Friday, April 05, 2019

Don Prince

My book "everycubever" comes out at the end of this month and features mini-bios about literally every player who ever played for the Cubs between 1871-2018. Among them, today's notorious birthday boy...

~Don Prince 1938–2017 (Cubs 1962)
Prince’s entire big league career consisted of exactly one inning pitched. He did it for the Cubs on September 21, 1962. The Cubs were playing the Mets at the Polo Grounds. Don faced four batters. He walked one, hit another one, and then faced future Cub Jim Hickman. Hickman grounded into a double play. The last batter Prince faced was Sammy Drake. He was easily retired, and Prince escaped with a perfect lifetime 0.00 ERA. After his playing career, in his golden years, Prince was sent to prison for hiring a hitman to murder two people. It wasn’t a hitman. It was an undercover cop.

Has Fox News Destroyed Your Family?

That's a question posed by this piece, and judging by the many responses he got (and how real and familiar they all sound to me), it's a real thing. Fox News is toxic. It is destroying America one family at a time.

I've been saying this for years, mind you, but I think we can now get beyond calling this a theory. I mentioned it at a recent gathering of old friends, some liberal and some not, and when I said "I honestly believe that Fox News has destroyed this country," my friend--not a liberal at all--said the following in response.

"That is a fact."

I'm afraid it is.

Drinking Isn't Good for your Health

We all knew this deep in our hearts, didn't we? According to this most recent study, even drinking in moderation isn't good for your health.

Speaking on behalf of the drinking world (2.3 billion, according to this article), we aren't surprised and most likely will not change our behavior.

But thanks for the info!

Never Paid the Man

This is a very sad story about my childhood hero Ernie Banks.

Ron Rappoport has a new book out about Ernie, and one of the subjects is how badly the Cubs paid him during his career.

Don't read it if you don't want to be bummed out.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Jerome vs. Jordan Howard

I was bummed when the Bears traded Jordan Howard last week. He was one of my favorite Bears. Although, I will admit this to you...I never got his name right. I always called him Jerome, which drove my youngest son Sean crazy. I thought it was just a weird verbal tick until it hit me. There was a famous Jerome Howard. He wasn't a football player, but he sure was famous...

Mickey Owen

My book "everycubever" is coming out at the end of this month and features a mini-bio of every Cub who ever played...including today's birthday boy...

~Mickey Owen 1916–2005 (Cubs 1949-1951)
Mickey led a fascinating life in and out of baseball. He was a four-time All-Star with the Brooklyn Dodgers during early 40s, and though he set a fielding record as a catcher in 1941, he is best remembered for a fielding error he made in Game 4 of the World Series that season. He couldn’t handle a pitch that would have been the last out of the game (and tied up the series), but the runner reached first base on Mickey’s error. That led to a four run rally and a Dodgers loss. Owen didn’t serve in the military during the war, he was called up AFTER the war, and missed the 1946 season. When he came back, he was one of the players who bolted to the Mexican league. This angered Commissioner Happy Chandler so much, he wanted to ban those players from the major leagues for life. Chandler eventually cooled off, and Owen was allowed to return in 1949. That’s when he joined the Cubs. Mickey was the starting catcher for a few incredibly bad Cubs teams. After his playing days were over, he became a scout, then formed a baseball academy. Among the graduates of that academy…Michael Jordan, Joe Girardi & Charlie Sheen. Mickey later ran for public office, and served as the sheriff of Greene County in Missouri for three terms.

On the Eckhartz Press facebook page


I got a kick out of this tweet...

Wednesday, April 03, 2019


It's hard to believe it's already five years ago, but Kipper McGee's "Brandwidth" came out on this day in 2014. He has since come out with a second edition, Kipper's media knowledge and wisdom jumps off the pages of his great book, which is still available here

Free Kicks

EP34: Adam and Rick discuss the cauldron of atmosphere at Liverpool, the statuesque defense of Fulham, Adam’s soccer trip to Barcelona, and take a quiz about Sheffield United.

Listen to it here.

Mick's Health

I have tickets to the show this summer, but when it was announced they were postponing the tour because of Mick's health, I feared the worst. This is pretty bad...but it could be worse. From the RAMP Newsletter...

When The Rolling Stones announced the postponement of the North American leg of their No Filter stadium tour on Saturday, the reason was vaguely explained as frontman Mick Jagger needing "medical treatment." Yesterday that diagnosis came into sharper focus, as several new sources, including The Drudge Report said that the 75-year-old Jagger is scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday in New York to replace a valve in his heart. Rolling Stone says Jagger is expected to make a full recovery and resume the tour this summer. Despite the impending procedure, paparazzi caught Jagger in good spirits on Sunday when he and his family visited Miami. Bandmate Ronnie Wood tweeted his best wishes, saying, "We'll miss you over the next few weeks, but we're looking forward to seeing you all again very soon. Here's to Mick -- thanks for your supportive messages it means so much to us." Keith Richards said, "A big disappointment for everyone but things need to be taken care of and we will see you soon. Mick, we are always there for you!"

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Every Cub Ever

OK, here it is. We're still tweaking the cover, but it will be all ready to go by the end ot the day today and then we're going to press. It will be out at the end of the month. It took me more than ten years to write this. To answer a few questions about it.

"Does it really include EVERY Cub?" Yes. "Even the guys who only played..." Yes. "But what about..." Yes. Everycubever. All of them. Every Single One. It's encylopedia-sized folks. We tried to do a regular paperback and it was over 700 pages, so we are going the full 8 1/2 by 11. If you're a Cubs fan, this has to be on your bookshelf.

Reporters Sue for the Full Unredacted Mueller Report

This HAS to come out, right?

If he's completely exonerated as Trump claims, why is there an issue at all?

Hopefully this group of reporters will get to the bottom of it.

Brandon Herman

My latest Illinois Entertainer column predicts a young up and coming radio star, Brandon Herman.

Read it here.

Monday, April 01, 2019

April Fools, Twin Peaks fans

Jake Jaeckel

My book everycubever comes out later this month via Eckhartz Press, and features a mini-bio of every Cub who ever played for the team. Some of them, like today's birthday boy, only had a limited shot at the big-time...

~Jake Jaeckel 1942– (Cubs 1964)
His real first name was Paul, but his teammates called him Jake. Jaeckel got a cup of coffee as a September call up for the last place 1964 Cubs. He pitched two scoreless innings in his debut, retiring the likes of Sandy Alomar, Matty Alou, Rico Carty, and Joe Torre. In his second appearance, he won the game as the Cubs rallied in the bottom of the 9th at Wrigley to beat the Dodgers 4-3. In his third appearance he picked up the save in another 4-3 win against the Dodgers, striking out Willie Crawford to win the game. His last game with the Cubs was at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. He pitched two more scoreless innings, retiring Orlando Cepeda and Jose Cardenal, among others. Though he was lights out in the big leagues, Jaeckel never got another chance. He spent the next three seasons in the minors before hanging up his spikes at the ripe old age of 26. (Photo: 1965 Topps Baseball card)

Big Fat Cheater

I got a kick out of this piece in the Hill about Trump's golf habits...

A former Sports Illustrated and ESPN writer in a new book paints President Trump Rick Reilly includes accounts from dozens of people who have played with Trump, including professional golfers, about Trump’s cheating in "Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump." "To say 'Donald Trump cheats' is like saying 'Michael Phelps swims,'" Reilly writes, according to the New York Post.

Former ESPN football announcer Mike Tirico relayed a story to Reilly about playing with Trump, saying Trump’s caddy told him that Trump cheated by throwing Tirico’s ball, which was initially 10 feet from the hole, about 50 feet away from the hole into a bunker.

And actor Samuel L. Jackson is quoted in the book as saying, "We clearly saw him hook a ball into a lake at Trump National [Bedminster, New Jersey], and his caddy told him he found it!"

LPGA Tour golfer Suzann Pettersen, who is friends with Trump, said earlier this year that the president "cheats like hell," telling a Norwegian newspaper, "I’m pretty sure he pays his caddie well."

Robert Smith

One of the reasons I've always liked Robert Smith and the Cure...

Is Joe Biden Too Touchy/Feely?

That's the charge that came out against Joe Biden over the weekend. It came in the form of this piece in the New York Times -- a piece written by a woman who felt uncomfortale with Joe's kiss on the back of her neck.

I'm not sure how I feel about this one. On the one hand, I'm the anti-Joe Biden when it comes to kissy/feely actions. I'm German. I shook hands with my grandmother.

But I've also watched Joe over the years and used to get a big kick out of the swearing in ceremonies of congressmen when Joe was VP. He was like that with everyone. Guys and girls. He's the most affectionate human alive. I really don't think there's anything sexual there.

Weird? From my German point of view, yes. But I thought normal people liked affection. Maybe I've been wrong all these years. Maybe I'm the normal one. (That's rhetorical. Don't answer that)


This is about as bad as it gets...