Extra entries beginning with the letter R…
~George Rawlinson (Cubs fan)
George Rawlinson is a Cubs die-hard, and the publisher of State Street Press. George proved his Cubs-love in 2008 when he published the great collection of essays “Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Til Next Year”. He later presided over a Cubs-curse funeral in 2009, which unfortunately did not end the curse. Luckily George was around to see the World Series win in 2016. Few Cub fans enjoyed it more.
~Randy Richardson (Cubs fan since the late 60s/Cubs author)
Randy really proved his Cubs cred when he wrote the Wrigleyville murder mystery Lost in the Ivy (which is available in the Just One Bad Century store), and he continues to prove it as a regular contributor at Wrigleyville Nation. In 2018, he added the Cubs book “Cubsessions” to his collection, another great book for Eckhartz Press. Of course, Randy is much more than a Cubs-lover. He’s an attorney and award-winning journalist, and a founding member and first president of the Chicago Writers Association. His essays have been published in the anthologies Chicken Soup for the Father and Son Soul, Humor for a Boomer’s Heart, The Big Book of Christmas Joy, and Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Till Next Year, as well as in numerous print and online journals and magazines. His second novel, Cheeseland, came from Eckhartz Press in 2012.
~Jennifer Roberts (Cubs fan)
The traffic reporter/sidekick for the afternoon show on the Mix (101.9FM, Koz & Jen) is the sister of “Cubsessions” author Becky Sarwate-Maxwell. Like her sister, Roberts is a life-long Cubs fan. On the night the Cubs won it all in 2016, Jennifer stayed up until 3am watching the coverage. In the book, she says “The final out…oh my God! I just crumbled. I was a mess of tears of feelings of relief, excitement and shock. It was a lot to take in.”
~Jesse Rogers (Cubs reporter)
Jesse got his start in radio as a producer during the early days of the Score (WSCR), but moved over to ESPN radio (AM 1000) and has become a respected reporter. He currently serves as the Cubs beat reporter for both ESPN radio and ESPNChicago.com and consistently provides excellent and informative reports.
~Henry Rowengartner (Fictional Cub Character 1993)
Henry was a 12-year old boy who became a big leaguer in the film “Rookie of the Year” and took the Cubs to the fictional championship. The character was played by Thomas Ian Nicholas, but other stars of the movie included Daniel Stern, John Candy, and Gary Busey.
~Mike Royko 1932 (Cubs fan 1932-1997)
Few Chicagoans were more closely associated with the Chicago Cubs than Mike Royko. As a columnist for the Daily News, The Chicago Sun Times, and the Chicago Tribune, he often wrote about his favorite team; bleeding Cubbie blue right onto the page. Other than a brief period when he became a Sox fan to protest the grotesque buffoonery of Dave Kingman, (one year–1980–he swore his allegiance on Bill Veeck’s wooden leg), Mike Royko was a Cubs fan from cradle to grave. On October 25, 1972, the day that Jackie Robinson died, Royko recalled witnessing Jackie’s first game at Wrigley Field. He was merely a boy then, but his recollections were chilling. Here’s a brief taste of that column…
“Robinson played first, and early in the game a Cub star hit a grounder and it was a close play. Just before the Cub reached first, he swerved to his left. And as he got to the bag, he seemed to slam his foot down hard at Robinson’s foot. It was obvious to everyone that he was trying to run into him or spike him. Robinson took the throw and got clear at the last instant. I was shocked. That Cub, a hometown boy, was my biggest hero.”
But Royko also got a souvenir that day…
“Late in the game, Robinson was up again, and he hit another foul ball. This time it came into the stands low and fast, in our direction. Somebody in the seats grabbed for it, but it caromed off his hand and kept coming. There was a flurry of arms as the ball kept bouncing, and suddenly it was between me and my pal. We both grabbed. I had a baseball.”
He sold it for $10. How did the die-hard Cub fan feel about the 1969 Cubs?
“New York didn’t need that 1969 pennant…all Cub fans wanted was that one measly pennant. It would have kept us happy until the twenty-first century. But New York took that from us and I can never forgive that.”
In 1984, when the Cubs needed to win only one more game in San Diego to clinch their first pennant since World War II, Royko taunted the Padres and their fans in his column. Needless to say, that didn’t work out so well. Yet he remained a die-hard fan. After Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Caray had a heart attack in the late 1980s, Rokyo took a turn in the team’s booth as guest announcer. He constantly tracked the team and everything associated with them. Just prior to the 1990 World Series he wrote about the findings of another fan, Ron Berler, who had discovered a correlation called the “Ex-Cubs Factor”. He predicted that the heavily-favored Oakland Athletics would lose the Series to the Cincinnati Reds. The accuracy of that unlikely prediction, in stunning fashion (four game sweep) propelled the Ex-Cubs Factor theory into the spotlight. Royko is often associated with that theory because he helped popularize it. (By the way, it was proven incorrect by the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks) His last column in the Chicago Tribune appeared in March 1997, a month before his death. His memorial service was held at the only fitting place for such an event; a sunny day in Wrigley Field.
AUDIO: Royko explains what it means to be a Cubs fan…
~Jacob Rubenstein 1911 (Cubs fan 1911-1967)
Cub fan Jacob Rubenstein was one of eight children of Jewish parents who had immigrated from Poland. He didn’t have a happy childhood. His parents divorced when he was 11. By the time he was 14, his mother was committed to a mental institution, and he was on his own. Despite his hardscrabble life, Jacob followed the Cubs. In fact, they brought him his first real chance at earning a living. Jack made it through eighth grade, then “found himself on Chicago streets attempting to provide for himself and other members of his family,” as a famous government report put it. He earned money by scalping tickets to sporting events and by selling sports-related novelties, such as Cubs banners. He remained in Chicago until 1947. During his years as a Cubs fan/entrepreneur, the Cubs appeared in six World Series. But Jacob isn’t really known for his days in Chicago. He’s better known for his days in Dallas, Texas, and for one particular day at that; the day after John F. Kennedy was assassinated. That famous government report was called “The Warren Commission Report” and by the time he was mentioned in it, Jacob Rubenstein was known the world over by the name he adopted in adulthood; Jack Ruby.
~Donald Rumsfeld 1932 (Cubs fan 1932-present)
He was born in Evanston, grew up in Winnetka (went to New Trier High School) and got his start in politics as Congressman from the North Shore, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that Donald Rumsfeld developed a love for the Chicago Cubs. He is a member of the Emil Verban Society (a group of Washington-based Cubs fans). In the book “The Zen of Zim,” Don Zimmer tells the story about the day he met Rumsfeld when the Yankees were invited to Washington.
“Roger Clemens arranged for Joe Torre, me, and a half-dozen other Yankee people to go to the Pentagon after the September 11 attacks. I remember we were sitting in the dining room where they were about to serve lunch when all of a sudden one of the Marine guards shouted ‘ATTENshun!’ I look behind me and into the room in walks Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense. Everybody stiffened up. We all got in line to introduce ourselves to him, but when I got up to him he said: ‘Oh I know who you are! I know you from Chicago!’ He told me he lived in Chicago when I was managing there and he watched all the games on TV.”
In 2003, when the Bush Administration shuffled the chain of command regarding Iraq’s reconstruction, and Rumsfeld was asked why he wasn’t consulted about that decision, he replied: “With the Chicago Cubs in the playoffs, we can find something more important than that.”In 2004, Rumsfeld appeared on US-99 radio (with John Howell & Ramblin Ray Stevens) and talked about his favorite team, the Cubs. Here’s an excerpt from the Department of Defense transcripts:
SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh, it’s just glorious in Chicago.
JOHN: Don’t you wish the Cubs were home today? You could slide by there, see the 7th inning stretch?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I checked to see if they were. [Chuckles] JOHN: [Chuckles] So as a Cubs fan, let’s ask you quickly about the Cubs. I now we have limited time with you, but it’s a big subject in this town. And since you’re a lifelong Cubs fan. Now we’re talking to you on Friday. We’ll replay this interview on Monday. Do you think Greg Maddux is going to win his 300th this weekend?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Absolutely. He’s due. He’s ready. [Chuckles]
We don’t get into politics in this feature, we only report who loves the Cubs. Agree or disagree with him about his decisions in office, that’s up to you. But obviously our former Secretary of Defense has the same disease that we have: He is stricken with “Cubsitis”.
Videos and audio beginning with the letter R…
Former Cub Lenny Randle…
Great behind the scenes video from WBBM newsradio on the day that Reagan came to Wrigley Field….
The Vulture Phil Regan remembers his minor league days…
This video is probably not Paul Reuschel’s highlight reel. He gave up the 4th homer of the game to Mike Schmidt at Wrigley Field…
The Hall of Famer played his last season with the Cubs…
Charlie Root’s daughter talks about the called shot…
Rick’s favorite baseball card beginning with the letter R…