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In honor of actor Andy Garcia and his (unintentionally) hilarious reaction to Sofia (Mary Corleone) Coppola's death scene in "The Godfather, Part III."
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"Baseball in Chicago" Dream Documentary-cont.

Posted 04-26-2009 at 01:47 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 05-11-2009 at 12:04 PM by TommyJohn

*The "Black Cubs?" Was the 1918 World Series fixed? Unearthed evidence that seems to point this fact would be explored.


*The Federal League challenge of 1914-15 and Chicago's forgotten pennant winner-the Chicago Whales of 1915.

*Charles Weeghman and his forgotten impact on the game. It was he who built Wrigley Field and moved the Cubs there after the FL went out of business. Shrewd businessman or Accidental Genius?

*The Cubs and White Sox throughout the decades and how their fortunes ebbed and flowed-the Cubs as contenders from 1927-45, the White Sox down from 1921-50, then up from 1951-67. How attendance would fluctuate with the each team's fortunes.

*The advent of black players on the scene. In 1947, Jackie Robinson played his first game in Chicago. That same year, Larry Doby broke the AL color barrier in Comiskey Park. In 1948, 51,000+ crammed their way into Comiskey Park to see Satchel Paige. It remains one of the largest crowds to see a baseball game in Chicago, ever.

*The coming of black players to Chicago-Minnie Minoso for the Sox, Ernie Banks for the Cubs. Did they face the same virulent, hateful opposition that peers such as Robinson and Doby faced?

*The Cubs resurgence and White Sox downward spiral in the late 1960s. The vast wasteland of Chicago baseball in the 1970s, complete with Harry and Jimmy, Bill Veeck and Disco Demolition.

*The resurgence of both teams in the 1980s-titles on both sides of town and a renewal of deep-seated fan hostilities.

*Sammy Sosa-The Rise and Fall. From 1998 International Icon to 2003 Corker and suspected steroid cheat. Fade into oblivion, to the point he is barely talked about now. Why?

*A Tale of Two Seasons-the 2003 Cubs and how they crushed their fans with their spectacular playoff choke. The 2005 White Sox and how they led the league every day of the seaon until the final out of the World Series. I would not be shy and hide my bias-I would proclaim the run of the 2005 White Sox as one of the greatest seasons ever in Chicago baseball history, despite the relentless negativity and hopes for a choke.

I could go on and on. A couple of things you WOULDN'T see in my doc:

*Endless, self-pitying yammering about how God and the forces of Nature want the Cubs to suffer.

*Waxing nostalgic about the mediocrities who filled the uniforms.

*The "Curse" of the Billy Goat. My doc is to be realistic. No room for media-created bull****.

*Blabbering about how the 88 year drought was "punishment" for 1919. Again, no room for bull****.

*Ragging on Bartman. The history and the aftermath of the play would be portrayed, as it should, because it is an event so deeply embedded in the baseball history of the city. But anyone who blames Bartman, calls him names, implies he does unspeakable things to little children, and generally acts like a complete and utter dick when talking about him would not be found anywhere on any frame or strip of celluloid produced by me.

*Bob Costas

*Jay Mariotti, Harry Teinowitz, Lester Munson and other purveyors of the "I am proud to be a complete and utter Son of a Bitch" attitude.

*People I would invite to participate-the Whole Galaxy of Cubbie Fan Stars!-Too numerous to mention here, but I would want them for interviews and voiceover contributions.

*White Sox fans such as Mayor Daley, Richard Roeper, John Kass, President Obama. The White Sox being the team of choice of literary legends such as James T. Farrell and Nelson Algren would be mentioned.

*One tragedy is that several people who could contribute much to a doc like this-Buck O'Neill, Double Duty Radcliffe, Mike Royko, Studs Terkel, Charles Comiskey II to name but a few-are gone forever. What they could lend to a project like this would be invaluable.

*I would also ask people such as Les Grobstein, Rick Telander, Jim Langford and others for their support and participation. However, Gene Wocjiwhatsisname...NO.

*Maybe a few Hollywood celebs would want to participate out of a love for baseball. I would try to find out.

So, that is what I have in mind. And that is merely scratching the surface. I would want it to be as long and as epic as the Burns thing. And why not? Plenty of material to draw from.
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