April 5th, 2012

Loon

Baseball?

So, the Cubs season started today. I actually caught a bit of the game ... one out's worth ... top of the 8th, Cubs up by 1, 2 outs, runner on 1st ... Kerry Wood is called in to get the last out of the inning. The runner steals second. Woods walks the batter. Woods throws a wild pitch, runners advance to second and third. Woods walks the batter, loading the bases. Woods walks the batter, sending home the tying run. Finally, Woods gets a batter to ground out. (Cubs lose in the 9th.) THAT was my exposure so far to the new 2012 Cubs. It may be a long season.

Actually my "baseball season" started last night. I snapped that pic of Claes Oldenburg's "Batcolumn" on my way over to the Third Rail Tavern for the book release party for Jimmy Greenfield's 100 Things Cubs Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, which apparently is part of a series of similar titles from Triumph Books. Jimmy is the manager of the Chicago Tribune's "Chicago Now" blogging site, which (of course) is where The Job Stalker resides, so I know him pretty well from that (although, I have to admit, there weren't massive numbers of Chicago Now bloggers out at the event). There were quite a number of Tribune folks out for this, however, including Amy Guth (the Trib's Social Media editor), who's in the picture here with Jimmy (shaved head). It seemed like Jimmy's family was out in force, along with folks "from the neighborhood", etc. all of which were quite avidly buying copies of the book and getting Jimmy to sign and dedicate them (I'd gotten there early and had parked myself at the table with the books, so I had a "front row seat" as it were).

As regular readers of this space will recall, I spent a decade running my own publishing house, and so it was quite encouraging to see so many people forking over cover price to Jimmy for the book. I used to beg my authors to get more involved in moving their books through signings and events and stuff, and this was a perfect example of why. I, unfortunately, in my endless purgatory of unemployment, didn't have the cash budgeted for picking up a copy for myself, but did get a chance to flip through it, and it does look very entertaining ... the Tribune has an interview with him up on the web, which goes into some detail on the book, so you should check that out.

It was fun getting to swap "Cub lore" with some of his buddies ... it turns out that most of them had also been at Wrigley on 8/8/88 for the first night game (which got rained out, so technically the "first" night game was the next day). Back in the day (somewhere between '86 and '96) I had first weekend season seats to the Cubs, and then weekend and night season seats, so spent a lot of time up in and around "the friendly confines". It kills me to think that my old seats (which were awesome, on the first row of Terrace Reserved, right on the end by the stairwell), which initially cost me $5 a piece, are now going for as much as $47 a game!

Anyway, you should check out Jimmy's book. And, if you want to see the above pictures bigger (having them display as 100x100 thumbnails just worked better for this posting), just give 'em a click ... the inside ones look like crap since I took them with my phone, but the "Batcolumn" one is pretty sweet full size!


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