a team. Who could forget his oft repeated refrains about how bad the managerial records of Joe Torre, Jim Leyland, Tony LaRussa, etc were before they got better players? But despite that, I respected Chris for his opinions and his obvious dearth of knowledge. He was, first and foremost, a passionate Reds fan, and he will be sorely missed.

    It’s amazing how the internet and specifically this site brings people together. I don’t know most of you personally, but we’re still here interacting constantly, like a small fraternity of brothers (and sister!), our own little private club of Reds supporters. Today, that club is a little smaller, and whole lot emptier.

    Rest in Peace, Chris. You will be missed.

  16. Thoughts and prayers for his family.

  17. The RLN corner of the world is certainly worse off today.

    This site is unique because writers and below the line commenters all bring different lines of thought and are willing to respectfully disagree with each other, united by our love of a last place team. “Chuck Schick” wrote things that I had not considered and made me think.

    RIP, Chris. This team is going is to be good again soon enough and you and all of us are going to get a big kick out of it.

  18. Condolences to his family. RIP Chuck. I always enjoyed your comments.

  19. This is so sad to hear. Deepest condolences to his family, that is such a young age. …

    I actually want to thank the family for taking a moment to let Chad know. A few days ago, I remarked on email to a friend of mine, a fellow Nation reader, how I knew what ‘Chuck’ would have said about a comment I was tempted to post. We do get to know each other here somewhat, and he will be missed. RIP, Chris.

    • There are many things that separate this site from others in the genre, but the acknowledgment and acceptance of participants here as actual people instead of merely pseudonyms and avatars is quite unusual and special. It’s one of the many reasons people keep coming back.

  20. I am so sorry to hear this news. I found Chuck’s posts to be insightful and greatly appreciated his unique insight into the sides of baseball operations/business that fans like me rarely consider. I found his to be a voice of reason amid the roiling emotion of the latest loss or seemingly head-scratching front office move.

    Heartfelt condolences and prayers to his family. Chris will be sorely missed by this internet stranger.

  21. This is terrible. I’m quite saddened by this. I spoke to Chris many times over the years about stats and whatnot. He will be missed.

  22. Terrible news. Bless his family in their time of struggle.
    I particularly enjoyed his comments on media markets and revenue streams and how it impacted baseball and the Reds He helped me understand that better. Thank you Chris for your contributions.

  23. May God comfort his family and friends in their time of loss.

  24. RIP Chuck. I wondered why there were no postings by Chuck recently. I always looked for his posts after games and enjoyed his back and forth with other readers of this blog. We both live in Chicago but met through this blog. We had a very enjoyable lunch last October in Chicago talking Reds baseball. Chuck/Chris you will be missed.

  25. Ah, I’m sorry to hear this. RIP, Chris. It breaks my heart to know that he leaves behind such a young family and what should have been a long life left to live.

    He passed the week of the eclipse, also the week I lost 2 colleagues and a dear friend of my family. I thought bad news was supposed to come in 3’s. My thoughts and best wishes to his family at this difficult time.

  26. Such a loss -this is going to leave a big, very hard to fill gap for a long time to come. Always valued his insights – he was one of the few who could balance the sporting side with the hard-nosed business realities. i.e. not a Fantasy Fanboy in any respect.

    My heartfelt condolences to the Esberger family.

  27. So sad to hear. RIP Chuck, you’ll be missed. Thoughts and prayers for his loved ones.

  28. Very sad indeed! Prayers for his family and friends.
    RIP Chris “Chuck” you will be missed.

  29. That puts this sport we are all so intense about in context!!!!!!!! Prayers for his family and friends! He was always very respectful and though he was a little over 10.years younger than I am he showed me a.different and IMO smarter way to approach the game!!!!

  30. Bless you Chuck. I wondered where he was and his famous comment “the difference is winning 75 games instead of 72.” I always thought he was older than I and that makes me sad that this man died at a young age. There are no answers but only questions and someday his family will find out why when they get to meet him again in heaven.

    • Yeah…I’ll be 51 in a few weeks. I thought Chuck was atleast my age. A very, very intelligent guy! We had a few little minor disagreements in previous years, and I remember him telling me once…”You’re better than that”. I’m not…but it made me feel good that he thought that way because he was far more knowledgeable in the business/operational aspects of baseball. For instance…he brought up the fact that the Reds most likely gave an injured Scott Feldman a few more starts due to contract bonuses, and that the Reds didn’t want to be known as an organization that would penny pinch their guys.

      Kind of shook me up….grew to like Chuck (Chris) alot

    • Same here on age, I always felt I was “talking” with a contemporary when Chuck and I exchanged views. Would have never guessed there was a father/ son sized age gap between us with me being the elder..

  31. RIP. I always appreciated his perspective.

  32. Words fail at news like this. RIP Chris. Sending a prayer for your family.

  33. Well, Chuck will be sorely missed. Always had good insights and obviously loved the Reds. Good Bye Buddy

  34. Just read every comment. What a nice tribute to someone that most of us only virtually know. I just lost a cousin on my wife’s side and couldn’t say that I knew him better than Chuck was known on this board.

    I do like the family aspect here and the respect of one of our own.

  35. I read the site every day and always looked forward to his brand of humor.May his family find peace in this sad time.

  36. Chuck’s comments were always smart, insightful and made you think, regardless of whether you agreed with him or not.

    Very sad to hear the news and praying for his family.

  37. I am the brother of Chris aka Chuck and just wanted to thank everyone for your kind words and to RL Nation for posting this tribute it really meant a lot to our family. To give you a bit of a background, Chuck’s favorite Red during the BRM years was Davey Concepcion and when he started pitching in little league became a Mario Soto fan even copying his delivery and mannerisms (except for the throwing at Claudell Washington part). To share a story, this would have been the 99 season and we were sitting behind the 3rd base dugout and the scoreboard stumper was name the 3 Cincinnati Reds 2nd basemen to win a Gold Glove which we guessed Bret Boone and Joe Morgan but couldn’t think of the third. Chris, who can be really loud if he had a few, yelled out to Ron Oester in the third base coaches box, “HEY RONNIE DID YOU EVER WIN A GOLD GLOVE” which Oester playfully just shrugged his shoulders, nodded his head no and hung his head down in mock shame. Turned out it was Tommy Helms in case you wanted to know.

  38. Chris/Chuck and I differed in opinion on managerial influence but it was easy to see he understood the business aspect of the sport better than most of us. Nice to know he shared an appreciation for one of the most underappreciated shortstops in baseball let alone the Reds….Mario Soto was a favorite of mine, too. Best wishes to you (Matt) and his family in this time of grieving, sorry for your loss.

  39. Very sad news…..Chris and I were childhood friends in Cincinnati, but I had no idea he was “Chuck ” until now. I haven’t spoken to him in many many years. But I’m not surprised, he was always very intelligent, witty and funny in everything he did.

    His family is in my thoughts and prayers!

  40. I will certainly miss his insights and opinions. I feel like I knew him on a more personal level just like I feel like I know many of you here. He was one of the people that make this site the best site for discussing Reds baseball. My heart goes out to his family and young children. His passing will also serve as a reminder to never take anything for granted. His sudden passing at a year younger than me comes as a shock. Goodbye Chris “Chuck Shick” Esberger.

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About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.