Tag Archives: Baseball

It was 40 years ago today…

Granit Hotel and Country Club

Granit Hotel and Country Club

In the next few week’s it’s going to be hard to avoid the fact that it has been 40 years since the Woodstock Music & Arts Festival tracked its muddy footprints into history. I’ve been speculating that the 40th anniversary needed to be a big deal because it was likely that by the 50th, there would be no one left who was there.  Personally, I didn’t make it to Woodstock. But the summer of 1969 was one of the most important in my life…so much so, that I’ve been considering trying to put it in a screenplay. But given that I have many other obligations, I may have to settle for this blog. (Hey Schamus, when do you find time to write?)

In the winter of 1968-69, I was in my sophmore year of high school and my parents announced to me that we were moving from Chicago, where I had spent my formative years, (more…)

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New Stadium, New Look Cubs?

The New Yamkee Stadium

The New Yankee Stadium

Got my first glimpse of this year’s version of the Cubs at Yankees Stadium in the first game ever played in the new ballpark. It’s a good thing that the games were exhibitions because the Cubs were soundly trounced.  Hopefully when these two teams meet in the Word Series (as predicted in last Sunday’s New York Times), the result will be quite different. In the game I saw, Lou didn’t start either Soriano or Ramirez, and he pulled Derrek Lee out after only a few innings, so it is pretty clear that he wasn’t playing to win…at least that’s what I was telling myself.  And there were some bright spots, like seeing new acquisition Milton Bradley get on base several times and Micah Hoffpauer look like a hitting machine. But it was troubling watching the Yankees tee off on Ted Lilly like he was throwing batting practice.

The Yankees were clearly playing to win. They fielded their regular season starting line-up, including Derek Jeter’s debut in the lead-off position. They also seemed very pumped up to be playing in their new home, and wanted to put on a show for the home crowd. I have a feeling that Pinella, knowing this would be the dynamic, fielded the B team just so the Yankees couldn’t show them up.

So, what about the stadium? It’s VERY impressive, but not necessarily in the all the right ways. (more…)

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Who collapses now?

no-metsI know it’s considered bad form to wish bad things on anyone…but I suppose everyone has their exceptions. For me it’s Republicans and the New York Mets.

Why the Mets? As we all know, our team affiliations are formed when we are young, and my formative years were spent in Chicago. These things become ingrained in ways that are unexplainable. Why are our emotions so wrapped up in what team we root for? In my case, being a Cubs fan became entangled in something far larger.

In 1969, I was just beginning to make friends at a new high school when my parents announced that we were moving to New Jersey. (more…)

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Ugh…time for a team shrink?

at Wrigley with Leo Gilbert and Richard Brick -- all smiles, but that was before the game!

at Wrigley with Leo Gilbert and Richard Brick -- all smiles, but that was before the game!

The less said about the Cubs post-season performance, the better. Just know that there is definitely something more going on here than your average 100 year curse. Next year will mark the 101st anniversary of their last championship, and the 60th anniversary of their last World Series appearance. Could that be the omen we’ve been waiting for?

In the meantime, there is much to occupy us until Spring Training…

1. Ron santo is one on the 10 finalists on the Hall of Fame ballot. We’ll know if he made it in February. Go Ron!
2. Why not buy copies of “This Old Cub” and “Chasing October” to keep the baseball season alive!
3. We have another Cubs movie coming shortly…watch these pages!

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Chasing October AGAIN!

Yes I obviously do!

Yes I obviously do!

Here we go again.

The Cubs are in the playoffs for the second year in a row…a feat that they haven’t achieved since 1907-1908. Is that a sign that THIS COULD BE THE YEAR? I made up my mind many years ago that if it ever happened, I would be there to witness it. And so far I’ve managed to be at every post-season game played at Wrigley Field since the day I was born. Of course, there used to be a simple punch line to that–there weren’t all that many. But lately, the Cubs are acting like they mean it.

Please note that I have no special privileges that entitle me to post-season tickets. In 2003, I flew to Chicago for each game, not knowing how I’d be able to get in. I hung out at the will-call window and subtly let it be known that I was looking for a single ticket. I managed to score each time, at only a bit more than face value. But it was nerve wracking to say the least.

(more…)

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Still Chasing October

I’m fine… really I am.Wrigley wedding

It’s not as if we Cubs fans aren’t used to this sort of thing. One thing we’ve learned is to enjoy the ride as long as it lasts. And this year was quite a ride.

I made it to Wrigley for the one and only playoff game. I was with Peter Gilbert (of “Hoop Dreams” fame) and his son Leo. The atmosphere was jubilant, but tempered by the history of this franchise. The fact that the Cubs had already lost the first 2 games in Arizona had people a bit nervous. But the snippets of conversation I caught outside the park were all optimistic.

It was in the 90’s and as humid as an August afternoon. Somehow that didn’t seem like a good omen for October baseball. (more…)

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