John Michael Kidd
John Michael Kidd, 52, of Montgomery, NY, died Thursday morning, January 31, 2008, peacefully at home with his family after a long battle with a brain tumor. He always said, "The paralysis is easy compared to the tumor."
John was born February 8, 1955 in Newburgh, NY, the son of John Egbert and Helen (Yeaple) Kidd. He was self-employed by a small advertising business he ran from his Montgomery home.
John Kidd was no "Kidder." His tell it like it is attitude was something he was best known for, and he was as fierce a competitor as ever on and off the field. The ballparks still hear the echoes of his bark, and his friends and family will always remember his original way of living life. He never let anything stand in his way, and he always found a way to prevail and get the best out of every situation. He was a dedicated, hardworking, proud, loving father. He devoted much of his life trying to teach his children his proud, defiant, competitive ways. He had great love and knowledge for the game of baseball and his name will be remembered in this Hudson Valley region for many years to come.
Kidd, the "Captain of the Diamond" drove in the winning run in the 1973 inter-sectionals to win player of the year. After many invitations to play from the Yankees, Mets, Pirates, Cubs, and Phillies, Kidd went on to play at the University of Buffalo and was drafted in 1976 by the Boston Red Sox. After a couple years in the minor leagues he moved back to Walden following a shoulder injury. Kidd then played for the New Windsor Rockets and the Hudson Valley Rookie League 1983 Champion Newburgh Atoms before forming and managing the Travelin' Hum'nbirds organization in 1984. He was one of the most feared hitters in league history. His last game, he left his mark forever sending a classic Kidd homerun out of Stitzel Park in Poughkeepsie, NY. It was his last official at bat.
One of the reasons for starting the Hum'nbirds was to expose young players to vast knowledge of some of the older players on the roster. With an arsenal of young and talented players and the steady influence of the old guard donning the new uniforms, the Birds proceeded to put together a championship season unprecedented in Rookie League history. Playing side by side, in some cases, with the men that coached them in high school proved to be a unique experience. This opportunity helped propel some of the areas best young players to college and professional careers. Kidd helped advance talent like Willie Fraser, Ed Merklen, Brian Golden, Jim and Dave Telgheder, Andy Heckman, and Ray Callari. Kidd's own career prematurely ended in 1988 when he was injured in a tragic hunting accident which left him paralyzed from the chest down.
When not on the field, he enjoyed fishing and hunting more than anything. In his later years he came to realize that the deer and turkey were more enjoyable to watch from inside his home than to hunt. His favorite spots to fish were on the Salmon River in Pulaski, the Rondout Reservoir in Kingston, and the Delaware River in Port Jervis. He was considered one of the best fishermen in the tri-state area. He also enjoyed watching the hang gliders fly off of Ellenville Mountain.
He is survived by his four children: John E Kidd of Montgomery, NY, Aimee Vanessa Jacobson of Cheyenne, WY, Brendan Michael Kidd of Montgomery, NY, and James Alexander Kidd (J.A.K.) of New Britain, CT; four grandchildren: Christopher Logan and Zachary Taylor Jones, Magdelana Harley Jane Jacobson, and Aiden Alexander Kidd; one sister, Sharon Faye Kuehn of Lake Carmel and three brothers: Harry Dobbs of Clearwater, FL, Donald Lee Kidd of Pine Bush, NY, and Ronald Jay Kidd of New Paltz, NY, along with many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Sunday, February 3, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at the Millspaugh Funeral Home, 22 Bank St., Walden, NY.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Monday, February 4, at the funeral home with Pastor Ski officiating. Burial will be in Wallkill Valley Cemetery, Walden, NY.
Arrangements were made by Millspaugh Funeral Directors; 845-778-3200.