Gonzalez, Doan honored to be pallbearers for John McCain’s service

Aug 29, 2018, 4:59 AM | Updated: 7:25 am
(AP photos)...
(AP photos)
(AP photos)

Everyone who knew the late Sen. John McCain knew he loved his Arizona sports, and that was clear as ever when the full details of his service on Thursday were released.

While Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald will speak, fellow Valley sports legends Shane Doan and Luis Gonzalez will be pallbearers for McCain’s service. McCain passed away at the age of 81 due to brain cancer on Saturday.

“I was blown away, to be honest with you,” Gonzalez said when he joined KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos to discuss the honor. “A few months back, one of his representatives had called me and asked if I would consider being a pallbearer for Mr. McCain’s funeral and — first of all I was shocked and secondly, I was honored at the same time and I told them I didn’t know how to react to it.”

Like Gonzalez, the 21-year Coyotes veteran Doan also couldn’t believe it but felt distraught at the thought of McCain discussing matters of his service before his passing.

“Obviously, it’s an absolutely huge, incredible honor,” he said. “Your reaction is kind of a little bit numb in the fact that — I’d become, over the last few years, friends with the senator so I think it was hard in understanding that that’s where the situation was at, that that was being discussed, and at the same time, the heaviness of the ask is pretty big.”

Gonzalez, who played with the Arizona Diamondbacks for eight years and won a World Series in 2001, shared details of his interactions with the senator.

“He loved his sports,” Gonzalez said. “He would come down and talk to you about his scouting report in certain situations and things like that. Who’s in a slump, who’s playing well, and then he’d tell you about guys on the other team, who he liked and who he didn’t like. He was a unique character to have around.”

There were several factors of McCain’s personality that Gonzalez cherished about the senator that he believes were a key part in how well-liked McCain is across the state.

“Huge sports fan, he came to a lot of games, spent a lot of time here and I think that’s one of the reasons too that a lot of people in Arizona relate to him,” Gonzalez said. “Not just the political aspects of it but as far as him being a normal guy in the community and in the state — he was that guy. He never sat up in a suite or anything like that. He sat amongst everybody else in the stands.”

Both Gonzalez and shared an admiration for the senator through what he had achieved in his life and what it represented.

“When you think of the state of Arizona, he’s our face,” Gonzalez said.

“It’s a man that I admired and thought was truly, truly remarkable,” Doan said.

The service for McCain will take place on Thursday at the North Phoenix Baptist Church.

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Gonzalez, Doan honored to be pallbearers for John McCain’s service