One of the kings of comedy in the minor leagues is gone.
Myron Noodleman, whose real name is Rick Hader, died on Wednesday after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer. The disease kept him from performing in ballparks as Noodleman and away from his day job as a high school teacher.
Longtime scout Roland Hemond dubbed Noodleman as the minor leagues’ “Clown Prince”—a title once held by such titans as Max Patkin, Arlie Latham and Al Schacht—at a Mike Veeck-led seminar in 2004. At his peak, he was among the elite entertainers in the minor leagues along with acts like the Zooperstars, Birdzerk and the San Diego chicken.
Noodleman isn’t the only entertainer in the family. His brother, Matt, is a screenwriter and novelist, and his nephew Bill was a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” from 2005-2014.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to aid his family with expenses incurred throughout the course of his treatment and beyond.
Tributes to Noodleman began popping up on social media shortly after news of his death.
The Cougars organization is saddened by the passing of Rick “Myron Noodleman” Hader. Our thought & prayers are with his family. pic.twitter.com/TFQPE8oqy8
— Kane County Cougars (@KCCougars) November 1, 2017
Super sad to hear about the passing of Rick “Myron Noodleman” Hader. Very special person who was a highlight to everyone that saw him pic.twitter.com/dNvGOU66EY
— Minor League Promos (@MiLBPromos) November 1, 2017
For my first handful of years working in @MiLB, I knew I could count on seeing Myron Noodleman at least 3 times a season. Rest in peace.
— Alex Cohen (@voiceofcohen) November 1, 2017
Sad day today…we have lost a great man & entertainer…A great friend. He will forever be ‘Da Man to me! Prayers to Kim & family! pic.twitter.com/nGtjlhaarK
— Mike Nutter (@minorleaguenutt) November 1, 2017