Friday, March 22, 2019
~Glenallen Hill 1965 (Cubs 1993-1994, 1998-2000)
The bulging biceps and nasty scowl on Hill’s face may have come from artificial sources (as the Mitchell Report intimated in 2007), but he will always be remembered for a home run he hit on May 11, 2000. That day Hill became the only player in history to hit a homer onto the rooftop of the building across the street. It was a momumental blast, estimated at well over 500 feet.
That could be excellent, and it could be "What in the world?'
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Oscar was the right fielder of the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings) the season before the National League was founded, and also played with them in the National League’s first season (1876). Bielaski’s lifetime batting average was .240. His baseball career might not have amounted to much, but he holds a special distinction among players that have worn the Chicago uniform. A decade before joining the team, Oscar served in the 11th Calvary Regiment of New York in 1864. That’s right, Oscar was a Civil War veteran. He is buried in Arlington Cemetery in Washington. Shortly after he died in 1911, his nephew Alexander was named the director of the FBI. Oscar’s father was also a Captain in the Civil War and died in action.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
They called him Trolley Line, and Johnny more than likely acquired his nickname thanks to the town of Butler, Pennsylvania, which featured a well-known Trolley line (the Butler Short Line). Butler didn’t have much power (3 career home runs), and he didn’t hit that well (career .252 hitter), but he was a pretty good glove man in the infield, and he was versatile. Trolley Line Butler played 3B/SS for 1928 Cubs. He stayed in the big leagues for four seasons–two years with Brooklyn before joining the Cubs, and one season with the Cardinals in 1929. By the turn of the decade, the Trolley Line was shut down.
Steve Dahl's on-air vasectomy in 1989 was one of them.
I produced that show. I thought it was radio gold.
It was around the same time this classy photo was taken.
The Woodstock 50 Music and Arts Fair announced the official lineup for its three-day 50th anniversary celebration, which is scheduled on the original festival's 50th anniversary weekend, August 16-18, this time in Watkins Glen, NY. More than 80 acts will perform over the three days, including some original Woodstock '69 icons and legacy acts -- Santana, Dead & Company, Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters, David Crosby & Friends, John Fogerty, Canned Heat, Country Joe McDonald, John Sebastian and Melanie.
Here is a preview of just some of the other amazing artists scheduled to perform -- Friday, Aug. 16: The Killers, Miley Cyrus, The Lumineers, The Raconteurs, Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats, Run The Jewels, The Head and The Heart, Maggie Rogers, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Bishop Briggs, Anderson East, Akon, Grandson, Fever 333, Larkin Poe and more.
Saturday, Aug. 17: Chance The Rapper, The Black Keys, Sturgill Simpson, Greta Van Fleet, Portugal. The Man, Leon Bridges, Gary Clark Jr., Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Dawes, Margo Price, Nahko And Medicine For The People, India.Arie and more.
Sunday, Aug. 18: Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons, Halsey, Cage the Elephant, Brandi Carlile, Janelle Monáe, Young the Giant, Courtney Barnett, Common, Vince Staples, Judah and The Lion, The Zombies, Pussy Riot and more.
Americans who still have faith in the upward arc of King’s moral universe should be grateful for Obama’s presidency and the way his election exposed the white racism that is still at large in our land. If changing the Constitution and reelecting Obama two more times would break the fever that now ravages Trump’s Washington, I would cheerfully champion the passage of that constitutional amendment, slap a “Hope and Change” sticker on my shirt, and race to the nearest voting booth to support the man historians will remember as the most significant president since Abraham Lincoln.
Holy crap. Now that's a transformation in thinking.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
In a first, Germany is requesting the removal of the Trump appointed ambassador to Germany, #RichardGrenell.— Andrew James Gregor (@andrewjgregor) March 19, 2019
They consider him to stoke racism and fascism on the country.
That's where we're at, folks.
The Germans want the American gone, because he's a Nazi.
While it was great to have the Hall of Famer Ashburn covering centerfield for the 1960 and 1961 Cubs, the lifetime .308 hitter was long past his prime. He put up those Hall of Fame numbers mostly for the Philadelphia Phillies. The stories about Ashburn from his early days are legendary. He loved hitting so much he slept with his Louisville Slugger when he was in slump. He was a speedy singles hitter who won two batting titles, finished second three times, and hit over .300 nine times. By the time he came to the Cubs, unfortunately, his career was declining and he no longer had the speed he exhibited early in his career. Ashburn was a five time All-Star, but none of those appearances came with the Cubs. The Cubs let him go in the expansion draft of 1962, and he finished his career as the only All-Star on the worst team of all-time, the 1962 Mets. After his playing career ended, he became a beloved announcer for the Philadelphia Phillies. He died in 1997, two years after he was elected into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. (Photo: 1961 Topps Baseball Card)
Here are Chicago’s top 30 radio stations from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Sunday, as measured by Nielsen Audio from January 31 to February 27, followed by format and average quarter-hour share of listeners age 6 and older (with previous month’s share in parentheses):
1. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 6.1 (6.2)
2. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 5.5 (5.4)
3. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 5.1 (4.5)
4. WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 5.0 (5.5)
5. WVAZ 102.7-FM urban adult contemporary, 4.7 (4.8)
6. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 4.4 (5.0)
7. WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 3.9 (3.7)
8. WGN 720-AM news talk, 3.5 (3.0)
9. (tie) WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 3.3 (3.2); WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 3.3 (3.0)
11. WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 3.2 (3.1)
12. WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip hop, 3.1 (3.1)
13. (tie) WUSN 99.5-FM country, 3.0 (2.8); WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 3.0 (3.3)
15. WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 2.9 (2.9)
16. WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 2.8 (2.6)
17. WGCI 107.5-FM urban contemporary, 2.7 (2.9)
18. (tie) WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 2.6 (2.2); WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 2.6 (2.8)
20. WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 2.2 (2.3)
21. WPWX 92.3-FM urban contemporary, 2.1 (2.0)
22. WLS 890-AM news talk, 1.7 (1.7)
23. (tie) WEBG 95.5-FM country, 1.6 (1.5); WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 1.6 (2.3)
25. WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian, 1.5 (1.3)
26. WFMT 98.7-FM classical, 1.2 (1.1)
27. (tie) WMBI 90.1-FM Christian ministry, 1.0 (1.3); WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 1.0 (1.2); WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 1.0 (0.9)
30. WERV 95.9-FM classic hits, 0.7 (1.0)
Monday, March 18, 2019
Listen to it here.
Bithorn was from Puerto Rico, the first Puerto Rican to ever play Major League baseball. Known for his high leg kick, he had one great season with the Cubs in 1943, winning 18 games with seven shutouts, and an ERA of 2.60. Unfortunately, he was drafted into the military during World War II, and after he returned from the Navy he had gained 45 pounds. Bithorn tried to pitch for the Cubs in 1946, but didn’t have anything left in the tank. The two-year layoff was too much to overcome. His life took a tragic turn while he was trying to make a comeback in the Mexican League. On New Year’s Day in 1952, he was shot to death by a policeman in Mexico, in what is still considered a mysterious case. Bithorn is still a hero in Puerto Rico. The baseball stadium in San Juan is named Hiram Bithorn Stadium.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of legendary artist Andre Williams. He died this afternoon in Chicago at the age of 82. He touched our lives and the lives of countless others. We love you Dre. pic.twitter.com/EpSdcKuxbB— Pravda Records (@pravdarecords) March 18, 2019
Who was Andre Williams? The man who co-wrote this song we all know and love...
Born Richard Anthony Monsour in Boston on May 1937, Dale developed his distinctive sound by adding to instrumental rock influences from his Middle Eastern heritage, along with a "wet" reverb sound and his rapid alternative picking style. In a 2011 interview with the Miami New Times, Dale said that the hectic drumming of Gene Krupa, along with the "screams" of wild animals and the sound and sensation of being in the ocean inspired his sound. At the turn of the '60s, Dale was pivotal in the development of the Fender Stratocaster guitar. "Everything that came out of Leo Fender's head, I was his test pilot," Dale told the Miami New Times in that same 2011 article. "He used to say, 'When it can withstand the barrage of punishment from Dick Dale, then it's fit for human consumption.' So I blew up over 50 amplifiers. And that's why they call me the 'Father of Heavy Metal.'"
Dale is survived by his second wife Lana, who served as his manager, and his son James, who worked with him as a drummer.
This is the song that introduced him to a new generation of fans, when Quintin Tarantino used it to kick off his classic film Pulp Fiction...
This photo is from the Publishers panel I participated in. That's me on the far left, Emily Victorson (Allium Press), moderater (and author/Columbia College professor) Shawn Shiflett, Jerry Brennan (Tortoise Books), and Dennis Foley (Sidestreet press).
I attended at least four other sessions (introduced a few), got a ton of great ideas about writing techniques, and hung out with some great people. If you are a writer, you should do whatever you can to get to next year's session.