BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – It is with a heavy heart that I share sad news. Tuesday morning, Birmingham Bulls writer, Ronald Hagood, Jr. passed away from a COVID-related illness. He was 40 years old.
We have struggled with the news and searched for a way to tell you — our audience — about the kind of person Ronald was in our family here at The Sin Bin and outside of this website.
Let me start with the Ronald you saw here. He had a wry, sarcastic sense of humor that, on some days, could rub you the wrong way (he did that to me several times) and he was never shy about giving you his opinion on something. From the day he started with us, he made each of his editors better, worked daily to improve his craft (both writing and photography), and had a deep passion for telling the story of the Birmingham Bulls exactly how he saw it, whether you agreed or disagreed. Nothing excited him more than to be able to cover the Bulls’ run to the President’s Cup Final in 2019. Oh, and he was a decent fantasy hockey player, too.
Personally, Ronald was there to lend an ear and work through tough issues with me. Always quick with a message or a call, even quicker to pray for you.
At the rink, he spent many Friday and Saturday nights standing ice-level with Bulls Director of Communications, David Koonce, who shared this about our friend.
“There are many times that during holidays we are at work. Ronnie always found a way to help us adapt. Sarah brought Alex to see me at a game in late December last year and Ronnie made sure she got to meet Santa Clause that Christmas.
We got 1 game together this season before Covid-19 put him into quarantine but we still talked before and after every game, breaking them down in detail. I’ll miss that. I’ll miss him.”
Ronald’s friend, Brian Parker, shares what he was like away from the rink.
“I met him about three years ago at the games. We did a few road trips together,” Parker said. “He was a happy go lucky type of guy. Always upbeat and didn’t seem to get too uptight about a lot of things. Loved Alabama football and covering mud truck racing and local round track racing events. He would wear a bow tie and sometimes would put one on his dog. Loved his church and went when he could.”
Ronald is survived by his mother, Betsy, with whom he lived with and worked to support. According to the family, Ronald’s mother has tested positive for Coronavirus and is in the hospital, fighting for her life. On behalf of everyone at The Sin Bin, we extend our thoughts and prayers for strength and comfort to the Hagood family during this tough time.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help cover the costs of the funeral. You can donate, here:
Thank you for everything, Ronald. May your memory be a blessing.