Every Cub Ever (M)

    By Rick Kaempfer
    Jan 14th, 2015
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    10506 Views

    Extra entries beginning with the letter M…

    ~Bernard Malamud 1914 (Author)
    Malamud was born in Brooklyn and was almost certainly not a Cubs fan, but he was inspired by a few players in Cubs history–namely Billy Jurges and Eddie Waitkus. Both of those Cubs players were shot by crazed fans–and Malamud wrote a novel about a great player who was shot by crazed fan. The film version of the book even has a memorable scene that takes place against the Cubs in Wrigley Field.

    ~Joe Mantegna 1947 (Cubs fan 1947-present)
    Actor Joe Mantegna doesn’t need to prove his Cubs credentials to anyone. In his younger years, Joe attended so many games at Wrigley Field, it inspired him to co-write the classic play “The Bleacher Bums.” (Photo: Original Bleacher Bums at the Organic Theater) The play describes what it used to be like to watch a game from the bleachers in Wrigley Field. In the 1970s those bleacher seats were the cheap seats, and every single game was played during the day, so the crowd was a little different than it is today. Joe and his co-writers captured it perfectly. Of course, Mantegna’s gone on to stardom in Hollywood, but he has never forgotten where he came from. He not only visits Chicago often, he brought Chicago out to Los Angeles. He opened a restaurant called “Taste Chicago.” On the walls of that restaurant you’ll see lots of pictures of Joe in Chicago, and even a picture of him starring in the SNL skit “Super Fans.” Anytime Hollywood revisits the Cubs story of woe, Joe participates. In 2004, he narrated the film “This Old Cub,” which told the story of one of his all-time favorite Cubs players–Ron Santo. Joe Mantegna is the real deal. A die-hard Cubs fan.

    ~The Marx Brothers (Cubs fan 1909-1920)
    The Marx family moved from New York to Chicago in 1909. For much of that time they lived in a large house at 4512 South Grand Boulevard (now called Martin Luther King Boulevard). The house is still there. The Marx Brothers (Gummo, Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo) were already a traveling Vaudeville Act in April of 1917 when America entered World War I. They had been touring in the south when War was declared. But the war forced them to take drastic measures: they purchased a farm in LaGrange, Illinois. Their mother had heard that farmers were going to be exempt from military service, and she wanted to do whatever was necessary to keep her boys out the fight…even if it meant becoming farmers. This is the way Groucho Marx described his days on the LaGrange farm…”The first day we got up at 5 in the morning. The second morning we dawdled until 6. By the end of the first week we slept until noon, which gave us just enough time to catch the 1:07 train to Chicago to see the Chicago Cubs play.” They became regulars at Wrigley Field (then known as Cubs Park) during the World Series year of 1918. The Marx family moved back to New York in the fall of 1920 and a decade later they moved west to Hollywood. But the boys came back to Chicago often to perform. In 1930, the same year they filmed “Animal Crackers,” they also performed the stage version of the play with the same cast at Chicago’s new Civic Opera House. Each time they returned to Chicago, they made a pilgrimage to their old stomping grounds at Wrigley Field. They may have been the worst farmers in American history, but farming’s loss was the Chicago Cubs’ gain.

    Groucho was obviously a baseball fan. Here he is with a 22-year-old Don Drysdale and his wife…

    ~Dobie Maxwell 1963 (Cubs fan/Comedian)
    Dobie has been a touring stand up comic in America for the past twenty-plus years, and though he’s from Milwaukee originally, he’s been based out of Chicago for many years. This is a great story about an afternoon in the bleachers…

    ~Michael McDermott (Cubs fan)
    McDermott is a singer/songwriter who has released many critically acclaimed albums since the early 1990s. He grew up on the south side of Chicago, but somehow became a Cubs fan. In the book “Cubsessions” he recalled his mindset while he rooted for the boys in blue. “We all create our own narrative. Mine was the lovable loser. The Cubs were a badge of honor, but it was really just an excuse for not being successful. Now I love that the narrative has been turned around and there’s an expectation of great success.”

    ~Lee Meyers 1946 (Cubs minor leaguer 1964-1967)
    Lee Meyers was a Cub minor leaguer pitcher who never tasted the show, but he certainly tasted show business. On May 4, 1966, Meyers, then with the Cubs Class A affiliate Lodi Crushers (The California League), married actress and sex symbol Mamie Van Doren. Mamie had recently broken up with Angels pitcher (and playboy) Bo Belinsky when she found herself attached to this very young man. The marriage lasted longer than Meyer’s baseball career. The lefty never made it higher than Triple-A Tacoma for the Cubs, who released him in 1967. He and Van Doren were divorced on January 3rd, 1969. Meyers seemed to be recovering nicely from the divorce after inheriting a large sum of money from his grandfather, the publisher of McCall’s magazine. Sadly, his new found wealth didn’t last long. On April 27, 1972, Meyers died in a car accident in Huntington Beach, California. Van Doren married 5 times and dated a Who’s Who of Hollywood big-wigs, including Clark Gable, Howard Hughes, Johnny Carson, Elvis Presley, Burt Reynolds, Jack Dempsey, Steve McQueen, Johnny Rivers, Robert Evans, Eddie Fisher, Warren Beatty, Tony Curtis, and Joe Namath. While she dated a lot of A-list stars, her own film career never made it out of the minor leagues…just like her third husband, Lee Meyers.

    ~The Mountain Goats (Cubs song)
    This song came out in 1995. The Cubs as a metaphor…

    ~Bill Murray 1950 (Cubs fan 1950-present)
    He’s the ultimate Celebrity Cub fan. Born into a Cubs family, Bill Murray has never stopped following his favorite team. He’s been there during the good times (?) and bad, showing up to watch them at home and on the road. In 2007, he was there for every gruesome moment as the Cubs took a long time clinching their playoff spot. The Tribune interviewed him about his Cubs love at that time. He was asked about the ridiculous theory that the Cubs would cease being special if they ever actually won the World Series. “I don’t accept that (theory), because the Cubs have already won five World Series, and they are the Cubs. Would the Cubs be the Cubs if they lost the World Series? That’s sick thinking. You’ve got to watch out for people like that. I should be watching you. Maybe you want to talk to me later about what’s going on in your life.” In 2008, he was asked if the Cubs were cursed. He said…”That curse is over. Sam Sianis broke that curse awhile ago. They keep breaking that curse. It should be done, over with. I’ve stopped blaming myself for a Cubs loss. That’s a start. [laughs] I’m am not taking responsibility for those losses.” But then after they choked again, he had a hilarious cameo on Saturday Night Live, asking the political candidates if the Cubs will ever win it all. But Bill Murray’s finest Cubs hour probably came during the beginning of the 1987 season. After Harry Caray had a stroke, lots of celebrities filled in for him alongside Steve Stone in the TV booth. None of them had an appearance remotely as memorable as Murray. Chicago will always love Bill Murray. And Bill Murray will always love the Chicago Cubs.

    Videos and audio beginning with the letter M…

    Rabbit Maranville is still in all-time top 20 in triples…

    Some bad hitting luck for J.C. Martin…

    Sandy Martinez catches the last strike…

    How about some foreshadowing?

    Lennie Merullo came to Wrigley again in 2014…

    Here Rick Monday comes to save the day!

    Moose Moryn’s catch to save Don Cardwell’s no-hitter is in this video…

    This fan was there for Randy Myers poster day…

    Rick’s favorite baseball card beginning with the letter M…

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