Location:Home > news > who put seven runs on the board in the seventh inning and win the game 8-6. You want callers

who put seven runs on the board in the seventh inning and win the game 8-6. You want callers

Time:2018-07-04 18:33Shoes websites Click:

Talk What Dishes Cubs McNeil

Excerpts from the latest “Deep Dish Baseball” podcast: an interview with Dan McNeil of WSCR-AM 670 (edited for clarity and space).

Before we dive into the Cubs and White Sox, I checked out your top 100 movies list. “Rounders” was 18th — very solid — but not one baseball movie cracked your top 100?

Actually checking in at No. 94, I believe, was “The Sandlot.”

Oh, yes. I was looking more for “Bull Durham” and “Field of Dreams,” but “Sandlot” certainly qualifies.

It was difficult to keep “Bull Durham” out. I also am a sucker for old black-and-whites, and Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig in the “The Pride of the Yankees” is one of my all-time favorites. But typically I'm not a big sports-movie guy just because they’re so formulaic, cheesy and predictable. I rooted for (Roy) Hobbs to strike out in “The Natural,” and in the book he did.

Yeah, I thought “The Natural” was overrated, and “Moneyball” did not live up to the book.

“Moneyball” I didn't care for my first time through, but I’ve seen it two or three times since and (I) have a new appreciation for it. I labeled it a .240 hitter with a very poor on-base percentage when I first saw it, but I’ve had to upgrade those numbers after several more viewings.

“Field of Dreams” was too schmaltzy for you?

I don’t like “Field of Dreams.” If I would have picked another baseball movie other than “Bull Durham,” it probably would have been “Major League.” I'm a big fan. (Pedro) Cerrano, played by Dennis Haysbert, is (a) right-handed Jason Heyward. He looks just like him.

Let me go back a little in terms of you and baseball. Did you play much as a kid? I know you played football.

Yeah, I was actually a better baseball player, but I was never going to play (at) the Division I level, so in my teens I was smart enough to start getting experience writing and broadcasting. But yeah, I was a decent baseball player in the summer leagues. It shocked people. They always think I was a catcher, stout and powerful ... he has to catch. No, no, no. I had decent quicks for a chubby fellow.

I used to love playing baseball. I’m a little older than you are. Growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, we’d go out to the field just to occupy the day because we didn’t have a whole lot of alternatives. I hear people say today, “Well, you never see kids playing running bases.” God bless them, they don’t have to. Running bases was one of the dumbest games ever invented.

Who were your favorite players growing up?

I was a Cubs fan in 1969 because none of us knew who the White Sox were. They had marketing problems years ago. For a while you couldn’t find them on television, so that put them further in the back seat. But I loved Billy Williams as a youngster. I loved Bill Melton and just both teams. I spent a lot of time going to both parks as a kid, but the Cubs in ’69 ripped my heart out, (then) they had a couple more seasons of flailing.

I think it was partly due to Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall in the broadcast booth for the Sox. You also had the Oakland Athletics amid three consecutive World Series titles, and I liked that blue-collar, facial-hair, old-ballpark romance. Plus I found the American League to be more attractive, so since around 1974-75 I’ve been an American League enthusiast.

I’m thinking Rollie Fingers, Joe Rudi, Reggie Jackson ... who else on those A’s teams did you root for?

Bert Campaneris was the shortstop. Yeah, Joe Rudi was the left fielder. Gene Tenace was a postseason hero. Catfish Hunter, John “Blue Moon” Odom, Vida Blue, Rollie Fingers would close — they were a fiery group of guys and did things differently. They also had white shoes with the yellow sanitary socks and green stirrups. I just thought they were badasses.

So because of the A’s and the American League, at a certain point did you gravitate to the White Sox?

Yeah, I did. I liked Bill Melton a ton. The White Sox always could hit, even when they had bad teams in the ’70s. Dick Allen was fun to watch, and Melton was a home-run champion one year. He also played third base, which I played a bit of in Little League. (I) just loved their team (and) loved their team in ’77, the “South Side Hit Men.”

What was it like going to Comiskey and Wrigley back then?

The old “Roman Palace,” as we called it, was kind of a dump, but it was our dump. I think that’s also why people romanced the Chicago Stadium as much as they did. You get inside the United Center the first few times and there’s room on the concourse, a server in the club section, and you’re not used to those things, so it’s natural for people to repel. But after you get used to it, you wonder, “How did (we) get by without this all those years?”

Did Comiskey have a smell?

Anytime you walked in, it smelled like grilled onions.

And how about Wrigley? It wasn’t populated in those days.

Copyright infringement? Click Here!