It was 20 years ago today, August 12, 1994, that the last strike in Major League Baseball began. I was only 13 at the time, but I remember it pretty well. I remember it because, just over a month after the strike began, the World Series would be cancelled for the first time in history.
For a kid who was as obsessed about sports at the time as I was (and still am), particularly baseball, this was a crushing blow in and of itself. It didn’t make sense that there wasn’t going to be a World Series. There’s always a World Series.
What in the hell is the point of life without a World Series or a Super Bowl?
The Chicago Homer’s final MLB Draft preview will not focus on players the Sox or Cubs could take tonight, nor will it focus on players other teams have taken in similar draft positions. No, today’s preview serves no real purpose other than that of entertainment.
I went back through the first round draft picks of both the White Sox and Cubs and put together the Chicago All-First Round MLB Draft Pick Team.
Welcome to The Chicago Homer’s Mailbag. It runs once a week unless it doesn’t, and in it I answer questions from readers via Twitter or email. The questions can be about any damn thing you please, and there likely isn’t a question I won’t answer. There may be questions I can’t answer, but I’ll try.
If you’d like to submit a question for the next edition of the mailbag it’s pretty simple. Either ask the question on Twitter using the #AskTCH hashtag — as long as you use the hashtag I will see it — or send an email to TCHMailbag@gmail.com.
And now that you know how to do it, let’s get to the this week’s questions.
Lest you start to believe that I don’t care about the Cubs, I’ll have you know that I’m aware Frank Thomas wasn’t the only player with Chicago connections who will be entering the Hall of Fame this year.
It’s just that I don’t really consider Greg Maddux a Cub. I know his career started on the north side, but Maddux left Chicago for Atlanta following the 1992 season. I wasn’t yet 13 years old, and my true sports consciousness hadn’t really developed yet. I knew who Greg Maddux was, I knew he was good, and I even saw him pitch in person a few times. I just wasn’t old enough to know what any of it meant.
So the Maddux I truly grew up watching was the Atlanta Braves version of Greg Maddux. And he was the greatest pitcher I’ve ever seen, and anybody who didn’t vote for him was an idiot, even if they only left him off because they knew he’d get in so they tried to help another player’s chances.
But when he goes into Cooperstown this summer his plaque will be wearing an Atlanta Braves hat. That’s how I saw him, and how I’ll always see him.
Over the last few weeks I’ve spent too much time reading words written by people about the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s reached the point where the folks who are constantly writing about what is wrong with the Hall of Fame, its selection process and the old dinosaurs allowed to submit ballots — and let’s not forget those folks whom don’t even cover baseball anymore — have become just as annoying as folks like Murray Chase, who admit to submitting ballots solely for the reason of pissing those same people off.
I love sports, and I understand why the Hall of Fame is important, particularly to the players hoping to get in. I don’t care what your profession is, you really don’t get tired of people telling you that you’re one of the best of all time. So being immortalized in Cooperstown is certainly an honor I understand.