Thursday, November 3, 2016

That Toddlin' Town

Fly the W!

Can you guess who won Game Seven?

Although the first six games of the 2016 World Series lacked much drama, the same cannot be said for Game Seven, won by the Cubs 8-6 in 10 innings at Progressive Field
in Cleveland.

For a confirmed baseball fan such as myself, the end of the World Series is always bittersweet. It seems like spring training is years away. But this season certainly gave us some historic events to savor, not the least of them being...

"I feel bad for Cleveland, but maybe they will end their drought next season."

If you had teeth, I'd tell you to bite your beloved Kansas City Royals will win it all again next season...

Money Can't Buy Baseball Happiness

Too many baseball fans like to grumble about how money is ruining the game, that rich teams just "buy" themselves championships, etc. As a lifelong fan of the small-market Kansas City Royals, there were long stretches of time where I was one of those grumpy complainers as well. But it simply isn't true these days.

Next time you bump into someone bitching about rich baseball teams "buying" their championships, tell 'em they're full of brown stuff. The trend definitely seems to be favoring younger teams with smaller payrolls. Look at the payroll ranks for the last few World Series contestants...
  • 2016 - Chicago Cubs (No. 14) defeat Cleveland Indians (No. 24)
  • 2015 - Kansas City Royals (No. 16) defeat New York Mets (No. 21)
  • 2014 - San Francisco Giants (No. 7) defeat Kansas City Royals (No. 19)
"So a World Series title doesn't go to the highest bidder?"

Not even close...and that is a good thing for baseball fans everywhere...

Feast Day

Today is the feast day of St. Martin de Porres, a lay brother of the Dominican Order best remembered for his work on behalf of the poor and for the cause of racial equality.

Martin was beatified in 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI, and canonized in 1962 by Pope St. John XXIII.

Among his many patronages, Martin is the patron of his native Peru, people of mixed racial heritage, and the poor.

Happy Birthday

Feller in 1948
On November 3, 1918 Robert William Andrew Feller was born in tiny Van Meter, Iowa.

The prodigiously talented Bob Feller went on to have a Hall of Fame career pitching for the Cleveland Indians, and in fact was on the team the last time the Indians won the World Series in 1948.

Just how good was The Heater from Van Meter? Honestly, when you look over his career the things he accomplished barely seem possible...

At Long Last

From the pen of Scott Stantis, editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune.

I know, old, too...hard not to be happy for Cubs fans...even if their team does play in a shitty league...

Until Next Time...

I should have known. After the Indians won Game Four of the World Series to take a three-games-to-one lead, I had a song already picked out for this section of the blog for the day after they won it all. Probably what caused them to go on the three-game losing streak...

Instead, I'll tip my cap to the Cubs with a selection from their city's namesake band. Chicago has,
after all, sold more records than
any American band other than the Beach Boys. What better group
to celebrate the new champions
of America's Pastime?

As I have noted in this space before, The Chicago Transit Authority appeared on the scene in late April 1969, as my sophomore year of high school was winding down.

I was enraptured by their sound right away, and practically wore out the vinyl listening to the album obsessively. Nobody sounded like these guys. Of course I shared my enthusiasm with everyone I knew, with decidedly mixed results.

Their debut double-album's first track was "Introduction," the only song on the record written by guitarist Terry Kath, and one of the few featuring him on lead vocals. Even now it is hard to overstate what a revolutionary act that song was. At 6:35 in length it had no shot at getting any AM radio airplay (it wasn't until nearly a year later that the band's label began releasing radio edits from their first two albums), and it was anything but "catchy."

It certainly caught me, though. I became a lifelong fan of the band due to this recording, and it still gets regular listens.

Today's send-off is the 2002 remaster of the very first Chicago song I ever heard. Enjoy...

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