Friday, July 29, 2011
It's almost perfect. The great getaway to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. I found this place on the internet way back when and it looked so inviting. And then I forgot about it. Mainly because it was too expensive.
Flash forward to the last three or four years. Grandpa found it as well. He and his wife Betty takes the family up to the Osthoff every summer for a few days of swimming, drinking, drinking, drinking and a few meals.
The weather cooperated perfectly. I seem to be operating on auto pilot over there. Bring my IPOD and walk around town with tunes so I get a little exercise. Head for the one store in town and pick up plenty of New Glarus Brews. Kind of nutty having adults sitting by the pool all day long slowly getting blitzed on liquor. I don't recall my parents doing that.
Oh, yes, one complaint. We opted for an outdoor dinner that the Osthoff provided. The food was just fine. But then I found out they charge extra for sodas. Oh, come on now, the stinking airlines give away sodas. Still, a great experience for all.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
The guy in the White Sox uniform was my camp counselor when I was young. Tom Bradley, not the LA mayor, was my brother's friend in high school in Falls Church, VA. I remember hanging out with him for time to time. He was a nice guy. Now as a young kid, I got to watch him pitch for the high school team. He wore specs and wasn't bad. But he was no Buster Ellis, who was the team ace on the Falls Church pitching staff.
Of course when my brother headed to Missouri for his education, Bradley went to the University of Maryland.
Bradley, the second-best pitcher on his high school team, won 55 Major League games pitching for the White Sox, Angels and Giants. That's 55 games. He had back to back 15-win seasons for the White Sox (1971 and 72).
And then I read how he returned to Maryland to coach baseball. That's where I got my degree from. By the end of the 1999 season, he had racked up 650 wins as the coach of the Terps.
All from the second-best pitcher on his high school team.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Who writes a book when they are angry? I suppose many. It was 2003 and I was fed up. My paper had fired the great TJ Brown and in a public relations disaster let prized reviewer Virgina Gerst go.
I told Eileen I had to do something. I was going to write a book. Now how does one go about that task? First, a topic would be good.
Let's go back to 1980. My dad was dying of Lou Gehrig's disease. I had a dead-end job at the Voice of America. I had been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. But I did have that special team in Baltimore to keep me entertained. The Orioles were great. I remember that August asking my great friends Mark and Eddie to turn on the radio because Stone was pitching on the coast. He had a no-hitter in the eighth.
Steve Stone was a below average pitcher who toiled for both Chicago baseball teams in the 70s. I remember laughing out loud when the O's offered him an extra 10 grand in any year he won the Cy Young Award. The truth was he didn't have a prayer of winning that award. That was reserved for great pitchers not him.
And then he captured some magic. He had an incredible year. So that was it. I would write a book on that stunning season of his. The folks at the Lake Zurich Library were great to me while I was researching. And then good news came from the East Coast. The 1983 Orioles were having a 20-year reunion of their World Championship. Eileen blessed my trip back East. I of course hung out with H-Man and Joel. I headed to Baltimore for serious study of all the Baltimore Suns and Washington Posts. And then on that Sunday, I took Eileen's tape recorder and interviewed a good handful of the Orioles players and coaches. They had the same feeling I did. How did that Stone guy win 25 games?
I was ready to write. To be honest, looking back, my second chapter was crap. So I had to make changes. I found a publisher in Toronto who was interested. Another Nebraska publisher was excited. A self-publisher in Baltimore wanted it but I had to pay for that. They all went away. I even got a literary agent involved but he couldn't sell it. Why not? It's a rags to riches tale.
Finally after all the heartache, TJ Brown stepped up and edited the darn thing and together, mostly him, we put up for sale on Lulu.com.
It's for baseball fans. Now it's up to me to sell the darn thing.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
I know a few thing about ticket sales. I even got a 20 dollar tip in the Orioles store around 1986. But did we ever think we could choose our tickets at home and then print them?
I used Stub Hub to buy Redskins-Bears and Patriots-Bears tickets in the fall. And again to buy tickets for our August trip to Minnesota.
I hadn't really thought about it for Brewers games. That is against tradition. It was always about the fine ales in the parking lot and then stumble towards the ticket booth. But I did track five tickets on stub hub for Wednesday's day game. Heck, it said six dollars and change in the upper deck. Tim V was looking for a senior discount but six bucks was still better than that. So, I opted for those tickets. Even adding the service charge it was less than 9 bucks. Plus, I just printed them at home.
We were still late for the game as we missed a leadoff homer by Arizona. But it was another fine day riding up in Captain Bob's Cadillac. Sure, we found Leon's on the way home. And being a day game, I got home at 6:30.
Tim reported I snoozed on the way home but that's what drinking in the afternoon will do for you.