Looking for Suck


I realize that this post has a provocative title, and anyone who came here looking for porn is bound to be disappointed. There’s nothing of a sexual nature (I assure you) in this post, and if you’re looking for that, go someplace else. But if the title is intriguing, read on a little bit.

This afternoon my teenager and I were at Oak Woods cemetery on the South side of Chicago. It’s a beautiful place, with nearly 200 acres of natural beauty. I find cemeteries fascinating, and have written about them before in this space. But today we had a particular mission to find the gravesite of Adrian “Cap” Anson, the major leagues’ first superstar player. There are other things of note, and we saw most of them, but Anson was the reason we were there. We needed a photograph of his grave for a History Fair project. Once we had acquired that, it was time to explore a little bit.

After finding an Abraham Lincoln statue, and the Confederate Mound, and the grave of the man who invented Cracker Jack, the final thing that I wanted to see was a grave for a baseball player named Anthony Suck. He had only played in two games in the majors back in 1883, but his on-field accomplishments weren’t the reason I was seeking his grave. The man was born with the last name Zuck, and for reasons that only he knows, he changed his name to “Suck” instead. The word probably didn’t have the same overtones as it does today, is the only reason I can think of for why he might have done this.

I suppose that I just wanted to see a tombstone with the word “Suck” on it. No full name, no dates of death, and no other people buried by his side. Just a big slab of marble with the word “Suck” carved into it. Although it would probably be in all capitals, so it would read “SUCK.” I was already there at the cemetery, and will probably never find myself there again, so why not?

I had a map of the sections of the cemetery, but no more information than that. I parked my car, and the teenager chose to stay in the car, listening to the radio and texting her friends instead. I left the car running, and got out in search of Anthony Suck. I didn’t find him, most likely because there was snow on the ground, and I later learned that he has a flat headstone. I may have even stepped on it without knowing it. And, even if I had found it, I would have been disappointed, because apparently he’s buried under his birth name of Zuck. But I found something else that made the search worthwhile.

As I was wandering about in section B1 of the cemetery, I happened upon four cannons, a likeness of a soldier, and about four dozen graves. There was some story about who the soldier was supposed to be, but the elements had worn away the engraving, and that story is now lost. But it was a nice setting anyway, and the parting clouds on an overcast day made it even more so. I took a picture with my cellphone camera, and am putting it up on the Internet, both to honor the soldiers who are buried there, and to give anyone who finds this some sense of the beauty of the scene.

I walked back to the car, unsuccessful in my original goal, but appreciative of the fact that the men buried at that site had served my country, and helped to eradicate the scourge of human slavery. I don’t know anything more than that, but that alone is enough.

2 thoughts on “Looking for Suck

  1. I would like to take the time to say we are pleased that your expericence at Oak Woods Cemetery was pleasant.This historical cemetery is the final resting place for several notable Chicagoans such as the Honorable Mayor Harold Washington, famed publishers John & Eunice H. Johnson of Ebony & Jet magazine, Bishop Arthur M. Brazier of the Apostolic Church of God, Chicago White Sox major league baseball owner, Bill Veck and “Father of Gospel Music”, Thomas Dorsey. It also is the resting place of the Confederate Mound.
    We consider ourselves fortunate to have the opportunity to represent an organization with such a rich history and fine reputation for its quality, services, heritage and most of all its commitment to families and the community whose needs are simple – provide a respectful, memorable, and safe everlasting place for their loved ones to rest for eternity. We pray that you visit us again! Tatia Daley-General Manager, Oak Woods Cemetery 1035 E 67th St. Chicago, Il 60637

    1. Thanks so much for your note. Oak Woods is a very lovely place, and an important piece of Chicago and our nation’s history. Thank you for preserving it.

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