Fun fact: I know someone who says that when her mother was in labor, a couple of hours before midnight on December 31 one year, the doctors approached her and asked if she wanted them to slow the process down in an effort to have the baby born after midnight. “You’d make the news!” someone allegedly told her. Like most mothers, however, her response was a polite version of “GET THIS THING OUT OF ME RIGHT NOW, MY GOD, HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY ASK ME TO PROLONG THIS?!” I’m not 100% sure if that really happened — she claims it’s true — but it’s one of those things that is too good to check.
What is 100% verified, however, is that the first baby born in Chicago in 2017 will be notable for its name. We learn this from the Chicago Tribune (via Mike Oz at Yahoo):
Wrigley Rose wasn’t supposed to arrive for another few weeks, but she came into this world with two distinctions: a World Series-worthy name and the (unofficial) honor of being the first baby born in a Chicago-area hospital on New Year’s Day. After a short labor, Ellen Dalbey delivered Wrigley at 12:12 a.m. at AMITA Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village. She weighs just under 6 pounds and has a bit of blondish hair, her dad, Aaron Dalbey, said. She will go home in a Cubs-colored car seat to a pink nursery.
Oh well, whatever floats their boat. I named my kids after some dead grandparents, and in the grand scheme of things, is that any less weird?
OK, maybe it’s less weird. And it could’ve been worse. Could’ve been “Maddon” Or “Arolids.” Or they could’ve been White Sox fans and the baby could’ve been named Guaranteed Rate Dalbey.
As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.
The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.
Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.
Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.
The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.
Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.
Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.
Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.