Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chicago Radio Spotlight: Jill Urchak

I just posted another new Chicago Radio Spotlight interview. This week I interviewed long time traffic reporter Jill Urchak.

You can read the interview here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

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

"BP" writes...

Thanks for turning me on to “Modern Family.” That show cracks me up. I love the gay couple. On last night’s episode Cameron said to Mitchell “I want to quit my job and go back to being a trophy wife.” Sound familiar?

Are you saying I'm a trophy wife? Hmmm. I kind of like the sound of that. Although, I read this to Bridget and she laughed out loud, so I guess it's not true.

Grandpa Lou

Deadspin has a great picture of Lou Piniella running out to the mound last week.

His fly is open.

Sights & Sounds

This week we've got film from the 1932 Pennant winning parade in Chicago, and an audio interview of Ernie Banks from 1955.

Watch and listen here.

How does the song go?

"A lot of people think it's funny, but it's really..."

Joke for a Friday morning

Contributed by KK

With all the new fertility technology , a 66 year old woman was recently able to give birth to a baby. When she was discharged from the hospital and went home, her relatives came to visit.

"May we see the new baby?" one asked.

"Not yet," said the mother, who decided to have a little of her own fun with the relatives. "I'll make coffee and we can visit for awhile first."

Thirty minutes had passed, and another relative asked, "May we see the new baby now?"

"No, not yet," said the mother.

After a few minutes had elapsed, they asked again, "May we see the baby now?"

"No, not yet," replied the mother.

Growing very impatient, they asked, "Well, when can we see the baby?"

"When it cries!" she told them.

"When it cries??" they demanded. "Why do we have to wait until it CRIES?"

"Because I forgot where I put it..."

Burt Hooten

On this day in 1972, Cubs pitcher Burt Hooton threw a no-hitter in one of his first career starts. I remember watching that game (Channel 9) on my parent's black and white basement television. I was nine years old at the time.

I didn't know it then, but I have since discovered that before he came to the Cubs, Burt Hooten was a big star at the University of Texas.

After searching for two years I've been unable to come up with any video of his no-hitter, but lookee here, there is a video about his college days at Texas.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jackie Robinson

On this day in 1947 Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier when he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

How did the Cubs react when they played him a few weeks later? Not well.

That story is here.

Tax Day

My brother Peter is a CPA, so naturally on tax day, I turn to him for advice.

Here is his guest blog about why he doesn't know anything about taxes and why you shouldn't call him with your tax questions.

A birthday mustache

This former Cubs mustache is becoming a senior citizen today. He is 65 years old.

Read all about Ted Sizemore here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cubs game

My kids have a half-day of school today, so Johnny will be accompanying me to the Cubs game today. If you're there too, stop by section 228, row 2, seats 5 & 6 and say hello!

(Johnny is 12 now. This picture is nine years old.)

Abe Lincoln

145 years ago today, he went to the theater to see a play. It didn't turn out so well for him.

As the poet once said, John Wilkes Booth was a very bad man, and surely not a Lincoln fan.

That poet was David F. Stern, and he has recreated his 1974 masterpiece for us here in honor of our greatest president.

A new Cubs site

It's called Agony & Ivy, and shares the same sensibilities as my Just One Bad Century site--except it's more about the current Cubs. In other words, they have an actual sense of humor...something sorely lacking in a lot of Cubs sites.

I contributed to this piece.

The brain trust of the Beachwood Reporter is involved in Agony & Ivy's re-launch. I wish them the best of luck.

Cap Anson

He was the most popular player in the first fifty years of the Cubs franchise; a living legend when he passed away on this day in 1922. His funeral drew thousands of mourners.

How popular was Anson? He had just recently visited President Harding in the White House with his wife. (photo)

And though Anson is rightly remembered as a great player, he also is remembered for one of the most shameful legacies of baseball: the color barrier.

Read all about that here.

Celebrating Cap Anson without mentioning his racism would be like celebrating Confederate History month without mentioning slavery.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Soriano told "Break out or sit out"

 I find this hard to believe, but if Barry Rozner's column in the Daily Herald is true, Soriano's been told that if he doesn't start hitting and fielding better, he'll be on the bench.

The sound you hear is the choir singing "Hallelujah."

They're everywhere, they're everywhere!

I was tuning around the radio dial yesterday, and the same people kept showing up: Tom Ricketts and his siblings. Then, during the game, they showed up on the TV broadcast singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and hung out with Len & Bob.

Melissa Isaacson has more on the Ricketts' busy day.

I know I'm just one person, but I'm thrilled that the Cubs have such hands-on owners now. That could only mean good things for the future.

On the other hand, I heard they hired a team psychologist. Let's hope that's not a bad omen, because P.K. Wrigley did the same thing back in 1938.

The Chicago Flood

On this day in 1992 Chicago was trying to deal with a flood that caused millions of dollars of damage downtown.

It's one of the weirdest stories of the past twenty years.

Read about it here, and find out what the Cubs were doing while downtown Chicago gurgled.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Anonymous Comments

I got another e-mail this week asking me why I don't allow comments on some of my blogs. First of all, let me just say, that I actually do allow comments at Just One Bad Century and Father Knows Nothing.

The reason I don't allow comments at Chicago Radio Spotlight is because I want that site to remain a completely positive place.  I'm protective of my interview subjects because I read how nasty the "comments section" can get at other sites. I hope you can understand. I just want to highlight the careers of people I respect and admire.

The reason I don't allow comments here at this blog is because I occasionally post political comedy, or make comments about political bias in the media. Those are subjects that can lead to very angry comments/responses. Here's my take on that--I try not to overdo either subject. If it's funny, it's funny. If you don't think it is, I'm sorry. If it's about bias, it seems that everyone has an opinion, and you're certainly entitled to yours. My opinions are well known (I've even written a book about the subject), and since this is my blog, when I see examples in today's media that align with the thesis of my book, I like to share those here. But allowing comments would quickly degenerate into an angry political nuh-uh, uh-huh, contest. I don't want this blog to turn out like some of the newspaper websites, which have become incredibly nasty.

In fact, those newspaper websites have gotten so bad that they are considering eliminating anonymous commenting altogether.

The New York Times has an article about that today.

I hope that answers your question.

Tiny Tim

The most inexplicable celebrity in American history (Tiny Tim) would have been 78 years old today. For you youngsters that have never seen or heard Tiny Tim, watch this. Believe it or not, he was HUGE for a few years in the late 60s...

P.K. Wrigley

P.K. Wrigley passed away on this day in 1977. He was the Cubs owner for 45 of the 101 years the Cubs haven't won it, and he played a big part in that.

The P.K. Wrigley story is here.

You know, I've always considered Wrigley one of the villains in the Cubs story, but I recently read Leo Durocher's book "Nice Guys Finish Last," and Durocher called P.K. the finest man he ever worked for.

Maybe he really was a nice guy.

Although now that I mention it, what was the name of Durocher's book again?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted a new Father Knows Nothing column at NWI Parent. It's called "Once in a Lifetime," and it's about a very strange experience I had this week at the doctor's office.

You can read it here.