pitch and drank more Old Style than we care to admit during an all-day rain delay.
We ate steak and drank beer in the parking lot of Soldier Field before the Dolphins-Bears yawner. We saw a night game at Wrigley Field between the Cubs and Astros. We drove in the middle of the night to Milwaukee to see County Stadium and actually urinated on the wall while discussed the final weekend of 1982, Laverne and Shirley and Happy Day, all while we listened to the Bodeans, who were Milwaukee’s finest rock and roll export. We were at Cleveland Stadium for a Brewers-Tribe game and were out on the exterior ramps trying to get WCAU out of Philadelphia because Terry Mulholland was throwing a no-hitter that night against the Giants, who had just dealt him to the Phils two months earlier. We wanted to vomit when we saw that the Hall of Fame had NO Baltimore Colts section, only and Indianapolis Colts area. We saw a young David Justice win a game for the Braves at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh one steamy afternoon.
We stayed at cheap hotels (mostly Super 8), talked a lot of baseball and listened to a lot of music.
It was a damned-near perfect week for sports, dining, travel and sightseeing.
Baseball trips and planning them became my ultimate hobby and, to this day, there’s never a trip I take without first checking out who’s in town, who’s playing and what games and/or concerts I can catch.
My time at The Evening Sun ended after almost 1100 bylines in sports and features in Jan. 1992. I came into work one night after the Thanksgiving weekend two months earlier and saw a “buy out” sheet on the wall of the sports department.
I had interviewed in a dozen places for sports writing jobs and I felt very trapped at the newspaper. I had held the same “editorial assistant” title for six years. The Evening Sun was about to merge with The Sun, and it just felt like it was time to either get promoted or leave.
They didn’t promote me — and had actually passed me over several times for someone more educated, someone who was a minority or someone who knew someone. It was a pathetic place to work in that way. It was much more about “political correctness” than it was about hiring and promoting the best people. They offered me a year of pay plus my vacation time to leave.
Looking back on it, they did me a GIGANTIC favor by not promoting me back in 1991!
On Jan. 15, 1992, I packed up my yellow ragtop Jeep Wrangler, stopped at The Sun for the final time, picked up a check for $28,000, took it to the bank and drove straight to Minneapolis from Calvert Street for a week of Super Bowl fun.
John Steadman got me two tickets on the 50-yard line and I had the disgusting experience of watching the Washington Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills to win the NFL world title.
Well, we didn’t drive STRAIGHT to Minnesota. We stopped off the first night to see Michael Jordan and the world champion Chicago Bulls take on the Phoenix Suns at the old Madhouse on Madison.
When I got home to Kane Street and Eastern Avenue, where I lived at the time, my situation was this: the Redskins were World Champs, I was unemployed, rich (I had the most money I’d ever seen in my life in the bank at one time) and ready to take on the world at 23.
And Camden Yards was set to open in less than eight weeks.