Why One Man Travels the Country Flushing His Friend's Ashes Down MLB Ballpark Toilets

Thomas McDonald says he honors his friend Roy Riegel's life as a baseball fan and master plumber by traveling the country with his ashes and flushing bits of his down the toilets at Major League Baseball stadiums.

McDonald, of Queens, NY, tells WOR's "Len Berman and Todd Schnitt in the Morning" that he felt his lifelong friend would appreciate having his ashes spread at the ballpark, but he wasn't sure if doing so on the field would get him in trouble.

After first sprinkling some of Riegel's ashes outside PNC Park in Pittsburgh, inspiration struck McDonald in Minnesota after a trip to the restroom at an Irish pub near the ballpark.

"He was the greatest plumber ever," McDonald said of his childhood friend. "That's the point of this whole thing."

McDonald and Riegel grew up Mets fans in Astoria, Queens, going to Shea Stadium for baseball games every summer. Riegel died on April 8, 2008, at age 48, the day of the final home opener at Shea.

McDonald has flushed bits of Riegel down toilets at 16 major league stadiums, including the homes of the Braves, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Diamonbacks, Indians, Mets, Orioles, Rangers, Reds, Royals, Tigers and Twins.

He clarified that he always uses the toilet himself first, flushes and then flushes a bit of his friend after.

"I don't mix it, you know, let's not get silly here. And then I do Roy," he laughed.

Our friends at WOR have the story. 

 
Mike Broomhead

Mike Broomhead

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