Sheldon passed away last night after a seven-year battle with cancer.

We all strive to leave behind a lasting legacy. It is a measure of Sheldon that he did it twice.

He first picked up the judge program and instilled a vision of fairness and proper behavior in competitive Magic that carries on to this day. Until his retirement from judging in 2011 he was the face of the program; the judge that all the other judges aspired to be.

And then, there’s Commander. Though he was always quick to credit Adam Staley as the creator, without his efforts we would not have Commander. He saw the potential of the format as a vessel for social play and tirelessly advocated for it as a way to make and spend time with friends. Along the way, he picked up many of them and unlocked a tidal wave of a community that had often been ignored. He championed that diversity, always looking for a way to raise up underserved voices in the community.

He faced down the challenges of his cancer with the relentless verve of one of his beloved Shakespearean characters, refusing to let it stop him living life to the fullest for as long as he could. Even a week ago, he refused to rule out getting to Las Vegas for MagicFest because he so wanted another chance to make his fans, friends, and everyone else happy as they celebrated the game together.

Sheldon always said a great leader planned for a future without them, and took the steps to ensure that the RC and CAG could continue after he was gone. We will deeply miss his wisdom, but look forward to honoring his mission.

Goodbye, friend. Safe travels.

3 thoughts on “Sheldon”

  1. A huge, unbearable loss.
    As wth many others, I never met him but felt his spark, wit, patience and mischievousness through the old Commander forums, where there was near-daily jousting of posts between myself, Cryogen, Joz, warble, Nicol Bolas himself, Wildfire393 and so many others. It became a tight-knit community that was often just doing silly things, but Sheldon always managed to settle things down or just steer us to the right address if needed.

    Sheldon is so much more than Commander though; an erudite, a food and wine connoisseur, an excellent writer and a Veteran, Sheldon encompassed so much more than being the biggest geek at the table. He was often the _best person_ there as well, always willing to listen and share his cred/clout around games and pods. Though the name “Sheldon Menery” always became kind of a meme when there was a banning or unbanning, he took it in stride and just kept looking forward.

    As life changes, so has the Commander format but its place as the most popular Magic theme is assured. Now to Studio X to serve as nurturers and caretakers, allying complexity with ease of use, competition with zaniness. They know the right road, let’s follow it and see where we end up.

    Rest in Power Big S., you were the giant on whose shoulders we all stand.

  2. He will be missed, but I believe his legacy will outlive even WotC itself. I feel like I lost my friendly neighbor. Every game of EDH I’ve tried to make it a good experience for my pod, and it’s all because of him. I wouldn’t even have continued playing MtG if it weren’t for this format. Thank you, Sheldon. You’ve returned to the Command Zone. Godspeed.

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