Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chicago Radio Spotlight: Ron Smith

This week's Chicago Radio Spotlight interview is with Oldies programmer Ron Smith. He's the author of five books, including one that just came out this week called "Eight Days a Week."

You can read the interview here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Coming this weekend

A new Chicago Radio Spotlight interview will be posted tomorrow morning. This week I'll speak with long time Oldies radio programmer Ron Smith, author of "Eight Days a Week."

At Just One Bad Century we'll go back in time again to the last year the Cubs won the World Series and the last year they won the pennant--and we'll do it while the Cubs are playing in Boston for the first time in 93 years.

And, of course, a new Father Knows Nothing column will be posted on Sunday. This week's column includes another confession about truly bad parenting. It's good for the soul to admit your shortcomings, and boy do I have some.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tales of Nincompoopery

Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post has written an ode to his friends, all of whom have done incredibly stupid things.

After reading this article, I thought of five different stories of incredibly stupid things I've done. I'm sure there are many more, but for now those five stories will go in the notebook for future Father Knows Nothing columns.

Honestly, my biggest fear in life is dying in a tragically stupid way. I was just telling my son the story of the Yardbirds lead singer that died trying to play his electric guitar in the bathtub. He wrote some great songs and sang some classics, but he will always be remembered for his incredibly stupid death.

Cubs-Red Sox

A non "was it thrown?" preview of the Cubs versus the Red Sox.

Actually a very enjoyable article that discusses the history of the two respective franchises.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Pete

He's 66 today...

Ogden Nash

My favorite poet, Odgen Nash, died exactly forty years ago today at the age of 68. Nash may not be the literary world's favorite poet, but he speaks to me. For instance, he penned this classic, the shortest poem ever: Candy is Dandy but Liquor is Quicker

Have seven words ever said more?

He also wrote this incredible poem called "Lineup for Yesterday." It was originally printed in the Sport Magazine in 1949, and it's about the greatest baseball players from the first half of the 20th century. Eight of these guys played or managed for the Cubs at one time or another in their career (Alexander, Bresnahan, Dean, Evers, Frisch, Hornsby, Newsom, and Foxx). Long live Ogden Nash.

A is for Alex
The great Alexander;
More Goose eggs he pitched
Than a popular gander.

B is for Bresnahan
Back of the plate;
The Cubs were his love,
and McGraw his hate.

C is for Cobb,
Who grew spikes and not corn,
And made all the basemen
Wish they weren't born.

D is for Dean,
The grammatical Diz,
When they asked, Who's the tops?
Said correctly, I is.

E is for Evers,
His jaw in advance;
Never afraid
To Tinker with Chance.

F is for Fordham
And Frankie and Frisch;
I wish he were back
With the Giants, I wish.

G is for Gehrig,
The Pride of the Stadium;
His record pure gold,
His courage, pure radium.

H is for Hornsby;
When pitching to Rog,
The pitcher would pitch,
Then the pitcher would dodge.

I is for Me,
Not a hard-hitting man,
But an outstanding all-time
Incurable fan.

J is for Johnson
The Big Train in his prime
Was so fast he could throw
Three strikes at a time.

K is for Keeler,
As fresh as green paint,
The fastest and mostest
To hit where they ain't.

L is for Lajoie
Whom Clevelanders love,
Napolean himself,
With glue in his glove.

M is for Matty,
Who carried a charm
In the form of an extra
brain in his arm.

N is for Newsom,
Bobo's favorite kin.
You ask how he's here,
He talked himself in.

O is for Ott
Of the restless right foot.
When he leaned on the pellet,
The pellet stayed put.

P is for Plank,
The arm of the A's;
When he tangled with Matty
Games lasted for days.

Q is for Don Quixote
Cornelius Mack;
Neither Yankees nor years
Can halt his attack.

R is for Ruth.
To tell you the truth,
There's just no more to be said,
Just R is for Ruth.

S is for Speaker,
Swift center-field tender,
When the ball saw him coming,
It yelled, "I surrender."

T is for Terry
The Giant from Memphis
Whose .400 average
You can't overemphis.

U would be 'Ubell
if Carl were a cockney;
We say Hubbell and Baseball
Like Football and Rockne.

V is for Vance
The Dodger's very own Dazzy;
None of his rivals
Could throw as fast as he.

W is for Wagner,
The bowlegged beauty;
Short was closed to all traffic
With Honus on duty.

X is the first
of two x's in Foxx
Who was right behind Ruth
with his powerful soxx.

Y is for Young
The magnificent Cy;
People battled against him,
But I never knew why.

Z is for Zenith
The summit of fame.
These men are up there.
These men are the game.

The 1918 World Series

Oh this won't be the last article written about it because of the historic upcoming series against the Red Sox, but I will say this: It's the first one that's appropriately sarcastic about the "thrown" World Series.

I didn't write it, but it's written pretty much exactly the way I would have written it.

(That's the official 1918 Cubs logo from 1918, by the way)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Message for Parents of Creative Kids

My weekly Suburban Dad contribution to the City Mom blog at ChicagoNow has been posted. It's a message for the parents of college-aged creative kids, nearly all of whom are panicking as graduation season arrives.

You can read it here.

The View on Arnold

I had to check out what the ladies had to say about him. Can you guess?

Andrew Cashner

The news is not good on Andrew Cashner, the best young arm in the Cubs system. His MRI showed an aggravated strain.

More details are here.

I have to say, the way things have been going the last few weeks, I have pulled the fork out of the silverware drawer. I'm not sticking it into the season yet, but I am polishing it and getting it ready to go.

The All Over The Hill Pitching Staff

The list reads like a pitching Who's Who. It's hard to believe they all pitched for the Cubs, but it's true.

Burleigh Grimes, Dizzy Dean, Johnny Vander Meer, Lew Burdette, Curt Simmons, Don Larsen, Robin Roberts, Hoyt Wilhelm, and Goose Gossage.

Of course, I gave it away in the headline. They were all waaaay over the hill, and that's today's Tale from a Bad Century.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lost At Sea

My latest piece is the back page "Last Resort" essay in the current issue of SHORE Magazine. It's about my misadventures on the beach.

You can read it here.


There are some absolute classics here. I personally liked the delivering of the baby celebration...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tommy Edwards interview

Many thanks to Larry Shannon at Radio Daily News for giving such prominence to my Chicago Radio Spotlight interview with Tommy Edwards (and also to Larz at who always promotes my interviews--swell guy that he is). This particular interview has had a ton of hits.

If you haven't read it yet, you can check it out here.

The JOBC Contest

We'll be hearing a lot about the 1918 World Series this week because the Cubs will travel to Fenway for the first time since 1918. That 1918 Cubs team featured a first baseman that was one of the best known players in the league at the time...and not for a good reason.

What was his name?

The first person that e-mails me the correct answer at will win a commemorative Greg Maddux 3000th strikeout scorecard, an autographed copy of the excellent baseball novel "The Pitch" (by Hank Owens), plus a t-shirt from the Just One Bad Century catalog.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Bill Whitburn, the first person to e-mail me the correct answer. He knew that Fred Merkle, the notorious Boner or Bonehead, was the first baseman on that 1918 World Series Cubs team. (Read all about Boner's story here.)

Jim Hendry fired?

Did you hear that Cubs GM Jim Hendry was fired? He wasn't, but Colin Cowherd of ESPN Radio reported it before correcting himself.

Here's how that whole event transpired.

The 1918 World Series

With the upcoming Cubs-Red Sox series this weekend, be prepared to be hearing an awful lot about the 1918 World Series, and the possibility it was fixed.

The New York Times did a story about it this past weekend, and I suspect their version will be the best one out there. They don't have a horse in this race, so at the very least, it's unbiased.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted my latest Father Knows Nothing column. This one is about my old neighborhood when I was a boy.

You can read it here.