"I checked in and immediately called his house to see how he was doing with finally not coming, and Steadman's wife Mary Lee picked up the phone and said, 'Ernie, John's at the hotel where you are,' " Accorsi said. "He was weak, he'd lost his hair, but he made it. That was incredible. Then he made it again last year, even though he was really sick. That streak was important to him. He even came during newspaper strikes to keep it going."