I was in the Carnegie Science Center with my wife and daughters when I heard the news that Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash. We were as shocked as anyone, but when the news came out the Kobe's daughter, Gianna, was also in the helicopter, we were gutted. Moments after we heard the news, the lights dimmed inside Carnegie's Buhl Planetarium and I looked over to my daughter whose mouth was agape as the moon came into view during their "Fly Me to the Moon" show. Tears filled my eyes partly because I had the opportunity to witness one of those moments of wonderment that parents live for, and partly because of the news I just heard. There's something about the tragic loss of children that makes us hold our own even tighter, and that was one of those moments for me. Kobe Bryant's influence extended far beyond Los Angeles or even the sport of basketball. Stories are surfacing all over the world, from every walk of life on how the "Black Mamba" impacted them. Several Pittsburgh Pirates took to social media to share some thoughts on the terrible news.
Pirates infielder Kevin Kramer echoed a sentiment that many others have expressed, that we should hold our loved ones even closer today.
Kevin Newman, like many others, just struggled to find the words.
Nick Burdi didn't say much. He just posted one of Bryant's most iconic images.
Pirates' prospect, Stephen Alemais, provided some perspective on just how influential Kobe was.
Jared Oliva referenced his legendary work ethic.
Travis Swaggerty offered some scripture.
A couple of former Pirates' greats chimed in as well.
Like Stephen Alemais said, there are few on Earth who can be recognized world-wide by a single name, and Kobe was one. Oftentimes sports icons pass and we say things like "the baseball world mourns," but this is one instance where we can truly say that the world is mourning.
I cannot imagine what that family is going through, losing two beloved members. It makes me sick just thinking about. From all of us at Inside the Pirates, we offer our most sincere condolences and prayers to the Bryant family and all those who loved him.