NBC sports anchor Bruce Beck kept praying that Post sports photographer Anthony J. Causi could beat COVID-19, hoping it could be another one of those New York sports comebacks for the ages that he chronicled with his friend of more than two decades.
Beck knew they needed some breaks. Causi had an underlying condition, Beck said. He had Type-2 Diabetes, according to Beck, which we all have learned hinders recovery from COVID-19.
And there was a glimmer because Causi, after being on a ventilator and after suffering kidney failure, was still fighting and stabilizing. There seemed to be good news.
“‘We need a David Tyree miracle,’ ” Beck said he would tell family and friends during the 25-day ordeal. “We just need one catch, an amazing catch that could change this whole thing. His body had too many underlying things going on. We thought we would get a miracle.”
On Easter Sunday, Causi’s death struck like an anvil into the hearts of Beck and so many in sports media. He was just 48, leaving behind a wife and two young children.
A photographer’s job is to make moments timeless and Causi did it so many times in big moments and small.
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Beck has lasted so long because he is the hardest-working man in local sports TV. He is everywhere, with Roberts by his side. That’s how Causi operated, too.
On the road, especially during playoff runs, the media travel together. For the most part, your rivals are your friends. Competing in the press box and then meeting later for dinner.
“He never missed the big event,” Beck said. “I was the same. He, Jimmy, his buddy Charlie Wenzelberg, the four of us would just go out to dinner all the time.”
Beck and Roberts called him “Causi.” All the stories about Causi are true, they say. A pure photographer, he was always taking pictures, jotting down an email address and sending a little history for someone to remember.
It could be his iconic shot of Jeter touching the Joe DiMaggio sign at the old Yankee Stadium or of a couple who had just gotten engaged in Central Park.
“He treated every shot like it was the most important shot, like he was applying to a college and this picture that would get him into Harvard or not,” Beck said.
The outpouring for Causi in his death can be understood because of how he treated people.