Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hottest day in Chicago history

It was on this date in 1953. The official temperature was 104 degrees, and the Cubs actually played a day game at Wrigley Field. Incredibly, 17,000+ fans came out to smolder in the steamy hot ballpark and watch the Cubs lose 5-3 to the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Hank Sauer hit a homer, but two errors by shortstop Roy Smalley cost the Cubs the ballgame.

Joe Garagiola started at catcher for the Cubs and caught all nine innings.

Friday, June 19, 2009


The Cubs were in Brooklyn on this day 57 years ago. They faced a pitcher named Carl Erksine...and he no-hit them. The game took 1 hour and 48 minutes, and only 7700 fans were on hand to witness it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Harvey Walken

The man who trademarked the phrase "Any team can have a bad century" passed away yesterday. His name was Harvey Walken, and I traded e-mails with his office several times last year while I was developing my site Just One Bad Century. Read his obituary at the link. He lived a very interesting life. (Among other things, he was once one of the owners of the Pittsburgh Pirates).

My correspondence with him began when we posted that famous quote "Any team can have a bad century" on our website, but we attributed it to Jack Brickhouse. Mr. Walken's office notified us to let us know that Harvey actually owned the copyright to that, and that we needed to attribute it to him. If you click on the asterisk next to the quote on our home page now, you'll read the whole story.

Mr. Walken was kind enough to send me an autographed copy of his book "Here's Lookin' At Me Kid," which includes lots of great quotes from a very colorful man (the introduction was written by Phil Rosenthal). His autograph reads: "Rick, thanks for your work on MY behalf! Any team have can have a bad century. Let's hope it's only one. Go Cubs! Harvey"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The "W" Flag

The Tribune has the rules of etiquette regarding the "W" flag. Cross your fingers that we'll get a chance to fly it at least twice over the next three days. The Cubs play the White Sox.