Remembering Larry Greenfield
Larry Greenfield was a frequent contributor to POINTSPREADS.CA. He wrote several articles on football and baseball betting. Larry passed away on Jan. 28th in Las Vegas. We remember him in today's column.
LARRY GREENFIELD (1962-2022)
I just learned about the death of Larry Greenfield. He died on Jan. 28th, one day before his 60th birthday.
Larry was a popular, combative, widely-respected conservative commentator, writer, lecturer, and fiery media personality. He was a true intellectual. That was — the public Larry.
The private Larry was far more compassionate, inquisitive, caring, and introspective. He was also extraordinarily generous. Larry loved asking questions. He was perhaps the best listener I’ve ever met, which is really saying something given how many thousands of people eagerly anticipated his many lectures and speeches on politics and current events.
As political and philosophical opposites, we shared almost nothing in common, except that we were born only six days apart and were about to turn 60 within a week of each other. In fact, Larry insisted on “celebrating” our special occasion together by going out to a fancy dinner at a gourmet restaurant, which we planned with great anticipation for mid-February. Around that time, I sent Larry a few personal messages, which went unreturned.
Texts were ignored. Phone calls went straight to his voice mail. Emails brought no response. This wasn’t like Larry.
Something was wrong.
I knew Larry was having some problems within his own family, so I gave him some space. The investment business he sold a few years earlier had been a severe emotional strain. Larry didn’t like talking about those things when we were together. They depressed him. So, instead, we focused on other subjects — which was just about everything else. What a gambit of possibilities.
There was not such a thing as a 15-minute conversation with Larry. We always needed hours. Rushing a conversation with Larry would be like eating a 5-course meal at a fast-food drive-thru. There was no point in it. So, hanging out with Larry meant “making time.” Even when we were leaving sports bars, restaurants, or his home, we often found ourselves still talking out in the parking lot at way past midnight. There was always one more point to make, or question to ask, or movie to discuss, or ball game to rant about. Larry was an endless fountain of angst and joy.
Larry enjoyed all the outward accoutrements of success. He was born in Long Beach, grew up in Encino, and graduated from Cal-Berkley — likely one of the few conservatives to make it through the liberal academic gauntlet unscathed. He went on to earn a law degree from Georgetown University. Larry also served as an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves. Most of his professional life was spent in between investment counseling and wealth management, and his real love — politics. He later served as head of the Ronald Reagan Foundation, was a distinguished fellow at the Claremont Institute, and appeared on countless public affairs programs and debates.
I met Larry about ten years ago through our common interest in sports betting. Even though Larry was worth millions, he bet only $50 a game. He played poker for low stakes, usually $4-8 Omaha at the Orleans. Whenever he sat down to play, Larry’s net wealth likely covered everyone else in the poker game several times over. But gambling was never about the money. It was for the camaraderie and the intellectual challenge. Indeed, Larry was one of the few gamblers I know who won consistently over the long run. When Larry bet on a baseball game, I made sure I was on the same side.
Larry appeared in several of my videos about sports gambling which were produced by Pointspreads.ca. Football. Baseball. Even hockey. He was always exceptionally well-prepared. He did his homework. Larry also appeared in some political discussions we did which broadcast over Zoom and can still be viewed on YouTube. Forceful but polite, serious but fun — Larry delivered his message like a Dodger fastball. You knew the pitch was coming, but you still couldn’t hit it and get on base. Debating with Larry was destined to produce swings and misses and more than a few strikeouts.
Years ago, Larry went with me to see Van Morrison at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Larry went to all the sports betting seminars with me here in Las Vegas. Larry cooked dinner for me at his beautiful home in Summerlin, where he’d just moved and installed a new swimming pool. When Larry bought his new Tesla, he drove it over to my house and let me take it for a test drive. Dinner at North Italy. Tequila dinners. Monday Night Football gatherings. Steak dinners. Debate. Conversation. Repeat.
Let me tell you what kind of man Larry was. He never advertised this. He never wanted to be a hero or strived for any acknowledgment. About 7 years ago, Larry donated a kidney. Not to a family member. Not even to a friend. Larry donated one of his kidneys — anonymously. Someone he doesn’t even know in Los Angeles received a kidney transplant and is now living because of Larry. What kind of person does something like that? Who does that?
The answer is — Larry Greenfield.
I didn’t know why Larry didn’t answer my texts, calls, and emails. But now, I know.
One day before his death, Larry — who was divorced many years ago and lived alone — lost his beloved dog. She was a Cavalier King Cocker Spaniel, only perhaps 4-5 years old. Larry loved that little dog. But she had a heart murmur and collapsed and died. I didn’t know about that terrible news, until now. I guess that was the last straw. A final blow. Some people carry weight and bear burdens we do not see. Things are not always what they appear.
I can’t celebrate Larry’s birthday as he wanted and how he so rightly-deserved. It’s too late for that now.
I wish some clever quip or poetic prose would come to me now as I remember Larry, who was always such a master of clever quips and poetic prose.
Perhaps the only way to end this sad remembrance is to bow my head and simply say, goodbye.
Here’s a clip of one of Larry’s last appearances on video, which was a POINTSPREADS show: