Today's thoughts

Category: Chicago Cubs (Page 1 of 25)


Old Sport Shorts: Go Cubs Go! #2541

I’ve been to a lot of Cubs games in my lifetime, most at Wrigley Field but some at Sox Park during the Crosstown Classic. I’ve seen them in Phoenix during Spring Training and during Covid had tickets for games that were cancelled. Most importantly, I watched them win a World Series game in the Wrigley stands thanks to my wife and her ticket contacts. Since that time, I rarely got to see them play, living so far away and without access to tickets. Our retirement from the media business has limited our opportunities to see free concerts and games. However, my wife and I have been on a bit of a road winning streak these last few years. 

We saw them win in San Francisco with the entire family in 2017 and again in 2018 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Finally, in 2021 we all went to Pittsburgh for a 9-0 victory. Last night, it all came to an end in the bottom of the 9th against the Rays at Tropicana Stadium. A walk-off 3-run homer by Brandon Lowe sealed the loss, a first for my son in many years to going to Cubs games, even without me. I was privileged last night to watch the game with “Three Generations of Cub Fans,” including my grandson and my wife who bought us a brick with that inscription, embedded in the walkways around Wrigley Field. My grandson isn’t much of a baseball fan and in fact bought a new Rays cap just before that final blow. My son’s wife and two daughters did not join us, so their Cubs victory streak is still intact. 

I followed some other baseball last night while sitting in the stands, gorging myself on hot dogs, pulled pork nachos, and dip-n-dots. As you can see, not all was lost. We had good family bonding time and a 2-0 lead most of the game. Our area, after a persistent draught, has had a deluge of recent rainfall, while heavy showers made it challenging to get to and from St. Pete. I was glad my son was driving. Too many unknowledgeable neighbors and friends asked if the game was rained-out, not realizing that it is a covered stadium. It made for pleasant, dry and airconditioned conditions. In other MLB action, two of my favorite players, former Cub, Kyle Schwarber had two home runs for the Phillies last night, while Shohei Ohtani of the Dodgers also homered. Sadly, my White Sox lost too, their 51st of a season that’s not even half over!

“Take me out to the ballgame,” always makes a game memorable, as we all sang along arm-in-arm. “Root, root, root for the CUBBIES,” drowned out the home-team Rays chant, so a lot of fans went home disappointed thanks to the “L” rather than “W.” There are two games left in the series, but we won’t make the drive again this year, and it will be several more years before the Cubs schedule will allow them to return. Who knows when we’ll see the Cubs play again, but thanks to our Braves Spring Training facility next door, there will be much more baseball in our lives. Go, Cubs, Go!

Retirement is not without Hassles: Back on my Feet #2540

We got a pale and baked version, instead of the much-anticipated fried chicken last night, although my wife, in her cowboy boots, still enjoyed the line dancing. Several of our neighbors were there to join in the false advertising complaints against the homeowner’s association. The caterer, Publix, was apparently to blame. I left, with a bad taste in my mouth, in the middle of a rainstorm to take care of the dogs, taking advantage of the opportunity to get away from the crowded dance floor. 

The rain has continued this morning, while chair yoga has been cancelled because the instructor is not feeling well. I don’t think she was there for last night’s chicken. We are headed to St. Pete tonight for the Cubs game thankful that it’s an indoor stadium. My son bought the tickets, so I’m in charge of food. Maybe they’ll have fried chicken? However, I’m more inclined to Ballpark Franks. The dogs get to go to Schnauzerville, although we are driving back after the game. 

I have a wallet full of cash after yesterday’s successful visit to the coin shop. It was an easy transaction and I got pretty much as expected. Trust me, it will all be gone (and more) after this weekend’s family trip to Disney World, if not at the concession stands tonight. Orlando is the first stop on our way to Portland to visit friends and more family. It will be good to get away from the hot, steamy Florida weather in favor of the cool Northwest. Pizza and wine are on the agenda, as we celebrate my wife’s birthday with her oldest daughter and husband. 

I’m headed to the gym again today, a daily routine that has replaced running. I’ve been there every day religiously for over a month now along with some pool workouts, despite seeing the chiropractor about my painful leg issues. Walking still continues to be a problem, limited to only about twenty minutes. There will be a gym where we’re staying in Orlando, but I’m concerned about being on my feet all day in the Mouse Park. I should also be able to use my son-in-law’s equipment while we’re in Portland. Hopefully, three more visits to the chiropractor this week will help resolve the cramping and Charlie Horses so I can get back on my feet, please!




Retirement is not without Hassles: Memorable Memorial #2530

Another Memorial Weekend is in the books – my 73rd and counting. While remembering those we’ve lost – we mourn yet another in Bill Walton, basketball star, personality, and Grateful Dead fan. He was a young 71. My first indirect contact with him was on March 24, 1973, when he scored 17-points in a 70-59 UCLA win over my Indiana Hoosiers. I watched from home after injuring my hand changing a flat tire. It was not a good day. 

Before the announcement of Walton’s passing from cancer, we had already attended the annual Venice Symphony Memorial Day tribute at Cool Today Park. As has been the tradition these past two years, our Indianapolis friend who now lives in Vero Beach has come to visit. It was a beautiful night, capped with fireworks over the stadium. My wife and I have now seen 3-and-a-half of these shows since having moved to Florida. The first year we only count as half since we watched from the parking lot in our convertible without buying a ticket. 

We returned to the house Saturday night after the fireworks to watch the Pacers “choke” in Playoff game one against the Celtics. The Cubs also lost to the Cardinals, the Sox got beat by the Orioles, the Dodgers lost to the Reds, and the Hoosiers eliminated in the BIG tourney. Our friend’s father once played for the Dodgers, so it was not a good sports day for either of us. My wife, who could care less, took the dogs for a walk while the two of us ranted. 

Sunday was race day and we had invited a house full of people to watch. Unfortunately, there was a rain delay, but no one seemed to care with plenty of food and drink to ease the pain. The weather was ideally hot here in Florida, so we had plenty of space to entertain 40-people with tables on the lanai. It was reminiscent of the many times that we had visitors back in Indiana, stuck in our home waiting for the rain to stop and the race to start. The only problem there was that these were overnight guests, and it was sometimes days before the green flag dropped. 

Our party guests on Sunday were mostly all neighborhood acquaintances that retreated to their nearby homes once the afternoon had ended. The race did eventually run in the evening, so there were only the three of us left to watch. It was an exciting finish and our favorite driver, and son of a friend, finished a respectable 10th. The Cubs lost again to the Cardinals, as did the Sox to the Orioles, and the Dodgers to the Reds. 

Holiday Monday finally arrived with more baseball losses and the Walton shocker. Although I never met Bill in person, I’ve certainly followed his career. My Portland friends knew him from the time of his Trailblazers championship, so they were lamenting his passing in our text messages. We enjoyed the day by the resort pool, eating leftovers from the party. I left early to tend to the pups. A Zoom call with Indianapolis friends filled the evening before a final Pacers loss on top of more Cubs and Sox shortcomings. At least, the Dodgers mercifully were rained out against the Mets. They will all try again today, but the Pacers are done for the season.

With a memorable, long weekend behind me, I return to Chair Yoga this morning, followed by another trip to the gym. With my surgery, I have not been to class since January, while the gym these past few weeks has given me some stamina. I could tell how sadly out of shape I am, struggling breathlessly to negotiate all the stadium steps the other night. I obviously have a long way yet to go in recovery. The girls are headed to Boca Grande beach this afternoon after Aqua-Fit class. I’ll be in charge of the dogs. We’ll dine in tonight but tomorrow night will be our friend’s 69th birthday celebration. We’ll then probably do it all again next year for her 70th – just another of many a “Memorable Memorial!”




Old Sport Shorts: Sell not Accumulate #2524

It’s the middle of May and the start of the WNBA regular season, while the NBA playoffs begin to wind down. The Indiana Fever and Caitlin Clark had a tough debut against the Connecticut Sun, while the Indiana Pacers failed to maintain their winning momentum and fell badly to the Knicks. Shohei Ohtani had another big night at the plate for the Dodgers, while the Cubs lost to the Braves and the Sox split with the Nats. The Phillies and Kyle Schwarber were the first team to 30-wins, while the White Sox joined the Marlins in the 30-loss club. I.U. baseball plays the final series of the regular season against Michigan. Alex Palou won the Indy Grand Prix, in preparation for the upcoming Indy 500. That’s about it for me in the world of sports. 

I just added my 250th item to the Sherm Lollar collection, a couple of more magazine clippings from 1947 and 1962. His #10 White Sox uniform hangs in my office, along with a photo/plague, catcher’s mitt, signed ball, and tribute cups. The rest of the items are organized from 1945-1970 in three big binders, the span of his career as a player, coach, and manager. It may very well be the largest collection of his memorabilia in the world – if anyone cares. I still contend that he should be in Cooperstown, but that includes a long list of worthy candidates. He’s been in my heart since childhood but died of cancer at age 53.

My other collection is baseball cards, also mainly in binders. I did get a bit carried away with my Topps Now purchases of Shohei Ohtani cards. I’ve captured his U.S. career starting with his rookie debut with the Angels and leading up to the more recent Dodgers. He’s wowed us with his pitching and hitting, often compared to Babe Ruth. This year he’s on a quest for .400 and the triple crown, taking a break from pitching after surgery. I’ve amassed about 125 of his cards, captured at various stages of his young career. They are for sale and on display at a local Venice card shop, Blue Breaks, and have even been to Japan in search for a buyer.

I maintain binders full of Cubs and White Sox cards, that follow the careers of Kyle Schwarber, Javy Baez, Chris Sale, Joan Moncada, Luis Roberts, Elroy Jiminez, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, and the 1959 American League Champion White Sox that began my interest in card collecting. I’m at the point in life now where I’m more in the mood to get rid of things rather than accumulate. 


Old Sport Shorts: Pick ‘Em Poorly #2403

We choose our teams from the area where we live, the schools we attended, and outside influencers that cross our paths. I grew up in the Chicago area (northern Indiana) with a father that was a Detroit sports fan and neighbors that were Bears and White Sox supporters. My folks graduated from Indiana University and even baby pictures showed me in I.U. gear. They were able to win for many years with even me as part of their fan base but have fallen on hard times over the past 35-years of my life. 

The Elkhart High School Blue Blazers were my hometown favorite. The only Indiana professional sports franchise was the Pacers, until the Colts showed up in the middle of the night. Nowadays, there are women’s teams and minor league teams, but the state is still primarily influenced by Chicago, St. Louis, and Cincinnati teams. Hockey and soccer were not of interest to me until later in life, while I began to follow the Cubs since my dad and son were big fans. With my record of losers, I’m sure I’ve done them no favors in climbing on the bandwagon.

As a kid, I was drawn to players like Johnny Unitas of the then Baltimore Colts, Sherm Lollar of the Chicago White Sox, and Mike Ditka of the Bears. These attractions were likely due to the influence of television. For Lollar, it was the 1959 World Series against the Dodgers. Unitas joined the Colts in 1959 and Ditka the Bears in 1961, all in my vulnerable pre-teen years when I established initial fandom. “Johnny U” was the only one on a team outside my geographic circle. Ironically, the team moved to Indianapolis, as Peyton Manning eventually took his place in my heart, wearing that classic white helmet with the blue horseshoe. My dad talked me out of being a Yankees fan, despite my love of Mickey Mantle. They wouldn’t have probably won as many rings if I had stayed on board. 

Of all my teams, Indiana University basketball under Bob Knight is undoubtedly my most successful sports allegiance, witnessing three national titles, the most memorable in the stands when Keith Smart hit the winner. If I had chosen Notre Dame or Purdue, I would have seen personal glory in other sports, particularly football. I’ve tried to root for these teams, but negative childhood vibes have gotten in the way. It’s odd, because I’ve worked near both campuses and have had personal ties, so I should naturally be more supportive. My cousin played for the Irish and his father was an assistant coach, so it was the first stadium I ever visited, one of my treasured memories of going to games with my dad. I also interacted with Purdue coaches, like 
Tiller and Keady, and players such as Drew Brees, but my dad hated both schools, so I loyally followed along. 

As we moved from place to place, I adopted the local teams, but only rarely was it productive. The Illini were much less successful than the Hoosiers. While living in Austin, I did watch the Texas Longhorns win a College World Series title on TV and then saw live and in person the Oregon State Beavers equal that baseball achievement in Omaha, while working in Portland. I also followed the Portland Timbers when they won the MLS championship in 2015. The Oregon Ducks had their moments in football and basketball, but never won all the marbles. I even favored the Mariners in nearby Seattle, but they remain the only MLB franchise to have never played in a World Series – my kind of team. The Seahawks won the Super Bowl in 2013 but have been unable to repeat since I became their adoptive fan. 

Most all my favorite memories of my father are around attending sporting events, including the infamous “Hamburger” outburst. We went to high school games, ND Stadium, Comiskey Park, Riverfront, and Wrigley Field together. Saw “The Monster” explode with fireworks, celebrated those NCAA Championships of our IU Alma Mater, had lunch with Jim Coker of the Phillies, watched an angry Lou Pinella throw first base at an umpire, and witnessed Sammy Sosa top Babe Ruth’s HR record. Outside of sports, I remember carving our YMCA Indian Guides totem pole, along with a related overnight campout and our pinewood derby entry. We also traveled to Akron as a family to watch my good friend Tim Steffen compete in the Soap Box Derby nationals. Who could ever forget our lengthy station wagon journeys to Yellowstone, Wall Drugs, Mackinac Island, The Wisconsin Dells/Locks, Mt, Rushmore, Englewood, FL, and Gulf Shores. 

I never had success in the fantasy leagues or on betting in general, too often choosing players that ended up injured or performed poorly. I tried to stay out of my son’s selections, even though he invited me to be part of his team, a mistake he will learn to regret. We’re off to a bad start. Unfortunately, like father – like son. 

As far as professional sports, I have only gotten small doses of victory, otherwise it has been a miserable relationship. The Pacers have never won an NBA title, but the Colts did win a Super Bowl in 2007. Unfortunately, it was against my Bears, so it was a game of mixed emotions. The Bears won it all in 1986 and I reacted with my own “Super Bowl Shuffle.” The White Sox finally won rings in 2005 and the Cubs did it in 2016, games I was able to attend. That’s only 3 Chicago titles in 60 years of following these teams. That’s 171 losing seasons, including this year. The Bears are already 0-3, while the Cubs have dropped their last four as a potential playoff contender, and the long ago eliminated White Sox have only won four of their last ten. I logically should have been an obnoxious Bulls fan, but I spared them the “Johnston Jinx.” I really know how to pick ’em, don’t I? 

Old Sport Shorts: Get Hot Now #2397

I’ve done too much whining about my health lately, so I need to change gears and move forward. Sports have always been a great distraction, so my Saturday started with College Gameday. For a first time in years, Alabama doesn’t seem to be much of a factor, much to the dismay of my half-sister. Maybe the BIG Ten Conference will be a factor in determining the national champion. It’s been nine years since Ohio State won it all. They also did it 2002, and Michigan claimed half the title in 1997, while Nebraska was #1 in 1995 and Penn State victorious in 1986, prior to both joining the conference.  The South has prevailed!

IU plays Akron this evening in a must win game to even have a small chance for a Bowl bid. Purdue is equally impotent after a conference loss to Wisconsin last night. Moving to the West, I will enjoy watching the Oregon Ducks battle Colorado in afternoon “Prime Time.” At least the Buffalos have made college football interesting under the influence of Deion Sanders, a man who lacks no confidence. Former IU QB Michael Penix, Jr. is now a Heisman Trophy favorite after transferring to the University of Washington two years ago. Both Oregon and Washington are soon headed to the BIG, with the hope that more member teams will eventually put the conference in the CFP picture, or will the South rise again?

Going South seems to work for baseball and football, where warmer climates mean more outdoor practice time. Fortunately, basketball is an indoor sport, so Indiana still has a chance to return to greatness. Geographical advantages regarding sports do not extend to the Pros, although Tampa Bay and New Orleans has made the South Superbowl proud. As for baseball, Houston and Atlanta are recent World Series winners and current contenders from South of the Mason-Dixon Line. The Cubs could use a little Southern Comfort and Hospitality in Atlanta next week after a slippery September. They are in danger of finishing the season like they started it – poorly (going South). As they say down there, “Ya’ll get hot now, you hear!” 

Old Sport Shorts: Relevant No More #2391

I’ve only managed 41 posts in the last 90 days, less than once every two days and far from my initial daily retirement commitment. I’m definitely slowing down in old age with little eventful to write about and a lack of motivation. The Georgia Southern vs. Wisconsin football game is apparently more important to the BTN viewers than the IU vs. Louisville match-up. Another slap in the face to Hoosier football, as I’m forced to watch the stats on the app, as was the case with IU soccer last night in their BIG opener against Wisconsin. I didn’t miss much since the game ended in a 0-0 tie. Plus, IU has yet to sign a player for next year in basketball, as top recruits continue to visit the facilities, but no one as yet committed. Am I worried yet? The first of the targets, Jaedan Mustaf, just signed with Georgia Tech.

Shohei Ohtani has just cleaned out his locker in Anaheim and is headed back to Japan- his season over and future in question. I have one more card coming in the mail, touting his stolen base and home run achievements, but injuries have not allowed him to fulfill record expectations. Will he have surgery and land with another team next year? Is his 2023 MVP crown now in jeopardy?

Can the Cubs hang on to the Wildcard and somehow make one last run against the Brewers for the division crown? The Brew Crew has gone 7-3 in the last 10 games while the Cubbies, while I’ve been paying attention, have slipped to 4-6. I should probably shift my allegiance to Milwaukee to put the jinx on them. My fortunes in sports continue to lead to disappointment. The poor play of Da Bears and reduced expectations only adds to this despair. Fantasy team injuries could jeopardize this week’s match-up with “Listed as Questionable,” a team name synonymous with my lack of luck. I need some good news to pick up my spirits that are bogged down with medical concerns and restless nights. 

I had another rough night’s sleep between many trips to the john and fears of my computer/phone being hacked. MonopolyGO continues to be a welcome distraction. This evening I’m spending with a group of satisfied UConn fans, defending NCAA Basketball Champs. It’s been 36-years since I’ve had that glow about me. At least, the Patriots are struggling this year, to keep them somewhat humble. My lineup of teams don’t seem to be relevant anymore!

Old Sport Shorts: Happy Birthday Sherm #2383

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Sherm Lollar. Today, August 23, 2024, would have been his 99th birthday. Sadly, he died at the very young age of 53, 46-years ago. I’m at the Louisville Slugger Factory today diligently looking for any signs of his existence but couldn’t find a bat or plaque anywhere. I checked the vault and the wall of signatures but to no avail. I did get to swing an Eloy Jimenez bat, the only current White Sox player with a stock of lumber at the factory. I also tested the weight of bats used by former Cub players Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant, but the heaviest by far was the Babe Ruth model. 

They gave us mini bats for taking the tour and we had a penny flattened with the Slugger logo. My wife bought a magnet and an “It’s All About The Wood” t-shirt as additional souvenirs. My good friend Peter Browning had me check out the first custom bat ever made there, with a “Pete” Browning signature from 1884. He was the original “Louisville Slugger” before the company trademarked the name in 1894 “to honor his patronage and capitalize on his fame.” He was also dubbed “The Gladiator” and played for the local semipro team, the Louisville Eclipse, but helped coin the “Pirates” nickname in Pittsburg due to an 1891 player strike when he and several other players were accused of piracy after signing contracts while theoretically under the control of other clubs. He is one of many famous players who should probably be in the Hall of Fame. 

I do have a #11 Luis Aparicio Louisville Slugger in my collection and a #35 Frank Thomas manufactured bat from Hoosier, both players enshrined in Cooperstown. I’ve seen bats autographed by Sherm Lollar from Adirondack and H&R (Louisville Slugger parent company Hillerich & Bradsby) for sale on eBay. It’s one of the few items I don’t possess in my Lollar collection of cards, photos, articles, mitts, balls, caps, uniform, and trinkets. Few can probably rival my extensive inventory of memories from his illustrious two-decade plus catching and coaching career with the Indians, Yankees, Browns, White Sox, Orioles, A’s, Iowa Oaks, and Tucson Toros. He’s surely crouched behind Heaven’s Home Plate – Happy Birthday, Sherm!

Retirement is not without Hassles: The Games People Play #2378

We finally got some rain last night, as thunderstorms swept through the area. Our lawn and garden got some necessary natural hydration, giving our water bill a bit of a break. It was apparently still too hot for the Philly Cheesesteak food truck, disappointing my taste buds. Imagine cooking in a tin can with temperatures near ninety degrees. We thawed out some chicken noodle soup instead and streamed more of Designated Survivor. “Netflix and Chill” – retirement style. 

Earlier in the day, I watched Da’ Bears win a preseason game against the Titans. No big deal to most but a rare win in my book. Next Saturday they play the Colts. I’ve followed the White Sox to their doom this year and am trying not to jinx the Cubs by continuing to ignore their recent success. Although not an Angels fan, I seem to have paid too much attention to Shohei Ohtana and consequently have him in a slump. USA Women’s soccer was a disappointment and IU basketball recruiting seems to be at a standstill, although attracting national attention. I did see that Hoosier soccer waso  optimistically preseason ranked at #2. Not much word on football, so better than getting my hopes up. 

We’re two weeks away from the drive to Indianapolis, with some arrangements yet to be made. Our Louisville stop on the way there is somewhat contingent on getting together with some folks that we met on the Nile River Cruise. On the way back through Huntsville, we have to cement some plans with my half-sister and need to reserve a room in Tallahassee. Part of this excursion will be to celebrate my 72nd birthday.

I’ve just recently added the game of Monopoly GO to the list of silly games that I play on my phone. With all the time I waste with them, I hope they are at least keeping my mind sharp and dementia-free, as advertised. It all started with 7 Little Words many years ago, replacing crossword puzzles and Sudoku. I then added Solitaire, where animated fireworks were the only reward, upgrading recently to Solitaire Cash. I’ve yet to win any of the “thousands” that others are supposedly collecting. I occasionally use the $10 cash I earn every month by sharing my phone data with MobileXpression, but it hasn’t resulted in any big payouts. I also play Wordle every morning, with a current streak of 110, hoping to surpass the previous record of 119. Oh, the games people play!

Old Sport Shorts: Ohtani #2372

It’s been over two months since I’ve written anything in this Old Sport Shorts category. Without I.U. basketball to get me riled up, there’s been little to report. I had all but given up on the Cubs and the White Sox have been cursed with injuries. I did do a Sports Card show a month ago and began to think about the increasing value of my Shohei Ohtani baseball card collection. Plus, my great niece is in Japan playing in the Pony League World Series – they lost the championship game to the Japanese girls – I watched via You Tube. They are baseball crazy over there!

Since I’m a lazy researcher, I often rely on Wikipedia for information. “Baseball was first introduced to Japan as a school sport in 1872 by American Horace Wilson, an English professor at the Kaisei Academy in Tokyo. It is currently Japan’s most popular participatory and spectator sport. Nippon Professional Baseball players such as Shohei Ohtani, Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, Shigeo Nagashima and Sadaharu Oh are regarded as national stars, and their exceptional performances have boosted baseball’s popularity in the country.”

Shohei Ohtani has already proven to be one of the best baseball players of all time with Babe Ruth like statistics. I went to see him play in Anaheim back in April of 2018, his MLB rookie season. “He previously played for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball’s (NPB). Following an injury-plagued 2019 and 2020, Ohtani would go on to have a 2021 season widely considered to be historic, as he became the first in the history of MLB with 10+ home runs and 20+ stolen bases as a hitter and 100+ strikeouts and 10+ pitching appearances as a pitcher in the same season while also holding at least a share of the major league lead in home runs in 14 starts. For his efforts, he was awarded the 2021 American League Most Valuable Player Award. He followed this in 2022 by becoming the first player in the modern era to qualify for both the hitting and pitching leaderboards in one season, reaching the thresholds of 3.1 plate appearances and one inning pitched per game with 586 at bats and 166 innings pitched.”

The 29-year-old Ohtani then went on to lead his Japanese team over the USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic and currently tops the majors with 40 home runs, coupled with a .310 batting average, a 3.32 ERA, and 9 pitching victories. I have documented his career with Topps Now cards, accounting for most of his significant highlights. These cards are released for only a 24-hour period and currently sold for $10.69 including shipping and tax. I currently own about 93 of these cards (22 labeled RC – Rookie). He’s made three consecutive All-Star appearances, so I also have the starting player line-up cards for each of these years. The rarest of the collection is probably a parallel (alternative version #1 of 10 total printed) card of his 2-HR game 6/25/2021 against the Rays. 

I will continue to collect these Ohtani highlight cards for the rest of this year, along with some Cubs and hot up-and-comers. Ohtani will probably be walked a lot down the stretch since Mike Trout is injured. For this reason, it will be tough for him to top Ruth’s HR mark. As the Angels continue to struggle, from a pitching standpoint, it will also be a challenge to earn wins without run support. Hopefully, once the season is over he’ll be traded to a contender. At that point, I will sell my card collection. As for the surprising Cubbies, they are currently only two games behind the Brewers, so I will continue to ignore them for fear of jinxing their chances. 



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