Saturday, March 28, 2009

A letter from Charlie Root's daughter

I've been having an e-mail exchange with Della Arnold (photo), the daughter of Cubs great Charlie Root. I told her that one thing I really admired about her dad was his toughness, and this is what she replied...

"The first batter Dad faced in the Majors was Ty Cobb,whom Dad had heard of for some time...It was l924 and he had just come up from Terre Haute....Cobb was hugging the plate, so Dad's pitch was under his chin...Cobb threatened him by yelling and waving his bat...the next pitch was in the same spot and Cobb stormed the mound calling Dad "a fresh bush bastard and threatening to kill him...Cobb was closely followed by catcher Hank Severeid who was yelling at Cobb.."You lay one hand on that kid and I'll beat you to death with this mask...which as you know in those days had a solid iron frame...Cobb returned to the plate and Dad struck him out....This was in 1924 when Dad his first chance with the St. Louis Browns.....He lost 4 games and won NONE...He then broke his right ankle sliding into third...So the Browns traded him to Los Angeles Angels, then in the Pacific Coast League....which was a farm team for the Cubs...When he told that story he always said he was nervous, and scared to death, but he always had a reputation for "dusting" when needed...."

How great is that?

Chicago Radio Spotlight: Jack Silver

This week I interview former Loop program director Jack Silver at Chicago Radio Spotlight.

Jack, who once fired me (and the whole Ebony & Ivory show) with a memo that said: "Gents, it's not working out," has just been fired from his programming job in LA.

Read the whole interview here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Programming Note

I haven't been blogging quite as much this week because all three boys are home for spring break this week. I'll return to normal next week.

Tomorrow I'll be posting an interview at Chicago Radio Spotlight with Jack Silver, former program director of the Loop in Chicago, and former VP/Programming for CBS Radio. It should be a good one.

Sunday I'll have a new Father Knows Nothing column.

Until then, I have fights to break up. Hope you understand.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


One of my favorite Smashing Pumpkins songs in honor of today's Just One Bad Century feature...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Reading Under the Influence

A week from tonight (April 1st, 7-10 PM) I'll be appearing at Sheffield's in Chicago to participate in an event called "Reading Under the Influence." This is to promote our new Cubs book "Cubbie Blues." I'll be reading my essay from the book, as well as a famous published piece about the Cubs, and then, I'll be asking the audience trivia questions. Five other authors are also participating.

Did I mention that it's called "Reading Under the Influence" because the readers do actual shots before reading, and the audience is encouraged to drink? (Still wondering how they got me to actually leave my basement?) I'd love to see some friendly faces in the audience, so come on by. We'll be in the back room of Sheffield's, which is at 3258 N. Sheffield Ave. The cover charge is only $3, and it sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun.

To read more about it, check out the Reading Under the Influence website here.

Share Just One Bad Century via Facebook

Last week we got a Facebook widget on my "$everance" page. This week we got one on Just One Bad Century. If there's a story you see on Just One Bad Century that you think is worth sharing (I think today's is pretty good...but I'm biased), please share away!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The real story of my thumb injury... told in the current issue of NWI Parent Magazine. You can read it here.

By the way, the cast is off and I'm almost back to normal. Two more weeks and I'll get a clean bill of health.

And if you missed it on Sunday, my latest Father Knows Nothing is called "A message from Sean's attorney." It addresses the real financial crisis...the money mysteriously disappearing from my wallet.

Fantasy Baseball

I know not everyone is a fantasy baseball fan. I happen to love it, but I understand why you might consider the whole thing a bit of a joke (I'm married to one of you).

I was sent this video by Mark Bazer, who is a writer at Tribune Media Services. This is a sketch he and Justin Kaufman from did on stage at the Hideout in Chicago about fantasy baseball. I happen to think it's pretty funny, but if you don't get fantasy baseball, you might not.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cremating the Curse!

I have to tell you about a great event I'll be participating in on April 5th. It's being staged by George Rawlinson, the publisher of "Cubbie Blues: 100 years of waiting til next year." George is staging this event at Michael's Funeral Home in Schaumburg, and he's calling it "CREMATING THE CURSE!"

Comedian Tom Dreesen will MC the event, and an array of notable local Cubs celebrities will be on hand to deliver eulogies for the 100 years of losing (including me), as we actually cremate artifacts from the various different Cubs curses I've written about on this site, including Merkle, the Revenge of Martin Luther, the Goat, the Black Cat, and every other curse we can think of.

Please come on out and enjoy the festivities. It's also a worthwhile fundraising event for Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities. All of the details about this event are here at the Can't Miss Press website.

The Wrigley Marquee

Now this is trivia. 49 years ago today, the Cubs painted that Wrigley Field marquee red. Before 1960, it was green.

The Roe Report

According to Tom Taylor at, Roe Conn will also be one of the replacements for Paul Harvey...

"Look for this to be announced out of the same market where Harvey himself originated - Chicago. The 20-year WLS (890) personality Roe Conn will offer short morning columns starting as early as next week, fed by ABC Radio Networks. T-R-I hears that one of the early clearances is Citadel talker WABC, New York (770). Conn has long-held ties with ABC News and was a contributor to the radio network's political coverage during the last presidential campaign. Suddenly, lots of folks in the "news and commentary" business..."

I interviewed Roe not too long ago at Chicago Radio Spotlight. If you'd like to read the interview, it's here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted my latest Father Knows Nothing column. I call this one "A message from Sean's attorney" and it involves the latest financial scandal...the mysterious disappearance of my money.