NYC man flushes friend's ashes down ballpark toilets, including Progressive Field

NEW YORK - Baseball fandom is diehard. So is friendship.

Just ask one New York City man, who has spent the last nine years honoring his friend the best way he can -- by flushing his friend's ashes down various toilets.

According to the New York Times, Tom McDonald has been fulfilling an obligation to his lifetime buddy, Roy Riegel, who passed away in 2008.

Since then, McDonald has traveled across the U.S., visiting different ballparks and landmarks. Between innings, he flushes some of Riegel's ashes down a toilet in a public restroom.

McDonald even visited Cleveland, meaning Riegel's ashes have passed through Progressive Field. But McDonald says Riegel was also a big fan of rock music, so some of his ashes were also released within the confines of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Since Riegel was a devout New York Mets fan, McDonald said he refused to flush his ashes at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs who are a longtime rival to the Mets. Instead, Riegel's Chicago ashes passed through the pipes of Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox.

It's not a move made in jest or disrespect. McDonald says he originally asked Riegel's family for a portion of his friend's ashes to scatter them in certain ballparks and sentimental spots. But when scattering ashes proved to be problematic, McDonald said flushing them became his new ritual.

McDonald stores Riegel's ashes in an old Planter's peanuts container. Prior to his ballpark visits, McDonald spoons some of the ashes into an empty Advil bottle wrapped in old Mets ticket stubs.

Riegel's final bit of ashes will be washed down at Durham Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina, home to the Bulls and filming site of the infamous movie "Bull Durham."

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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