Friday, May 07, 2010

Newton Minnow

On this day in 1961, Newton Minnow made his famous "vast wasteland" speech to the National Association of Broadcasters. Fun to listen to today...

Toyota Sign

The Landmarks commission approved the Toyota sign at Wrigley Field, but it still might not happen.

I've gotten quite a few e-mails from fellow Cub fans at Just One Bad Century, outraged by this potential sign. I just can't seem to conjure up any emotion about it.

Maybe it's because every other renovation done to the park the past few years has turned out just fine, despite dire warnings about destroying the sanctity of Wrigley. The sky didn't fall, and the ballpark still looks great. It's just a sign. Yes, it's an ad, but does anyone really care about the Under Armour ads on the doors in the outfield? Remember what a big deal that was going to be?

I suspect this will be just fine too.

Sammy Sosa

He hit his first home run for the Cubs on this date in 1992.

It was shortly after the Chicago Flood.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Boring Cars

Enjoyed this article describing the ten best boring cars.

As the biggest non-car guy you'll ever meet, you know I'd be happy with any of these boring cars. I have only one requirement: Does it get me from point A to point B without breaking down.

Needless to say, my car (The Honda Oddysey) is not on the list, and not because it isn't boring. It is. It's just not a good car. I found that out when I had to replace the transmission at just over 60,000 miles.


On this day in 1965 Keith Richards' life changed forever when he wrote the lick to the song "Satisfaction."

Is it just me, or is Mick now completely unable to sing it?

Kerry Wood

On this day in 1998 Kid K wowed the baseball world by striking out 20 Astros in Wrigley Field.

This is what it sounded like.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Different town, same ol' Milton

Now he's not happy in Seattle.

That guy has just got the worst luck of all-time, doesn't he? No need to self-examine.

Bad Moon Rising

Released on this day in 1968...

Note: He's not singing "There's a bathroom on the right."

Cinco De Mayo

I wanted to pay tribute to all of the Mexican born players in Cubs history for Cinco De Mayo. I could only find four. Am I missing anyone? Let me know if I am.

Here's what I found:

Jesse Flores

Jesse was signed as a free agent by the Cubs in 1938, and pitched for them in 1942. He appeared in 4 games, pitched 5 innings, struck out six, and gave up one home run before being sold to the Athletics. The A's converted him into a starter and he won 12 games for them the following year. He played in the majors for seven seasons.

Jesse passed away in 1991 at the age of 77.

Hector Torres

The Cubs acquired Hector in a trade with the Houston Astros in 1971. The Cubs gave up their former first round draft pick, Roger Metzger. Metzger started at shortstop for the Astros until 1979.

Torres, on the other hand, had 58 at bats for the Cubs in 1971, hitting .224 and making several errors in the field during his limited opportunities. The following April they traded him along with Hal Breeden to the Expos for the immortal Dan McGinn.

Torres played nine seasons in the major leagues.

Horacio Pina

He was an important part of the 1973 World Champion Oakland A's bullpen when the Cubs acquired him for the 1974 season (for Bob Locker). He seemed to lose his grip of the strike zone when he got to Chicago and walked 28 men in 47 innings. The Cubs traded him to the Angels in July.

Horacio pitched in the big leagues for eight seasons.

Ismael Valdez

He seemed like a steal when the Cubs got Valdez along with Eric Young for Terry Adams in 2000. Valdez had won ten or more games four of the previous five seasons with the Dodgers. Unfortunately, Ismael was bothered with bad blister problems during his short stay in Chicago. After giving up 17 home runs in 67 innings, with a 5.37 ERA, the Cubs had seen enough.

They sent him back to the Dodgers for a minor league prospect, Jamie Arnold.

Valdez later rediscovered his touch a few seasons later and won 14 games for the Padres and Marlins.

Ernie Harwell

RIP Ernie. He was 92 years old.

This is my favorite audio from Ernie. Enjoy...


This week in 1910, while Orval Overall is throwing a shutout against the Pirates at West Side Grounds, King George V is crowned in London. The Cubs will go on to win the pennant, George will go on to win World War I.

This week in 1935, while Tex Carleton is beating the Braves in Boston with a 5-hit gem, President Roosevelt is signing a major part of the New Deal, the WPA, into law. The Cubs will go on to win the pennant, and Roosevelt will go on to win re-election.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Hotel California

#1 on this day in 1977...

Kent State

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Kent State shooting. I wasn't there, of course, but I know someone who was. I interviewed him last year for Chicago Radio Spotlight. The legendary Mitch Michaels was there, and this is how he described the scene to me...

"I was working for a radio station in Cleveland at the time, as a board op, and doing some stringer reporting for them while I was at school, and the whole weekend before the shooting had been crazy. There were sit-ins and protests, and helicopters hovering, tear gas in the air, and spotlights, it was like a movie set. The protesters burned the ROTC building on Saturday night. The National Guard members were wearing gas masks and were pounding everyone. They couldn’t see anything out of those masks. I had a press pass, and they pounded me too.

On Monday I was in the car with my wife on the way to the dentist when I saw all the commotion. Police cars, sirens, people running all over, complete mayhem. I pulled over to the side of the road, locked the door, and told my wife not to move, and I went over to see what was happening. I got there just as they were carrying the girl into the ambulance. It was around 12:30 or so. By 2pm, it was completely deserted. They had closed down the campus and sent everyone home. It was eerie."

George Will




Cubs fan.

And today he's also a birthday boy (69).

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Sears Tower

It was completed on this day in 1973. This tour the Sears Tower gave the History Channel is a little more involved than any tour you or I could go on. I thought it was fascinating...

The Columbian Exposition

We all know the Cubs have been around a long time, but sometimes it takes a little look at Chicago history to put it into perspective.

The Columbian Exposition premiered this week in 1893, and the Cubs played a game nearby.

Read all about that era here.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted my latest Father Knows Nothing column at NWI Parent. This week's installment is about the installation of the Wii Fit game in our home. I call it "Wii (Not So) Fit."

You can read it here.