Friday, March 6, 2009

Cubbie Blues

Many of you know that I contributed an essay to the recently published book "Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Till Next Year." Well, the publisher's website has been doing profiles of the authors who contributed to the book, and this morning they posted my profile. It's written by the editor of the book, Don Evans.

You can read the whole profile here.

This is a small taste of it...
" is so packed with interesting content, I was surprised to learn it’s essentially a one-man show. Rick Kaempfer.

It was my fascination and admiration with the work of that inspired me to contact Rick and see if he had any prose pieces that might fit Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Till Next Year. While there are other very good Chicago Cubs sites out there, including Bleed Cubbie Blue, the Heckler and Cubbie-Blue, most matched the sensibility I brought to the anthology project.

Rick gave me a funny, personal essay called Go (Away) Sox. Originally a piece Rick wrote for his blog Half Empty, it’s the evil side of his co-blogger and good friend Dave. “We constantly fight all year-long about the Cubs and Sox,” Rick says. “I don’t have to watch the news; if anything bad happens, I will find out from Dave.”

The essay is notable for its keen comic timing. It’s a short, breezy piece that is perfectly executed, like a gymnast executing a stripped-down routine flawlessly. It hits on a longstanding civic debate, Cubs or Sox?, but does so in a fresh way."

They did an interview with me for the site too. You can read that interview here. It's all about my relationship with the Cubs.

I'll be making a couple of appearances to promote the book in April. I'll fill you in on those as we get closer to the date.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Classic Radio

My former colleague Garry Meier (I produced the Steve & Garry show at the Loop in the late 80s/early 90s) has been doing the midday show at WGN this week and Wednesday he interviewed Ron Santo.

I don't know if you know the background on this, but Garry did a show on WCKG a few years ago and one of his show contributors (Jim Turano) did a great impersonation of Ron Santo.

This is a first. Ron Santo talks to Ron Santo. It's a classic.

The audio is here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Solving a mystery

I got the following e-mail and picture the other day...

"Rick, my name is Keith Iverson out in Rockford. I have a old Cub’s team photo ( 8”X10”) from I would guess the 1930’s - sometime. ?? I would like to confirm the year of this photo, and also see who each player might have been. Can you help me out, or direct me to a web site where such info might be available. Thanks for any help you can give."

This was my response to Keith after spending a little time with the picture. If you have any further info, let me know...


It's either the 1933 or 1934 Cubs. There are a few clues that helped me figure it out.

Clue #1--The big guy on the far left back row is Babe Phelps (also known as Blimp). He only played with the Cubs in 1933 and 1934. (He was the backup catcher). In 1933 he only had 7 at bats. He probably wouldn't have even been in the team picture in 1933, so my guess is 1934, but I can't be 100% sure.

Clue #2--The guy sitting on the far left in the second row from the bottom is Babe Herman. (photo) He also played on the Cubs only in 1933 and 1934.

Clue #3--Hack Wilson is not in the picture. Hack's last season with the Cubs was 1931. So it's after '31.

Clue #4--Charlie Grimm is sitting next to the guys in the suits (on the left of them), which means he was probably the manager. He became manager in 1932 and left in 1938.

Clue #5--Rogers Hornsby is not in the picture. He was the manager until mid-season in 1932.

Clue #6--The big guy in the last row (three in from the far right) is Pat Malone. (photo) His last year with the Cubs is 1934.

Clue #7--Phillip Wrigley is not in the picture. He inherited the team from his Dad in 1932, but didn't take over the day-to-day operations until 1935. I don't think his father is in the picture either, although the fattest guy in the suit does resemble him slightly. (Doubtful, however, because he died in January of 1932, and as I mentioned, Rogers Hornsby and Hack Wilson would have been in the 1931 Cubs picture, and Babe Herman and Babe Phelps were not on the team in 1932.)

The entire list of the 1934 roster is here, and the 1933 roster is here.

Hope this helps.

All the best,
Rick Kaempfer

Monday, March 2, 2009

Uh oh, here we go again...

From the website Gambling911...

"Chicago Cubs fans don't despair. Your team is a bigger favorite to win the 2009 World Series than are the reigning champion Philadelphia Phillies. The Cubs would pay $445 at for every $100 bet. The Phillies would pay $530 for every $100 bet. Once again it is the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox that come in as the annual early favorites along with the Cubs. Each pay just over $400 for every $100 bet."