Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30,1949 On this day The Home-run Inside Andy Pafko's glove and and my Sister Elaine got married!

Top:Neil, My mom Sadie, Lawrie,Elaine,My Dad Hank,Toby and MarvinSitting: Allen and Jerome April 30th,1949
Andy gave me a copy of his baseball Card. The Original went for $86,000 at auction.
Andy signed my memorabilia image of him.


I have been gifted with a great recall of events during my 75 years. I enjoyed my dad telling stories of his good old days, and had the daily habit of reading the "It happened on this date-almanac section in the Chicago Tribune, first in the Sports Section and now on the Obit Page. I have my own reasons for remembering certain dates, and April 30, 1949 is one of them. My sister Elaine was getting married at the Belmont Hotel at sundown. It was a dark drizzling day. My brother Allen and I were dressed early and were watching the Cubs Game on channel 9. They were playing the Cardinals and winning 3-1, with 2 down in the top of the 9th. There were 2 men on base and Rocky Nelson at bat. He lifted a looping fly ball towards Pafko in Center and he made what appeared to be a shoe top catch to end the game. Except Umpire Al Barlick, signaled it was a no-catch. Instead of throwing the ball back into the infield, Pafko gets into an argument with Barlick, and by the time he realizes the ball was still in play, Nelson crossed home plate. There was no replay back then, because video tape had yet to be invented!

I have met Pafko on several occasions, and have had conversations about the changes since he played the game and now.  The last time he was sitting behind home-plate, and I had a ticket to the family section... that allowed me to roam the ballpark before a game. He gave me a replica Topp's baseball card (attached) wearing the Dodger Uniform. He said the real one sold for $86,000, that he said represented many years salary as a big leaguer. See the attachment. Ironically, before I became the "Bleacher Preacher", I handled the PR for the S.F. stage production of "BLEACHER BUMS".  That particular incident is part of the the play. The play ran for over a year, and I hardly ever missed a show. That picture of Andy Pafko when he was younger was part of an Exhibit given to me by the former Publicist for the Chicago Tribune, Bob Sanders, originally hung at the Tribune Tower's first floor Gallery. Then the Lobby of Little Fox Theater in San Francisco.  I turned the lobby into "Wrigley Field West".  I secured some Andy Frain Usher uniforms for our ushers. Even sold Vienna Hot Dogs in the lobby and had all 4 real Yellow Chicago Street Signs that surround the "Friendly Confines... W. Addison,N. Clark St. and W. Waveland & N. Sheffield.

My sister's wedding was beautiful, and I have great memories of that event but I'll spare you for now.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Baseball as I recall it... My Pastime! (c) J Pritikin

Duke Snider future Hall of Famer with me and unknown player 1952 or 3
My dad Hank, and brother Allen at the 1980 Cubs Opener. He did get to go to the '79 World Series and offered to take me. I told him I'll wait to go to my first World Series Game when the Cubs are playing. He passed away in June of that year.

My Dad and myself and the TV that brought baseball into our front room since 1948.

I just wanted to get the old time feeling using this image.

April 18,2012

I started to watch the Cubs game just after it started tonight on WGN. At first I didn't know who they were playing and I didn't notice a familiar backdrop. Then the cameras flashed on the Marlins home team uniform. Boring... the words MIAMI with little imagination. The Cubs pitcher Garza looked good, but I left when they showed the backstop was made of a giant aquarium with tropical fish. It reminded me when I was 13, and my dad took me to Florida. We took City of Miami / Illinois Central train for a couple of week summer vacation. We stayed at the old Sunset hotel at 3rd and Collins on South Beach. Most of the main Hotels were closed for the summer, because they were air cooled and not air conditioned. My dad was there for business on the Miami Produce Market. We visited some relatives, and took in several movies. He treated me
to several Minor League night games at Miami Stadium. The were no seats in the outfield and no double deck in back of the plate or down the lines. It was well lit, and the greengrass shined. The outfield wall had a brand new coat of greenpaint. The foul lines ran up the wall and extended 15 feet into the air and was made of bright pink florescent tubes. To me It was a beautiful new ballpark. The Cubs and Sox ballparks that I was familiar with since the mid-1940s, were already old, yet still majestic. Dad bought me a score card with the names of the players, and listed their numbers. I remember an ad for a car dealer tag-line "Just over the Right Field Fence". There were a few contest and puzzles, and lots of local advertising. The front cover had a imaginary scene of a full moon over Miami Stadium with silhouettes of palm trees beyond the outfield fence. I remember a few future Washington Senators or St Louis Brown's played for the visiting team.

The following year, The Dodgers were splitting their Spring traing games between Miami, and Vero Beach. I decided to go to the game myself, I took several buses to get there. I brought my dads Kodak camera. I took photos of Chuck Dressen, big number 9 on his uniform. I was able to get a smiling Preacher Roe sitting in his car. Somehow I was able to get about 6 or 7 Dodgers players to pose with me. Don Newcomb stood next to me in a safari pith helmet surrounded by Dodgers. Those pictures have disappeared in time. However, I still have the shot of Preacher Roe, and one of me standing with Duke Snider, and another player(attached). Can you imagine that happening today?

Just because I stopped watching the Cubs tonight because I just don't think tropical or any fish belongs at a baseball game. The only thing good, it sparked me to think about my Dad, and minor league baseball in Miami, and a time that when I was able to have MLB players take pictures of me, with some of his teammates. The Dodgers were in their home white uniforms with blue lettering and numbers... I was used to seeing them in their gray traveling uniforms when I was at Wrigley, or watched them on TV. I wished I still had the photographs. I am unable to recall the names of the rest of the players without the photos.

Now this brings to mind another Dodger story, I was attending the Major League Winter Meetings in Atlanta. I was sitting with the Bragan Brothers, manager Bobby and Jimmy, their wivws and a couple of great Southern League Association's Lady fans. Art Clarkson who owned the Birmingham Barons asked me if I would take a photo of him, and his wife with Tommy Lasorta. I was glad to. I manged to get them very close to each other and crop out the the background tables. I got a great smile from all of them, when I told them to smile on the count of 3, Say Cheese! So I started, one,two and then on the count of 3 I shouted "say... GO CUBBIES!"

Now that reminded me of another WINTER MEETING STORY. One of the nicest thing anybody connected to the game of baseball decided to spend time with me. Remember, I was in my Bleacher Preacher outfit, and wore the solar pith helmet with a propeller on it. I was sitting on a couch in the corridor, when Jim Leland who was with the Pirates then sat down next to me. He recognized me from the Wrigley bleachers. When ever the Pirates were in, he always came out to the out field wall, and talk baseball with the regulars everyday fans. We had a great baseball connversation for nearly a half a hour. What was remarkable, during that time he did not light up a cigarette once. He was known to light up quite often during a game.

When I was a kid, I always enjoyed reading about the history of the game, and about the players and mangers who made it our national pastime. How fortunate that I have met so many of my heros and greats of the game. Baseball HAS BEEN VERY, VERY GOOD TO ME and thankful for all the great memories. Today, like so many fans, I have been Priced OUT of the Ballpark at the face value of a ticket.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Category: Dust Cover Chutzpah Award Winner/2012 By: Jerry Pritikin

Every so often I go to Howard Brown's Brown Elephant Resale Store. It has a large assortment of used furniture, appliances, art, and clothing, and at the back of the shop, shelves laden with books. Many of the books are in excellent condition, and most hard covers sell for 1 or 2 bucks. Once in awhile I buy a book for a friend or for my brother, if I think they will enjoy the contents. A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a book for my brother, because the title caught my eye. He is in the mirror business. His company is now celebrating its 40th anniversary and, like most companies has had to fight to stay in business over the last 5 years. He may get something useful out of the book. The title is, The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing, by Jeffrey W. Hayzlett with Jim Eber. It was published in 2010 and once had a retail price of $24.95.

When I read the back of the book jacket and the inside covers, it reminded me of when I was a kid, and had to do book reports for my grammar school classes. I was never much of a book person so those areas were all I usually read to complete the assignments. Now, at 75, I resorted to my childhood habits. Just reading the dust jacket information made me realize that Hayzlett is eligible for my Chutzpah Award. His bio states: JEFFREY W. HAYZLETT is the chief marketing officer for Kodak. He has twenty-five-years of international marketing and management experience and has received numerous global awards and honors, including being named BtoB magazine's Marketer of the year.

About forty years ago, when I became a freelance photographer, Kodak was known as the Yellow God. Its competitors lagged far behind the company. It seems that the author of this book, in telling other businesses how to stay in business by using his award winning skills, forgot to tell his own company how to do it. Kodak recently stopped manufacturing Kodachrome film at the end of 2011. In January of this year it filed for bankruptcy and in February it stopped selling cameras after 112 years in the business.

Now that's Chutzpah!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Note the time on my computer...
Note the message about getting a homer on the first try...
Note, no matter where you guess the 3rd pitch will be, it's winds up getting hit out of the park!
Note the same result!

DATELINE CHICAGO: April 10,2012... Over the past several weeks, I notice a MLB game called WGT on my FACEBOOK PAGE. Todate, I have tried it 10 times and the results have been the same each and every time. I have managed to hit 10 HOME RUNS in 10 times at bat. I can assure you that I am not on Steroids, and I have not been stealing the catcher's signals. In fact, I tried to strike out on purpose the last 3 times. The object of the game is to guess where the pitcher is going to throw each pitch so you will be ready to hit it. Somehow the first pitch will
be taken by the batter, the next pitch will be fouled off, and no matter where you think the 3rd pitch will go, it winds up being pitched exactly there, and when you swing it winds up going out of the ball- park for a homer. After 3 homers in a row, I thought I was using Sammy Sosa's corked bat!

I do not equate this SCAM with the 1919 White Sox, however it is a scandle just the same! It reminded me when I was a 16 year old kid at Chicago's Riverview Amusement Park in 1953. On the mid-way there were games of chance, and I remember one of the "Barkers" offering me a free chance to throw a ring at a rack of clothes pins a short distace away. Each pin had a point value, and on my Free Throw I just happened to get 5 points. I was told if I managed to get a total of 10 Points that I would win one of the valuable prizes on the top shelf. There was a portable Adrimal Radio, a Waterman's Pen & Pencil set, A giant stuffed Panda Bear and a few more items that must of been worth atleast $15. bucks. And being a nice guy, the "Barker" allowed me use the 5 points that I received on my free toss. It only cost 50 cents a toss. I was already half way to victory. How could I lose? Somehow I kept getting a half a point a throw or no points at all, and won only a plaster of Paris Kwupie Doll and a cheap cigarette lighter made in Occupied Japan. I managed to lose 10 Dollars and I gave up. As I was walking away a sailor with his girl friend took a free throw... and he too got 5 points like I did on his 1st toss. He wound up losing $10. too and won a cheap prize, and then the next person also got 5 points on his 1st try and did not win any of the big prizes after spending 10 bucks and walking away with a consolation prize.

I learned my lesson back then, and I was not about to see what the next level of the WGT Baseball game was going to cost me. The formula to get me hooked was the same. I believe this License Product of MLB should be banned for their deceptive advertising practice.

Here is the LINK:

ALL of the © JERRY PRITIKIN images on this blog
cannot be reproduced, re-posted elsewhere or published without PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION