The Cubs’ 2016 Graveyard

Some people, in my neighborhood and in other places, turn their front lawns into faux graveyards at this time of year. So with Halloween upon us and the Cubs still playing meaningful baseball, here’s a look at some of the fake styrofoam tombstones that the Cubs could plant at Wrigley Field this year: The Cardinals’Continue reading “The Cubs’ 2016 Graveyard”

Something Old, Something New

It’s been a quiet February on the blog front. The enthusiasm I once had for doing this has ebbed, and I like sleeping at night, too. But I recently had my annual Cubs preview posted on Cardsconclave.com (has it really been five years of doing that? Time flies!) and I had a piece that I reconstructed fromContinue reading “Something Old, Something New”

A story I’ve wanted to tell for a long time

I first had an inkling of the recent story that I wrote for ChicagoSideSports when I read Mitchell Nathanson’s The People’s History of Baseball in 2011. Much like Howard Zinn’s work for history in general, Nathanson challenged the traditional “Baseball as America” narrative in many ways. I realized, as I was reading the book, that muchContinue reading “A story I’ve wanted to tell for a long time”

Taking down the Cardinals, for a change

Last year, the Cubs played a weekend series in St. Louis where they scored one run, in the second inning of the Friday game, and that was it. I sent out a tweet saying that it was the worst series I had seen in more than 35 years as a Cubs fan. It was brutalContinue reading “Taking down the Cardinals, for a change”

Link to a post on ThroughTheFenceBaseball

The first half of the baseball season came to a close on Sunday night. Actually, it’s just a bit more than 50 percent through the season, but psychologically it’s halfway over. In truth, it’s been over since the middle of April, but schedules have to be honored and rituals have to be adhered to. SoContinue reading “Link to a post on ThroughTheFenceBaseball”

A Halloween reminder

It’s Halloween night in Chicago. Earlier in the evening, I was at the house of some friends of long standing. They’re possibly the best people that I know, and we were spending some time together, along with our kids and with some other families, on about the most special night of the year for kids.Continue reading “A Halloween reminder”

Blue: It’s a color so cruel

I borrowed the title to this post from a song on the Fine Young Cannibals’ debut album from 1985. How I wish they had recorded more than just the two albums they did. And if you haven’t ever heard anything they did besides “She Drives me Crazy” and “Good Thing,” do yourself a favor andContinue reading “Blue: It’s a color so cruel”

There’s no perfect word

Last night’s baseball game between the Cardinals and the Nationals defies an easy description. It was a comeback for the ages, and an affirmation that no sport–no human endeavor, really–can surpass baseball for sheer drama. People will snicker at such a suggestion, but I don’t care. Nothing outside the realm of life and death couldContinue reading “There’s no perfect word”

Approaching perfect

How often does anything truly perfect come along? I would suggest that perfection is an ideal, more than it can ever be a reality. The perfect day, in my mind, would involve being at a baseball game, preferably at Wrigley Field. There was work going on at the office on a Friday, but that oldContinue reading “Approaching perfect”

Nothing beats baseball

Wow! What a game at Wrigley Field today! I was fortunate enough to be there, and to stay until Darwin Barney came through with a 2-out, 2-strike, 2-run home run in the ninth inning to tie the score. Not since the Michael Jordan era has sports been that exciting for me. It’s been a downContinue reading “Nothing beats baseball”

Frustration bubbles over

Photo from BleedCubbieBlue When I think about the end of this baseball season, I’m not happy. The playoffs are not coming to the North side of Chicago, for the fourth year in a row. But I wasn’t expecting them to, so that’s not a big disappointment. What really gets me is the goal that theContinue reading “Frustration bubbles over”

The Cardinals and the Cubs

I grew up about a hundred miles away from St. Louis, Missouri. Chicago was 200 miles away, and seemingly in a different world. So when I came to Chicago, as people from all over the midwest do, I had an adjustment to make. I was a Cubs fan already, but I had to recalibrate myContinue reading “The Cardinals and the Cubs”

Feelin’ Weasley

I recently got back from a few days at Universal Studios in Orlando. The main attraction at Universal is the Harry Potter section of the Islands of Adventure park. The park opened at 9 AM when we were there, but since we were staying on the property, we were able to get in an hourContinue reading “Feelin’ Weasley”

Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you

Today (July 7) is Satchel Paige‘s birthday. It’s a day to honor a man who I wish I had known more about in my youth. I’ve written before, going all the way back to the first thing I ever put in this space, about the Springfield Redbirds, who were once the triple-A affiliate of the St.Continue reading “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you”

A Redbird who made good

I got very lucky as a kid growing up in Springfield, Illinois. There were a few reasons for this, but one that I didn’t fully appreciate at the time was that a smallish city of 100,000 souls somehow had a triple-A baseball team. It was a quirk of fate, really, but I didn’t know anything aboutContinue reading “A Redbird who made good”

He threw the first pitch

I’ve written about the first baseball game I ever attended here. It was the summer of 1975, I was seven years old, and my dad drove me down to St. Louis to see a doubleheader between the Cardinals and the New York Mets. I remember a few things from that day, but the baseball endContinue reading “He threw the first pitch”

It’s a nature shot and a baseball card

One of my favorite things in life is something unexpected. I wrote something for another blog a couple of years ago about going to an airport one day and being unexpectedly greeted by a live blues performance. It made the blues sound that much better, knowing that an airport baggage claim area is just aboutContinue reading “It’s a nature shot and a baseball card”

Signs of Spring

Yesterday I listened to a Cubs game on the radio. A spring training game, but still enough to get me thinking about the impending season. I don’t know (and don’t much care) if the Cubs won the game or not, but just knowing that the season is in the pipeline, so to speak, is enough.Continue reading “Signs of Spring”

Everyone’s in camp now

The Cubs apparently now have all their players in spring training, so the start of the season keeps getting closer. I offered my opinions on the Cubs this year for a Cardinals site, and they were published today. I was assuming at the time that the Brewers would be without Ryan Braun for the firstContinue reading “Everyone’s in camp now”

The pivotal year

I was walking my dog this morning when I noticed a penny in the street. It was in the crease between the actual street and the asphalt lump that rises to form a speed bump. Speed bumps are prevalent in my neighborhood, and they’re irritating but, like squirrels, they continue to exist without regard toContinue reading “The pivotal year”

2011 in review

The year is coming to a close, and everyplace you can think of seems to take this opportunity to do a retrospective on the year gone by. I’ll join the crowd for this one time, and look at what happened in 2011 for the subject that I write about the most: Cubs baseball. The biggestContinue reading “2011 in review”

Re-learning the lesson of 1986

As exciting and incredible as this year’s World Series was, there was a lesson to be taken from it by anyone who was paying attention. In a nutshell, it’s that the game isn’t over until the final out is made. In football, you can take a knee to run out the clock. In basketball, youContinue reading “Re-learning the lesson of 1986”

Disrespecting Albert no more

When it comes to Albert Pujols and his willingness to leave St. Louis, it turns out I was right. I’m not always right, but on this one I was dead on. There really wasn’t any chance that Albert was going to sign with the Cardinals again, World Series or no World Series. After all thoseContinue reading “Disrespecting Albert no more”