Friday, May 17, 2019

Taking some time off

You may have noticed that my blogging time has gone down a bit lately as I hustle my book around the area. Sorry about that. I do really enjoy blogging and staying on top of what is happening in the world.

Unfortunately, I have another adventure I'm embarking on beginning tomorrow, and I'll have limited time and access to this blog, so I've decided to take a two-week blogging vacation.

During my time off, there will still be some episodes of Minutia Men (including a brand new one tomorrow.) If you haven't subscribed to that podcast yet, please do. This week's episode features a chat with radio legend Fred Winston.

I will return in June with some hopefully cool stories of what I've been up to. Talk to you then!

George Will

At his induction into Illinois Broadcasters Hall of Fame had a great chat with fellow Cub fan George Will. He quizzed me on Cubs players to see if they were in the book and was thrilled I included his favorite broadcaster Bert Wilson. Also thrilled I gave him a copy. He was still clutching it tightly an hour later. Thanks George!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

A Cubs Birthday

A college friend of mine asked me to do her a favor yesterday. It was her sister's birthday, and she's a big Cubs fan. Would I mind signing a copy of my new Cubs book (EveryCubEver) for her and surprising her at her house with it? I did, and she was very excited. Gave me a tour of their great Cubs basement, and we swapped Cubs stories. Happy birthday Marcia. Hope it was a good one!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Shocking news...

Please oh please at least let this mean the end of that terrible "Benny & the Jets" walkup music...

Chicago is not Trump Country

Great piece in the Washington Post today about the troubles Trump businesses are having because Trump is such a toxic name.

One of those is in Chicago. Trump Tower is hurting big-time. Nobody wants to be associated with it.

If you ever want to entertain yourself in Chicago, have a seat anywhere near Trump Tower and watch people walk by. Hundreds of them flip off the building every day. Every day. People are flipping off a building...just because his name is on it.

He claims numbers are down because Chicago's gun violence is scaring people away. That's pretty funny. Go to Trump tower and check out the neighborhood. It's packed every second. And it's completely safe.

Most Chicagoans just hate Trump.

So does most of the world.

That's just a fact. Sorry.

Every Cub Ever

My book "everycubever" is out now and available here: It features mini-bios of literally Every Cub Ever, including today's birthday boy Bill North. Remember the year these two Cubs greats led the league in steals...(sigh)

Sunset in Mt. Prospect

One of my simple life pleasures is going out to my garage, putting on the Cubs game, having a cigar and looking out at the view of the sunset.

Everyone needs a little solitary thinking time.

This works for me.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

RIP Tim Conway

He passed away at the age of 85.

With him, goes another important part of my generation's childhood...

Dave LaRoche

My book "everycubever" is out now and available here. It features mini-bios of literally Every Cub Ever, including today's birthday boy...

~Dave LaRoche 1947– (Cubs 1973-1974)
He was supposed to be the closer for the Cubs when they acquired him from the Twins before the 1973 season (for Bill Hands and Joe Decker), but LaRoche couldn’t do the job. His ERAs were 5.80 and 4.79 in his two seasons with the Cubs. Of course he managed to rediscover his touch after leaving Chicago. In the next five years he saved 90 games, pitched in the All-Star game for Cleveland in 1976 and 1977, and the playoffs in 1979 for the Angels. His sons Adam and Andy both played major league ball. (Photo: Topps 1974 Baseball Card)

Chicago Radio Ratings

Robert Feder posted the latest ratings in his column today. He has all the dayparts broken out too, if you'd like to check those out. Here are the all-day ratings...

1. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 5.9 (5.4)
2. WVAZ 102.7-FM urban adult contemporary, 5.6 (5.3)
3. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 5.4 (5.3)
4. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 5.3 (5.8)
5. (tie) WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 3.9 (3.9); WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 3.9 (4.5); WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 3.9 (4.2)
8. WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 3.7 (2.8)
9. (tie) WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 3.3 (3.1); WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip hop, 3.3 (3.6); WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 3.3 (3.2)
12. WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 3.2 (2.9)
13. WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 3.1 (3.0)
14. WGN 720-AM news talk, 2.9 (3.1)
15. (tie) WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 2.8 (3.4); WGCI 107.5-FM urban contemporary, 2.8 (2.9); WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 2.8 (2.6)
18. WUSN 99.5-FM country, 2.7 (2.6)
19. WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 2.5 (2.6)
20. WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 2.2 (2.2)
21. (tie) WLS 890-AM news talk, 1.8 (1.7); WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 1.8 (1.9); WPWX 92.3-FM urban contemporary, 1.8 (2.1)
24. WEBG 95.5-FM country, 1.7 (1.6)
25. (tie) WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian, 1.2 (1.2); WFMT 98.7-FM classical, 1.2 (1.3); WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 1.2 (1.1); WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 1.2 (1.2)
29. WERV 95.9-FM classic hits, 1.1 (0.9)
30. WMBI 90.1-FM Christian ministry, 1.0 (0.9)

Monday, May 13, 2019

RIP Doris Day

Younger people probably don't realize what a superstar she was in the 1940s and 1950s. She might have been the most popular singer in the country. She was also a major box-office movie star. Doris Day passed away this weekend at the age of 97.

My mom has been known to hum and sing this song while she cleans. I think it's her all-time favorite (non-German) song. I've heard it all of my life...

How about this for minutia...

Here's a great scene...


My favorite Premier League team came up one point short this year. It was one of the best seasons in Premier League history (only one loss all year), but it wasn't good enough to beat Man City.

On the other hand, Liverpool can win the Champions League with a victory over Tottenham. And they definitely won the cutest moment award with this...

Minutia Men, Episode 134

EP134: Rick and Dave discuss the worst national anthem performance ever, a gator in yoga pants, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts gives the boys the VIP treatment at Wrigley, and an interview with a real-life rock star–The Buckinghams lead singer Carl Giammarese.

Listen to it here.

Charlie Meyerson

Congrats to my old WPGU pal Charlie Meyerson for picking up some more hardware at the Lisagor Awards last week. Robert Feder has the details...

Among other notable winners at the Peter Lisagor Awards was Charlie Meyerson, who picked up best radio newscast honors for The Chicago Public Square Newscast, a 60-episode online pilot series produced as an adjunct to his Chicago Public Square daily email newsletter. The other finalist in the category was WBBM Newsradio. Meyerson also had a hand in the winner for best podcast, Rivet Radio, where the veteran Chicago newsman works part-time as vice president/editorial and development.

If you don't subscribe to his Chicago Public Square newsletter, you really should. It's excellent.

RIP Peggy Lipton

Sad story. Peggy Lipton, the former star of Mod Squad and Twin Peaks, passed away over the weekend. She was 72 years old.

I'll never forget Peggy. She was one of the first people who made me realize I was straight. I had a serious crush on her during her days on Mod Squad. I was no older than ten at the time...

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Daily Herald Part 2

Thanks again to Jim O'Donnell for mentioning me again in his column this week, and for giving the answer to that unbelievably difficult trivia question...

LAST WEEK THE COLUMN QUESTION WAS: What was the walk-up song of Cubs catcher Tom Lundstedt during his one full season (1974) with the Cubs?

That inquiry stemmed from the release of Rick Kaempfer's excellent new book "EveryCubEver" (Eckhartz Press, $25), which lists the 2,186 who have played for the ballclub since 1871 along with select minutiae about each.

The clue was: "Not the most energizing song in the solar system."

The most-popular wrong answer was "Space Oddity" by David Bowie. ("Ground Control to Major Tom.")

Among the more esoteric answers was "The Original Theme From Monday Night Football." "Lazy Moon" by Harry Nilsson completed that exacta.

Key jumpoff juncture was deducing whether "solar system" referred to "sun," "space and universe" or something even more cosmic.

"Sun" was correct. From there, exactly three winners went on to correctly adduce "Sunshine On My Shoulders" by John Denver.

The trio -- all of whom will receive a copy of "EveryCubEver" courtesy of Kaempfer -- are Cindy Menelle of Mount Prospect, Brian DeValk of Palatine and Kevin Kelley of Arlington Heights.

As for Kaempfer, he received his own singular award:

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts called and had the energizing author and Eckhartz co-publisher Dave Stern sit with him at Monday night's Cubs-Marlins game.

Josh Reilly

My book "EveryCubEver" is selling like gangbusters at . It features a mini-bio of literally every Cub that ever played for the team, including today's birthday boys. One of them, Billy Jurges, was shot by a fan. (Read his story today at But I think it's even more fun to read about some of the obscure players like this one...

~Josh Reilly 1868–1938 (Colts 1896)
When he arrived in Chicago in 1896 from San Francisco, the Sporting News provided a little background information about the 27-year-old rookie, saying he had been “traded for a horse when he played in California some years ago.” Then, he created a new legend for himself right out of the box. In his first big league game he started a triple play. Though he started with a bang, he was more of a shooting star than anything. After eight games, Reilly contracted typhoid fever, and just like that, his big league career was over. He lived another forty-plus years, but he never played baseball again.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Free Kicks, Episode 38

EP38: Adam and Rick discuss the final week of the Premier League season, and preview the summer ahead (World Cup, Champions League, and Europa league finals).

Listen to it here.

New music chart

For 80 years people have been talking about the Billboard Music Charts.

Well, beginning next week, there will be a competitor. This one already has a brand name. It's the Rolling Stone Music Chart.

Details are here.

I think KB is back

Janet on the Radio

Rick on the Radio

Went down to Lagrange last night to do an interview with Brandon Herman about my book "EveryCubEver". When it's posted on his midwestern network, I will post it here.

Thanks Brandon for having me on.