If you’ve spent much time here at Redleg Nation over the years, you likely encountered “Chuck Schick.” For years, Chuck has been one of the most prolific and thoughtful commenters here at the Nation. He was always respectful of others’ opinions, and willing to engage in a conversation about his favorite club, the Cincinnati Reds.

I’m sorry to report that Chuck — his real name was Chris Esberger — passed away unexpectedly on August 22 at the age of 46. Chris was survived by his wife, Lisa Esberger and two children, Raegan (5) and Cavan Esberger (3).

Chris’ wife and brother both reached out to us to let us know the sad news, since Redleg Nation was important to him. I think it’s safe to say that our collective hearts go out to Chris’ family during this time.

Last September, Chris wrote a piece that was published here, entitled “Random, worthless facts and clown-like observations.” I encourage you to go read it. He wrote more comments than I can highlight in one post, but here’s his last one, posted the night before he passed away.

We spend a lot of time in our little corner of the internet, and those of you that take the time out of your day to join us regularly feel like a part of the family. “Chuck” certainly fit that description. He represented the best of what RN hopes to be, and he’ll be sorely missed around these parts.

The thoughts and prayers of Redleg Nation are with Lisa and the Esberger family. If you’d like to make a donation in Chris’ name, those can be made to Lindner Center of Hope, 4075 Old Western Row Road, Mason, OH 45040 / (513) 536-0317.

RIP Chuck Schick…

30 Responses

  1. sandman

    This is quite shocking. I’m very saddened by his loss. He will be sorely missed. RIP.

  2. jazzmanbbfan

    I looked forward to seeing his comments and am also sad for his family, all who knew him, and for those of us at Redleg Nation who only knew him from his posts here.

  3. Jeffrey Copeland

    The Nation is definitely a little darker today and will forever be less than what it was or could be without Chuck Schick here.
    RIP Chris

  4. TR

    Condolences to the family of Chris Esberger.

  5. cfd3000

    Redleg Nation is, among many other good things, a family. I’m saddened to read this news and send my condolences to Chris Esberger’s family and friends. He made the RLN family a little richer all the time.

  6. james garrett

    RIP Chuck.My condolences to his family.

  7. David

    This is so sad. Such a relatively young guy, 46. Baseball and being a Reds’ fan brings us here, but we are reminded some times of things much larger, deeper and more important than baseball fandom.

  8. Daytonian

    RIP, Chris. Thanks for making us part of you life. Our hearts go out to your family.

  9. Scott Carter

    Sorry to hear . Our Prayers are with the family.

  10. Indy Red Man

    RIP Chris. I’m shocked. 46 is way too young. RLN won’t be the same. Condolences to his loved ones!

  11. ScottyA

    Thoughts and prayers for his family.

  12. Sliotar

    The RLN corner of the world is certainly worse off today.

    This site is unique because writers and below the line commenters all bring different lines of thought and are willing to respectfully disagree with each other, united by our love of a last place team. “Chuck Schick” wrote things that I had not considered and made me think.

    RIP, Chris. This team is going is to be good again soon enough and you and all of us are going to get a big kick out of it.

  13. yorktownred

    Condolences to his family. RIP Chuck. I always enjoyed your comments.

  14. I-71_Exile

    I am so sorry to hear this news. I found Chuck’s posts to be insightful and greatly appreciated his unique insight into the sides of baseball operations/business that fans like me rarely consider. I found his to be a voice of reason amid the roiling emotion of the latest loss or seemingly head-scratching front office move.

    Heartfelt condolences and prayers to his family. Chris will be sorely missed by this internet stranger.

  15. Tom Mitsoff

    There are many things that separate this site from others in the genre, but the acknowledgment and acceptance of participants here as actual people instead of merely pseudonyms and avatars is quite unusual and special. It’s one of the many reasons people keep coming back.

  16. hoosierdad1

    May God comfort his family and friends in their time of loss.

  17. kmartin

    RIP Chuck. I wondered why there were no postings by Chuck recently. I always looked for his posts after games and enjoyed his back and forth with other readers of this blog. We both live in Chicago but met through this blog. We had a very enjoyable lunch last October in Chicago talking Reds baseball. Chuck/Chris you will be missed.

  18. Kettering Reds Fan

    Such a loss -this is going to leave a big, very hard to fill gap for a long time to come. Always valued his insights – he was one of the few who could balance the sporting side with the hard-nosed business realities. i.e. not a Fantasy Fanboy in any respect.

    My heartfelt condolences to the Esberger family.

  19. Timmy RedLeg

    RIP Chris. I pray for comfort for his family & friends.

  20. Carl Sayre

    That puts this sport we are all so intense about in context!!!!!!!! Prayers for his family and friends! He was always very respectful and though he was a little over 10.years younger than I am he showed me a.different and IMO smarter way to approach the game!!!!

  21. Jack

    Bless you Chuck. I wondered where he was and his famous comment “the difference is winning 75 games instead of 72.” I always thought he was older than I and that makes me sad that this man died at a young age. There are no answers but only questions and someday his family will find out why when they get to meet him again in heaven.

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah…I’ll be 51 in a few weeks. I thought Chuck was atleast my age. A very, very intelligent guy! We had a few little minor disagreements in previous years, and I remember him telling me once…”You’re better than that”. I’m not…but it made me feel good that he thought that way because he was far more knowledgeable in the business/operational aspects of baseball. For instance…he brought up the fact that the Reds most likely gave an injured Scott Feldman a few more starts due to contract bonuses, and that the Reds didn’t want to be known as an organization that would penny pinch their guys.

      Kind of shook me up….grew to like Chuck (Chris) alot

  22. ChrisInVenice

    RIP. I always appreciated his perspective.

  23. gusnwally

    Well, Chuck will be sorely missed. Always had good insights and obviously loved the Reds. Good Bye Buddy

  24. reaganspad

    Just read every comment. What a nice tribute to someone that most of us only virtually know. I just lost a cousin on my wife’s side and couldn’t say that I knew him better than Chuck was known on this board.

    I do like the family aspect here and the respect of one of our own.

  25. Brian Rutherford

    I read the site every day and always looked forward to his brand of humor.May his family find peace in this sad time.

  26. Matt Esberger

    I am the brother of Chris aka Chuck and just wanted to thank everyone for your kind words and to RL Nation for posting this tribute it really meant a lot to our family. To give you a bit of a background, Chuck’s favorite Red during the BRM years was Davey Concepcion and when he started pitching in little league became a Mario Soto fan even copying his delivery and mannerisms (except for the throwing at Claudell Washington part). To share a story, this would have been the 99 season and we were sitting behind the 3rd base dugout and the scoreboard stumper was name the 3 Cincinnati Reds 2nd basemen to win a Gold Glove which we guessed Bret Boone and Joe Morgan but couldn’t think of the third. Chris, who can be really loud if he had a few, yelled out to Ron Oester in the third base coaches box, “HEY RONNIE DID YOU EVER WIN A GOLD GLOVE” which Oester playfully just shrugged his shoulders, nodded his head no and hung his head down in mock shame. Turned out it was Tommy Helms in case you wanted to know.

  27. Da bear

    Chris/Chuck and I differed in opinion on managerial influence but it was easy to see he understood the business aspect of the sport better than most of us. Nice to know he shared an appreciation for one of the most underappreciated shortstops in baseball let alone the Reds….Mario Soto was a favorite of mine, too. Best wishes to you (Matt) and his family in this time of grieving, sorry for your loss.

  28. gegirlshoops

    Very sad news…..Chris and I were childhood friends in Cincinnati, but I had no idea he was “Chuck ” until now. I haven’t spoken to him in many many years. But I’m not surprised, he was always very intelligent, witty and funny in everything he did.

    His family is in my thoughts and prayers!