Saturday, April 02, 2011

Chicago Radio Spotlight: Megan Reed

This week's Chicago Radio Spotlight is posted. I interviewed WILV's (Rewind 100) Megan Reed.

You can read it here.

Friday, April 01, 2011

The Onion and the Cubs

The Onion has some fun with the Cubbies. Pretty funny stuff.

Coming this weekend

Saturday morning I'll be posting a brand new Chicago Radio Spotlight interview. This week I interviewed WILV Rewind 100's Megan Reed.

I'm also going to the Cubs game on Saturday with my son Johnny. Looks like I'll be drinking coffee instead of beer this year. We're still in the middle of Extreme Lent.

I'll provide an update on how that's been going (Hint: Not so good) in my regular Father Knows Nothing column on Sunday.

Have a great weekend, and don't call me today.

Mr. Kaempfer can't come to the phone right now because it's opening day at Wrigley Field. Please leave a message and he'll get back to you when the Cubs are out of it...probably sometime in late May.

Two Perfect Days At Wrigley Field

I posted this week's "A Suburban Dad" guest column at Kim Strickland's "A City Mom" blog on ChicagoNow. This week's is guessed it...opening day.

I highlighted my two most perfect days ever at my favorite place in the world.

You can read it here.

Wild Thing

This is one of those great rock and roll stories, and it happened exactly 45 years ago today. From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac...

"April 1, 1966…In London, the Troggs used 45 minutes of spare studio time to record "Wild Thing."

Obviously it became their biggest hit. It's an absolute classic...

Opening Day 1973

One of the most dramatic opening days in Cubs history had an unlikely hero.

The Cubs were down a run in the bottom of the ninth.

Joe Pepitone led off the inning with a single and was replaced by pinch runner Cleo James. Ron Santo got on base thanks to an error by Expos 2B Ron Hunt, and was also replaced by a pinch runner. Glenn Beckert walked to load the bases.

The Expos brought in their closer Mike Marshall, the best closer in baseball. He promptly walked Randy Hundley to tie the game, but he buckled down and got Don Kessinger to pop out down the line, and struck out Jim Hickman.

That brought up Cubs lead off man Rick Monday. The bases were loaded. The score was tied 2-2. It was the bottom of the ninth. Marshall vs. Monday. Marshall knew he couldn't give Monday anything to hit, but he tried to be a little too fine around the plate, and eventually walked bring in the winning run.

Ron Santo's pinch runner scored that winning run. He was sent to the minors after that and never again appeared in another major league game as a player.

His name was Tony LaRussa.

Donating Goats?

It's not often that the Cubs and Cubs fans make it on TMZ, but today they did. There's a story about Cub fans donating goats to needy try and reverse the curse.

I suppose it can't hurt, but can't we all just agree that this goat curse is a bunch of a hooey?


Yesterday was opening day for a lot of teams in the league, but today is opening day at Wrigley Field.

A few years ago we highlighted previous memorable opening days for the Cubs.

Here are some from the first 50 years of our bad century.

Here are some from the second 50 years.

In April, hope always springs eternal. GO CUBS!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ain't Gonna Pee-Pee My Bed Tonight

I'm speechless...

SI and the Cubs

Sports Illustrated has put many of their old archived articles online, and I've been going through them to find some gems about the Cubs.

This one was from December 10, 1984. It's about Rick Sutcliffe's decision whether or not to stay with the Cubs. He has offers from eight teams. The cover story of this issue is about a certain rookie on the Bulls who looks like he might just turn into something.

Waiting On Deck For A Shipload Of Money
Rick Sutcliffe is in the easy chair as the Cubs attempt to salvage last season's pitching staff.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jimmy Cagney

He died 25 years ago today, but his message is timeless and will live on forever...

Old Style and the Cubs

You gotta love the new Old Style bottle, which will be debuting later this week (photo). The full details of it's origin are here in the latest issue of Packaging Digest.

That's right, I was reading Packaging Digest. Got a problem with that?

30 years ago today...

John Hinkley took a shot at Ronald Reagan.

I was in math class, senior year of high school, when the assassination attempt was announced through the school sound system...

SI and the Cubs

Sports Illustrated has put their archived articles online, and I'm going to be featuring some of the articles they wrote about the Cubs.

This one was on July 7, 1980. It was about the fact that Wrigley Field still didn't have lights. The story about the Olympic athletes that were affected by the 1980 boycott was on the cover...

One Place That Hasn't Seen The Light
Chicago's Wrigley Field has grass on the ground and ivy on the walls and is the only park where there are never any night games.

It's another recommended time capsule. The article is about PK Wrigley; his stubborn approach and frugality, and the real reason why the Cubs still didn't have lights in 1980.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pick a Headline

Imagine picking the top story to feature on the front page of your newspaper on this day forty years ago....

March 29, 1971…Lt. William Calley Jr., of the U.S. Army, was found guilty of the premeditated murder of at least 22 Vietnamese civilians. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. The trial was the result of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam on March 16, 1968.

March 29, 1971…A jury in Los Angeles recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers for the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. The death sentences were later commuted to life in prison.

Some headline writer's head must have exploded at the New York Post.

(Source: Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac)

SI and the Cubs

Sports Illustrated has put their archived articles online, and I'm going to be featuring some of the articles they wrote about the Cubs.

This one was on June 30, 1969.

Leo's Bums Rap For The Cubs
"Chicago's genteel old North Side has a pennant contender after lo these many years, egged on by a raucous bleacher section and -- Mr. Wrigley should chew on another cud -- the irrepressible Durocher."

I read the article, and I've got a good feeling about the Cubs in 1969. Maybe this really is our year.

I kid, but the article is a time capsule gem. I particularly love the part about the Bleacher Bums. Highly recommended.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Steve Vasoli

Landecker & the Legends has lost another family member.

Steve Vasoli was our keyboardist, but he was more than that. He was the life source of the band. He was always smiling, always happy, always had a great attitude. If you ever saw the Legends live, you remember Steve. He took center stage for a few of our numbers, including the old Herman's Hermits song "Henry VIII."

One of my favorite things about touring Chicagoland with Landecker and the Legends was the kibitzing before and after the shows with the guys in the band. Steve was a fun guy to talk to--he could always make me laugh.

He left the Legends after we stopped touring to care for his aging mother, but he was always a part of the band.

I felt like I got the wind knocked out of me when I heard the news yesterday that he passed away suddenly. He was only 54 years old.

It's impossible to remember him, without seeing his smile.

RIP Steve. You will be missed.


35 years ago today Genesis began their first North American tour without Peter Gabriel. I didn't really know Genesis until after Peter Gabriel left the band (other than what I've heard on old records), so I thought I'd go back to see if there were any videos.

Here's a good example. Note the full-haired drummer Phil Collins.

Oprah's Last Show

Write this date down on your calendar...May 25th.

That's the official last Oprah Show.

Chicagoans are legally required to wear a black armband that day.

A St. Louis website reviews the Cubs

Guess what they think?

I can't say I disagree, but it still rubs me the wrong way to read it.

Father Knows Nothing

My latest Father Knows Nothing column has been posted. This one is called "When you make a threat..."

You can read it here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Carlos Silva

Bye Bye Carlos Silva, and don't let the door hit your double digit ERA or your big fat $11.5 million wallet on the way out.