Saturday, March 28, 2009

A letter from Charlie Root's daughter

I've been having an e-mail exchange with Della Arnold (photo), the daughter of Cubs great Charlie Root. I told her that one thing I really admired about her dad was his toughness, and this is what she replied...

"The first batter Dad faced in the Majors was Ty Cobb,whom Dad had heard of for some time...It was l924 and he had just come up from Terre Haute....Cobb was hugging the plate, so Dad's pitch was under his chin...Cobb threatened him by yelling and waving his bat...the next pitch was in the same spot and Cobb stormed the mound calling Dad "a fresh bush bastard and threatening to kill him...Cobb was closely followed by catcher Hank Severeid who was yelling at Cobb.."You lay one hand on that kid and I'll beat you to death with this mask...which as you know in those days had a solid iron frame...Cobb returned to the plate and Dad struck him out....This was in 1924 when Dad his first chance with the St. Louis Browns.....He lost 4 games and won NONE...He then broke his right ankle sliding into third...So the Browns traded him to Los Angeles Angels, then in the Pacific Coast League....which was a farm team for the Cubs...When he told that story he always said he was nervous, and scared to death, but he always had a reputation for "dusting" when needed...."

How great is that?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Reading Under the Influence

A week from tonight (April 1st, 7-10 PM) I'll be appearing at Sheffield's in Chicago to participate in an event called "Reading Under the Influence." This is to promote our new Cubs book "Cubbie Blues." I'll be reading my essay from the book, as well as a famous published piece about the Cubs, and then, I'll be asking the audience trivia questions. Five other authors are also participating.

Did I mention that it's called "Reading Under the Influence" because the readers do actual shots before reading, and the audience is encouraged to drink? (Still wondering how they got me to actually leave my basement?) I'd love to see some friendly faces in the audience, so come on by. We'll be in the back room of Sheffield's, which is at 3258 N. Sheffield Ave. The cover charge is only $3, and it sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun.

To read more about it, check out the Reading Under the Influence website here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cremating the Curse!

I have to tell you about a great event I'll be participating in on April 5th. It's being staged by George Rawlinson, the publisher of "Cubbie Blues: 100 years of waiting til next year." George is staging this event at Michael's Funeral Home in Schaumburg, and he's calling it "CREMATING THE CURSE!"

Comedian Tom Dreesen will MC the event, and an array of notable local Cubs celebrities will be on hand to deliver eulogies for the 100 years of losing (including me), as we actually cremate artifacts from the various different Cubs curses I've written about on this site, including Merkle, the Revenge of Martin Luther, the Goat, the Black Cat, and every other curse we can think of.

Please come on out and enjoy the festivities. It's also a worthwhile fundraising event for Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities. All of the details about this event are here at the Can't Miss Press website.

The Wrigley Marquee

Now this is trivia. 49 years ago today, the Cubs painted that Wrigley Field marquee red. Before 1960, it was green.