The dearest friend you could have, and a Buckeye beyond most who call themselves a Buckeye…this marks the second anniversary of the loss of Bill Wells, patron saint of Ohio State baseball, and good things in all shapes.
Let me remind…that tomorrow, January 24, 2024 will be a sad day, marking the anniversary of the passing of Bill Wells – ‘Wellsey’ – who died suddenly at age 60 on that date in 2022.
Bill was a friend and a benefactor to the Ohio State University, through the Davis Foundation, of Columbus, and he endeared himself to a lot of people and projects…just because he took the time to listen.
He was a particular friend to the Ohio State baseball program, through his work with the Davis Foundation, because, as he would say, “I was never a very good baseball player in high school, but I wanted to be.
“So I enjoyed living the sport through our own baseball players. I wasn’t gifted enough to play at their level, but I took pleasure in supporting them…to help each of them become better players through their experience at Ohio State.”
And he did, playing a major role in the land procurement and construction of Bill Davis Stadium, a state-of-the-art facility across the street from Value City Arena, as well as upgrades in the 20 years since to keep it as special, and unique, as Ohio State University, itself.
He did not limit himself, or his efforts, to Ohio State sports, working tirelessly for the endowment of the Ohio State school of medicine, along with a number of other overlooked projects benefiting people in central Ohio.
It’s ironic that more people are curious about Bill now, than when he was here, asking frequently, “What made Bill Wells special?”
Simply…”He gave a damn about good things, good people, and good outcomes,” said then-Buckeye coach and long-time friend, Greg Beals, who gave the eulogy at Wells’ funeral.
His loyalty was matchless. His commitment to helping others was beyond question, or even understanding. His heart and his door were always open.
He was a patriot of people, with an appreciation for all things good about America, while understanding that there were still a few things that could be better. And Bill did his best to change as many of them as possible.
I didn’t know him long; but I didn’t need to in order know and appreciate him as a friend to the smallest of people…and to the biggest of needs. And he had a LOT of friends, even on rival Big Ten campuses. Bill treated everyone, everywhere, like he’d known them for decades.
But, I can say that I knew him long enough to be stubborn about reminding people of his loss. Long may he live in the minds and souls of those he touched.
Because, he took pleasure in doing it.