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Tuesday Morning Miscellaneous

I feel lazy this morning. So, here are a few miscellaneous headlines and other items to occupy your time until tonight's game:

  • Reed Johnson is already a fan favorite with his solid hitting and great catch the other night in Washington. But did you know that he paid his own way from Florida to Arizona when the Cubs acquired him, just so he could play in one more Cactus League game? Love that attitude.
  • Bruce Miles compares this year's April performance by the Cubs to last year's and reminds us, among other things:
    Even though April still has two more days to run, the Cubs already have piled up more runs, home runs and walks than they did for the entire month of April a year ago.
  • In this FanPost from yesterday, people have been telling their stories about how they became out-of-town Cubs fans, and that's great. You may have missed my comment there, so I thought I'd repeat it here, and you can respond in the comments to this post: I know we have posters here from Australia, New Zealand and Japan, among other far-flung places. For the poster who lives farthest from the corner of Clark & Addison (as measured by Google Maps), I'll send you some cool Cubs stuff. Post the town you live in so I can Googlemap it.
  • The Way Out In Left Field Society was created a number of years ago by Mike Reischl. Among other things, the Society has been lobbying to get an historical marker placed at 912 S. Wood Street in Chicago, the site of the West Side Grounds, where the Cubs played when they won their only two World Series. From my SABR-Chicago mailing list comes news that this is going to actually happen soon:
    William Furry, the Executive Director of the Illinois State Historical Society, [recently informed] the Way out In Left Field Society that their application for a historical marker for West Side Grounds Ballpark has been officially approved by the marker committee. Additionally, Mr. Furry related that the marker could be ready for installation as soon as June 1. We are looking forward to working with the Illinois Historical Society as well as the Illinois Medical District on the project and look forward to a dedication ceremony this summer.

    That's great news. There's a tremendous amount of Cub history on the West Side, where the team played from 1893 to 1915. UIC medical buildings are now on the site. It deserves to have that memorial marker. Incidentally, I like their description of how the phrase "way out in left field" supposedly originated:

    The phrase "way out in left field" has evolved to mean an eccentric, odd, misguided or peculiar statement or act. Although the origin of the phrase has been challenged and debated over the years, the most logical and realistic explanation comes from an extinct baseball park called West Side Grounds that the Chicago Cubs called home from 1893 to 1915. As legend has it, a mental hospital called the Neuropsychiatric Institute was located directly behind the left field wall. The Institute housed mental patients who could be heard making strange and bizarre comments within listening distance of players and fans. Thus, if someone said that you were "way out in left field," the person was questioning your sanity and comparing you with a mental patient.
  • Finally, for the WCIU-challenged, good news -- tomorrow night's Cubs-Brewers game will be seen nationally on ESPN.

Have at it.