Backyards and Batting Practice: Baseball and Me in 1988

Backyards and Batting Practice: Baseball and Me in 1988
In the spring of 1988, I was finishing second grade with the knowledge that this ‘school thing’ was going to get worse. I can’t pinpoint this moment of epiphany, but I was positive that a slide was coming. More importantly, that it was not going to get easier until school was finished for good. In... Read more »

Wrigley Field of 1987 and My First Ballgame

Wrigley Field of 1987 and My First Ballgame
If a child senses that he’s being required to wear certain clothing to an event, he becomes keenly aware of the event’s magnitude. By June of 1987, I had already started my first t-ball season, watched an inordinate amount of Cubs baseball, and had begun collecting my first series of baseball cards. The only thing... Read more »

My 1987 Chicago Cubs

My 1987 Chicago Cubs
I was told that each season is meant to be like this; a slow march towards the inevitable acceptance of futility. I was told that each season has a moment where you can tell when this march begins. I think it was around Rick Sutcliffe’s fourth walk of the inning when my father’s face slumped... Read more »
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The Cubs, The White Sox, and a Child's Decision

The Cubs, The White Sox, and a Child's Decision
It was on a dreary April afternoon in 1987 when my dad heard me open the door after school. “Hey, Johnny! Sox are on. Opening Day! Channel 32.” I was 7 years old, and my sports persuasions were set mainly by Walter Payton and Michael Jordan. My baseball knowledge was in its infancy, but it... Read more »

1987 and My First Year of Organized Baseball

The Vernon Hills Park District used to give out nondescript colored shirts for baseball teams. The colors selected would be based on that team’s name; red for Cardinals, blue for Tigers…you get it. No fancy official logos were present in these 1987 uniforms, the year of my organized baseball introduction. Each shirt had a large... Read more »

The First Baseball Memory

Sometime in 1985, in some backyard of some small ranch home in Vernon Hills, Illinois, some small kid, surrounded by some five to six adults, went through the American ritual of his first batting practice. The bat was wooden. This I can remember. I believe it to be a souvenir of the local hardware store’s... Read more »
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My Son the Ballplayer

With new pants, a new jersey, and the awkward education of running while wearing an athletic supporter…baseball season arrived for my seven-year-old son. 30 years after my first baseball game, Jack took the field in a non-descript suburban Chicago baseball ‘park’. Playgrounds surround the fields, like many baseball fields in the area; each of the... Read more »

Ashes to Ashes; David Bowie (1947-2016)

Ashes to Ashes; David Bowie (1947-2016)
(The following is a non-sports attachment to this blog; we’ll re-start shortly) The connection is too deep for me. I’m unable to scrape thoughts onto a forum like Facebook; doing so would reveal too much. David Bowie knew me too well without ever meeting me. He understood madness, the come-down from madness, and the complexities... Read more »

Northwestern Basketball to New Heights as Illinois Sinks; DePaul Still an Enigma in 2016

Northwestern Basketball to New Heights as Illinois Sinks; DePaul Still an Enigma in 2016
Losing Vic Law was supposed to be the first nail in the coffin. An injury to Alex Olah? That was going to be another typical NU early season injury to put their tournament hopes in jeopardy. Neither factors, nor the constant talk that these Wildcats are ‘too young’, seem to be stopping the Wildcats basketball... Read more »
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Why the Bears Should Not Tank, Why This Mess is Butler's to Thank, and Why You Can Take the Blackhawks NOT Winning the Stanley Cup to the Bank

Why the Bears Should Not Tank, Why This Mess is Butler's to Thank, and Why You Can Take the Blackhawks NOT Winning the Stanley Cup to the Bank
Thoughts for the Week of December 27th CHICAGO BEARS The Bears played a smart, efficient game while defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26-21 on Sunday. Jay Cutler played the way he has most of the season; finding quick reads, moving around in the pocket, and not throwing the ball to fat guys too often (sans... Read more »