EDITOR’S NOTE: Originally scheduled in this space for today was a discussion of The Supreme Court’s latest decision on intercollegiate athletics. That seems rather meaningless now because Temple lost a truly great fan in former player Victor Baga. I had the honor of talking to Vic at the tailgates maybe 20 times over the last 10 years but felt this was a perfect opportunity to get a take on him by former teammate Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub. It follows in this space.
By Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub
Sophomore Vic Baga arrived on the Temple football team my senior year and immediately began contributing on defense. We had a pretty close-knit group of seniors and some juniors, and Vic wasn’t my friend yet.
After I began teaching and coaching, I lost track of Vic and his activities for many years. Then, about forty years later, some of the guys got together at the original Nick’s Roast Beef after a Temple game, and Vic was there. We renewed acquaintance, but Vic still wasn’t my friend yet.
We then saw each other more frequently at different alumni functions and impromptu gatherings But it wasn’t until Vic’ss long-time girlfriend Leslie passed, did we begin to get close. Then, a teammate invited some of us down to Senile (Sea Isle) City for the weekend, and that’s where I got a chance to spend some time with Vic. After that, we would speak on the phone mostly every week, and Vic would keep me up-to-date on the happenings and health of our teammates. Our conversations were far-reaching, about personalities, politics, and sports.
One of the great things about our conversations wereVic thought most of my jokes were funny. You have to love a guy for that. When we got into our 80s, we naturally spent increasing amounts of time discussing our health and the health of our teammates and their wives. I knew Vic had breathing problems and was in and out of the VA, seeing doctors and getting tested. But we last talked on the Sunday before he passed, and Vic gave me no indication anything serious going on. But on Saturday I went to his funeral Mass. He went into the hospital on Friday and left us on June 18. It turns out he knew he had a severe problem but didn’t tell anyone.
Vic Baga was a warm and caring guy who loved his family, friends, and his dog. Before he moved from South Jersey, We’d often talk when he and his dog were on the beach, and he allowed his buddy to roam free.
All of us will dearly miss him.
Friday: Play to Play
Monday: Temple measurables