Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hottest day in Chicago history

It was on this date in 1953. The official temperature was 104 degrees, and the Cubs actually played a day game at Wrigley Field. Incredibly, 17,000+ fans came out to smolder in the steamy hot ballpark and watch the Cubs lose 5-3 to the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Hank Sauer hit a homer, but two errors by shortstop Roy Smalley cost the Cubs the ballgame.

Joe Garagiola started at catcher for the Cubs and caught all nine innings.

Friday, June 19, 2009

E-mails, we get e-mails...

"DE" writes...

"There’s an uncanny resemblance between you and Mr. Ricketts – sure you not holding out on us, and you’re really the heir to the TD Ameritrade Holding Corp Fortune?

Love your site, I check it out every day. Keep up the great work."

If I am related, they are holding out on me. I'll have to send them a letter.


The Cubs were in Brooklyn on this day 57 years ago. They faced a pitcher named Carl Erksine...and he no-hit them. The game took 1 hour and 48 minutes, and only 7700 fans were on hand to witness it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Vendor-Client relationship in real life situations

Will Ricketts ever buy the Cubs?

It's looking like it might not happen now.

Read this CNBC article about the sale. It doesn't take too much reading between the lines to sense potential trouble here.

Ozzie mows Wrigley

Click on this link to see a picture of the T-shirt Ozzie Guillen thought was so funny before yesterday's game. It's a borderline racist shirt that says "Ozzie Mows Wrigley."

Look, Cub fans, should we really be taunting at this point? (This isn't the 1930s)

Our team stinks. We're a game below .500. And guess what? Ozzie's team really did mow Wrigley yesterday. They beat us 4-1.

Harvey Walken

The man who trademarked the phrase "Any team can have a bad century" passed away yesterday. His name was Harvey Walken, and I traded e-mails with his office several times last year while I was developing my site Just One Bad Century. Read his obituary at the link. He lived a very interesting life. (Among other things, he was once one of the owners of the Pittsburgh Pirates).

My correspondence with him began when we posted that famous quote "Any team can have a bad century" on our website, but we attributed it to Jack Brickhouse. Mr. Walken's office notified us to let us know that Harvey actually owned the copyright to that, and that we needed to attribute it to him. If you click on the asterisk next to the quote on our home page now, you'll read the whole story.

Mr. Walken was kind enough to send me an autographed copy of his book "Here's Lookin' At Me Kid," which includes lots of great quotes from a very colorful man (the introduction was written by Phil Rosenthal). His autograph reads: "Rick, thanks for your work on MY behalf! Any team have can have a bad century. Let's hope it's only one. Go Cubs! Harvey"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Bridget

My lovely wife Bridget is celebrating a birthday today. I don't know how she does it, but she remains four years younger than me.

A few years ago she wrote a column for this blog.

Last year on our 17th anniversary, I wrote 17 things about her.

This year the boys and I are taking her to her favorite restaurant for dinner. Check that. We're taking her to her favorite restaurant that has menu items the boys will actually eat.

This week in...


The Cubs are in the midst of a pennant winning season.

*On the same day that Phillies pitcher Ray Benge (who led the league in home runs allowed and had an ERA of 6.29) strikes out 13 Cubs to win at Wrigley Field, Otto E. Funk finishes a marathon walk that took him from New York to San Francisco (4165 miles).


The Cubs are in the midst of one of their most memorable seasons.

*While the Cubs are splitting a double header at Crosley Field to the Reds (they lose the opener 7-6 on a Bobby Tolan single in the bottom of the ninth, and win the second game 5-4 on a Paul Popovich home run), Hee Haw is debuting on CBS-TV.


The Cubs are hoping to make the playoffs for the first time since World War 2.

*They lose a game 5-2 to the Phillies in the afternoon thanks to a big day from former Cub Ivan DeJesus, but manage to get out of the ballpark in time to watch the big Thomas Hearns-Roberto Duran fight that night. Hearns knocks him out.


The Boys of Zimmer are taking Chicago by storm.

*Doc Gooden shuts out the Cubs 2-0 at Shea Stadium (in a rain-shortened game), but the big story in the news that night is Zsa Zsa Gabor's arrest for slapping a policeman in Beverly Hills.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sammy finally outed

On the eve of the Cubs/Sox series, some fodder for Sox fans.

According to this article, Sammy Sosa's name was indeed on the list of players that failed steroid tests in 2003. That's the same list A-Rod's name appeared.

Can't say I'm surprised, but somehow, believe it or not, I'm still disappointed.

By the way, can somebody please go check on my friend Dave Stern (if you know him)? This news has been out for almost an hour and a half and I haven't gotten a gloating phone call yet.

Thanks Elliott Harris!

Elliott Harris put another picture of our Just One Bad Century girl (holding his book) on the Chicago Sun Times website today.

I know he's promoting his book signing, but it's still a nice gesture. By the way, Ernie Banks will also be on hand at Elliott's book signing today, along with co-authors Grant DePorter & Mark Vancil from 5-7 at Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse, 33 W. Kinzie.

Rules for flying the "W" flag

The Tribune has the rules of etiquette regarding the "W" flag. Cross your fingers that we'll get a chance to fly it at least twice over the next three days. The Cubs play the White Sox.

Why you need to keep the kids busy

If you don't, they'll come up with stupid things to do, like this...

Invisible Rope Prank II - Watch more Funny Videos

Casey & Harry

Exactly 100 years ago today this dramatic reading of "Casey at the Bat" was recorded. (June 16, 1909). The actor reciting the poem is Dewolf Hopper (photo), who was hugely popular for doing this on the Vaudeville circuit.

I'd call it ridiculous overacting...I actually laughed out loud a few times.

84 years later (June 16, 1993) another famous orator had a melt down when the good folks at Cracker Jacks wanted to celebrate their 100th anniversary. His name was Harry Caray.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Television Faces

The latest issue of Shore Magazine is now out.

It features an article I wrote called "Television Faces." There are interviews/profiles of local television newscasters like Chicago's Mark Suppelsa, Mark Giangreco, Dane Placko, Kristyn Hartman, & Bob Sirott, along with Grand Rapids anchor Juliet Dragos, South Bend anchors Maureen & Terry McFadden, and Merrillville's Lindsay Grome.

The article also features great pictures taken by Shore Magazine photographer Natalie Battaglia.

Read the whole thing here.

100 Best Movie Lines in 200 Seconds

Love this...

Today in Cubs history

A few memorable events happened on this day (JUNE 15) in Cubs history.

In 1916, the pitcher who starred for the 1910 World Series Cubs died. His name was King Cole.

In 1942 Cubs pitcher Hi Bithorn finally couldn't take another second of Leo Durocher's taunting from the opposing dugout. So he threw a pitch into the dugout, trying to hit Leo.

In 1951 the Cubs made one of their worst trades ever. They traded stud pitcher Johnny Schmitz and star outfielder/infielder Andy Pafko (probably the most popular Cub) to the Brooklyn Dodgers for for Bruce Edwards, Joe Hatten, Gene Hermanski and Eddie Miksis.

In 1964 they made another trade, acquiring a pitcher named Ernie Broglio. I'm still not emotionally prepared to talk about it.

In 1997, the Cubs played their first inter-league game against the Chicago White Sox. They won the game 8-3.

Billy & Champ

He is 71 years old today. One of the all-time great Cubs players, and one of my all-time favorites. I can't tell you how many times I tried to do the spit and swing in my backyard. For me, that probably started in 1969.

Champ Summers is also 63 years old today. They called him Champ, although he never was one. Happy birthday, Champ.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Let there be lights!

On this day in 1948, the Detroit Tigers erected lights at their stadium, leaving only one major league team without lights. It would only be 40 more years before that team, the Cubs, followed suit. (Photo)

How did that work out for the Cubs?

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted my latest "Father Knows Nothing" column at NWI Parent. It's my review of the film, "Up".