Friday, August 27, 2010


Released on this day exactly forty years ago...

Cubs move Harry's statue

Harry's statue was on the corner of Sheffield and Addison, greeting fans as they came to the park from the "L". I think this new location is actually more appropriate...outside the Bleacher entrance on Sheffield and Waveland.

Full details are here.

The new Billy Williams statue will take Harry's old place.

3 great nicknames

3 great Cubs nicknames were born on this day in 1915, 1901, and 1917 respectively.

The Antelope

Fidgety Phil (photo)



All three are long gone, but their legends live on.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

E-mails, we get e-mails

"BP" writes in with his take on my take on the Rolling Stone Magazine list of the Top 10 Beatles songs...

I agree. It’s hard to argue with the list if you run under the assumption that the list is limited to “popular” Beatles songs (ie: the hits). If I were to pick my all time favorite Beatles songs it would include stuff like “Across the Universe.” “And Your Bird Can Sing,” and “I’m Down.”

I was surprised to see “Come Together” on the Rolling Stone list, but it would definitely make my list. I think they picked “I Want To Hold Your Hand” to have representation of early Beatlemania. If that’s the criteria, there’s not a lot else you could pick, maybe “Help!” My list would drop “In My Life” for “All You Need is Love” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” for “Drive My Car”

Purple Haze

Released on this day in 1967...


His real name was Earl Adams, but his teammates called him Sparky.

Sparky Adams was a pretty good infielder for the Cubs, but his real long-term value to the team might have come the day he was traded to the Pirates.

Find out why here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A bluebird on my shoulder

I can't help it. Seeing the last of the boys walk out the front door for school this morning has this song running through my mind....

Born to Run

Released 35 years ago today...

First Day of School

It's the first day of school today for my boys.

Tommy is in high school.

Johnny is in middle school.

Sean is in second grade.

And for the first time since early June, Dad is in a house that will be silent for six hours in a row.

Nice Guys Finish Last

I've been getting a lot of e-mails lately asking for recommendations for baseball books (What? The Cubs aren't doing it for you this year?). I can tell you which book I always mention first. The University of Chicago Press recently re-released "Nice Guys Finish Last," the autobiography of Leo Durocher.

I reviewed it last year at this time for the Beachwood Reporter. You can read that review here.

If you're looking for a novel, check out "The Man With Two Arms" by Billy Lombardo. I reviewed that one here.

If you love baseball, you'll love both books.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wooden Heart

On this day in 1961, this was the #1 song in our country. It's an old German folk song called "Muss i Denn," that has been given English words (which are totally different than the German words). In the middle verse here, he actually sings the German words. (Elvis had a hit with it too). I can't believe this was a #1 hit. I'm happy I wasn't alive yet.

By the way, I was forced to listen to the many different German versions of this my whole life. It's one of my mother's favorites.


His real name was Jimmy Cooney, but his teammates called him Scoops.

He was born on this day in 1894, and remains the last player in team history to accomplish a rare feat.

Find out what it was here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Don't Be A Sucker

They should have played at this at the Mosque protest yesterday...

Another One Bites the Dust

Released 30 years ago today.

Love Freddie's mustache in this video.

Lou Piniella

That was an emotional farewell for Lou yesterday. I must admit...I got a little verklempt myself.

This is what he looked like when he started in the big leagues in 1969. It's hard to believe he'll never wear a big league uniform again.

The video below was created by frequent Brandmeier contributor SquireHogg....

Leo Loses It

On this day in 1971, the combustible manager of the Cubs, Leo Durocher, completely lost it before a game against the Reds. Most of the Cubs on that team remember it as the day that Durocher lost control of the team.

The full story is here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Father Knows Nothing

My latest Father Knows Nothing column is now up at NWI Parent. This week's discusses my days as a child prodigy. It's called "The Baron of Barf."

You can read it here.