"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Shepherd celebrated the uncelebrated, he championed the loser. He was surely bred for it. Born in Chicago, raised 20 miles south in grimy Hammond, Ind., young Shep was loyal to the hapless White Sox. They were the only team so forlorn that their fans actually envied the Cubs' fans; who, as Shepherd said, somewhat hyperbolically, "haven't won a pennant in the recorded history of mankind"; whose all-time best player (Shoeless Joe Jackson) was banned from the sport on charges of fixing the 1919 World Series.
So a White Sox kid quickly learned to identify with those who failed most artfully, like Zeke "Banana Nose" Bonura, a lumbering first baseman with the highest fielding percentage in the league - because, Shep explained, the guy couldn't get to a ground ball, so he never dropped it. "Zeke had a fielding radius of seven-and-a-half inches.... Zeke Bonura has not flagged down a ground ball since 1934, when he was eight." When there was little else to honor, he cheered the gristly sound of a player's name. "Mike Kreevich - that's a name! This is a name that's made out of old red bricks. Used bricks - the kind of bricks you buy at the lumberyard. Got chunks of tar hanging on it, and old concrete; pieces of straw and other things, can't even discuss it. I remember Mike Kreevich standing out in center field, with tobacco juice squirting out of both ears. He's just standing there; he looks like a fireplug with feet."
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"Let's Go Go Go White Sox" by Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers and "Chicago" played by Nancy Faust on the old Comiskey organ are among the Pale Hose fight songs at FlyingSock.com. Be sure to scroll down for more Nancy Faust favorites.
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Shoeless Joe Jackson is still a hero in his South Carolina hometown, according to a report, with photos, by Stan Grossfeld.