Saturday, October 20, 2018

Celebrity Jersey Cards #396 Lindsay Whalen & Sylvia Fowles

This is a regular series in which I create virtual trading cards for celebrities wearing jerseys. Today, we feature players from the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA, while working our way alphabetically through MLB.

Lindsay Whalen was a star player at the University of Minnesota. She was selected with the #4 pick by the Connecticut Sun in the 2004 WNBA draft. After 6 seasons with the Sun, Whalen joined the Minnesota Lynx and has played there ever since. She also played in the 2012 Summer Olympics, earning a gold medal, and was recently named as the head coach at her alma mater. Whalen took part on the Twins salute to the Lynx, thus earning her Celebrity Jersey Card
Sylvia Fowles starred at LSU, prior to being selected #2 by the Chicago Sky in the 2008 WNBA draft. After 7 seasons with the Sky, she was traded to the Lynx. Fowles won gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. Like her Lynx teammate, Fowles earned her Celebrity Jersey Card when the Twins had a special Lynx Night.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Northwestern Fall Ball

I spent a couple weekends at Northwestern soaking in the last bits of softball for this year. Northwestern's Fall Ball is always a fun time, giving fans a chance to get a preview of the next season.
The Wildcats had a good and exciting season in 2018. They had a nice run in the NCAA playoffs. A few years back, I never imagined watching a collegiate women's softball team on television, yet there I was cheering on Team Purple.
Fall Ball 2018 featured 6 games, although one was rained out. The games are exhibition, but obviously are important to the players.
The 2019 Wildcats will have 3 returning seniors, infielder Lily Novak, infielder Morgan Nelson and pitcher Haley Winegarner. There will also be 8 first year players.
Those "rookies" probably benefit most from these Fll Ball games. It is a chance for them to showcase their skills a bit, while getting a feel for the field and the dynamics of Northwestern University.
The 2019 season starts in February, but the first month or so are away games. They finally start playing home games in mid-March and play through mid-May, with the playoffs wrapping up at the end of May (just as the Chicago Bandits to start playing).
I will be "On the Beat" next season and I really am looking forward to it. It's always a bit cold, but the signs of spring are there and softball always warms up the crowd.
Check out NUSports.com for more info on the NU Wildcats softball team. You can also check here for recurring coverage.
Maegan Hollins, Haley Winegarner and me in Evanston, IL-October 2018.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Gritz and Project '62

A funny thing happened to me at a Chicago Bandits game last season. As I was meandering around the concourse, someone approached me, saying he finally got to meet me. I had no idea who he was on sight, but when he introduced himself I immediately knew him.
Gritz is the creative force behind Project '62. Ironically, he started Project '62 a couple weeks after I started Johngy's Beat. His first post featured Former Chicago Cubs Ron Santo and Jim Brewer.
He stated his goal as simply to chronicle his attempt to put together the 1962 set. He was self-effacing in stating that he figured nobody would be reading the blog. He was funny, but wrong about that. I always read Project '62, as did many others.
For me, the 1962 set was before my birth. I have seen many of the cards over the years, but it was interesting to see the cards posted, along with his insight. While his focus was the 1962 set, he did stray to other interesting topics.
All good things come to an end though. Gritz stopped updating Project '62 in 2016. Despite the lack of new content, there is still plenty of good reading material. He had a great 8 year run. He is still active and can be followed at @_Gritz_ on twitter.
Gritz and me in Rosemont, IL-August 2017.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

RIP Roscoe Lindsey

I had this scheduled as a separate bit about a favorite teacher wearing my Johngy's Beat short. Unfortunately, it now is an RIP piece about that teacher.
Roscoe Lindsey was my senior year English teacher at Mt. Carmel High School. It's not nostalgia which makes me think fondly of Mr. Lindsey. I considered him a favorite back in the day.
Obviously, he waqs an African American, but color was never an issue with him. He saw us all as one and we never saw color with him either. He was just a man who was always there for us.
English class was fun (or as fun as it could be) with him. He taught, without nagging. I still remember one of his favorite quotes. “Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative” was a quote by W.S. Gilbert. Why I remember a quote from 35 years ago speaks of the impact that he had.
Several years ago, thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook, I reconnected with Roscoe. Well, actually, I connected with Rocco. I forget the exact path, but at some point, he started becoming known as "Rocco." I think the story was that there was a misunderstanding of his name and it just stuck. That would be typical of him. It didn't matter. Rocco or Roscoe or Mr. Lindsay, he was just a good-hearted man.
We exchanged messages on occasion. Sometimes I would toss a gramar question his way. Sometimes he would ask me about former students. Unfortunately, a few times we shared the passing of former students.
A few weeks ago, one of his relatives posted that he had a heart attack and had passed. At 63, Roscoe was gone. I'll miss our exchanges and I'll miss just knowing that this good man was walking among us.
RIP Roscoe "Rocco" Lindsey. You left quite a legacy and made an impact. You will be missed.
Roscoe Lindsey on the East coast-November 2012.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Parker Stevenson at REWind Con 2016

Parker Stevenson had been acting for a few years and was starting to build an excellent resume, when he was cast as elder brother Frank Hardy in television's The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries.  The show, which co-starred Shaun Cassidy, was vry popular over the three season run.
Stevenson has kept busy acting since then, but he has also followed his passion of photography.  You can check out his work and get more info at ParkerStevensonShadowWorks.com.
I had the pleasure of interviewing him a few years back and that can be found at On the Beat With Parker Stevenson.  Last year, at REWind Con, we talked to him about his photography.  Actually, it started as he gave us tips when we were taking pictures with him.  It's not often I get tips from a real professional photographer, especially one as famous as Stevenson.  His work is outstanding.  He is not just an actor with a hobby.
He's also a nice guy.  He talked with us for several minutes, even remembering me from the interview years ago.  I look forward to seeing him again and hopefully doing an update interview.
Parker Stevenson and me in Bloomingdale, IL-November 2016.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Friendly Encounters: Madusa and Heather Owens

Friendly Encounters is a weekly series featuring friends who have met celebrities.

People who go to comic cons (or similar) meet lots of celebrities. Generally speaking, you will meet celebrities who mean something to you. On occasion, you will meet celebrities who really mean a lot to you. Such was the case earlier this year when Hardcore Heather Owens met wrestling legend Madusa at Days of the Dead.
Heather has been a fixture on the indy wrestling scene for several years. She's a hard worker, who can work either side, but is probably better as a villain. Outside of the ring though, Heather is an absolute sweetheart.
Heather is one of the unsung heroes at Days of the Dead. She is always busy making sure things run smoothly. While she is always a blur of activity, she always has time for a picture with her fans (like me) who recognize her there.
Heather has been a big fan of WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Madusa. I'll let her express herself here though.
What a sweetheart! 💕 Madusa is such an inspiration and just a super down to earth Classy Broad ❤ Sooo...if you are at DAYS OF THE DEAD right now...you NEED to meet her. DO IT! 🤗
The funny thing is that I could use those exact words to describe Heather. I have seen her at wrestling shows. I see the response she gets.
Basically, I would say these are two #ClassyBroads and 2 real sweethearts.
Days of the Dead returns to Chicago November 16-18. Check DaysoftheDead.com for more info. Heather will be ther, as will plenty of other celebrities. Of course, I'll be "On the Beat" as usual.
Madusa and Heather Owens in Indianapolis, IN-June 2018.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Celebrity Jersey Cards #395 Ashley Broad & Lupe Fiasco

Celebrity Jersey Cards is a regular series in which I create virtual trading cards for celebrities wearing sports jerseys. Today, we continue our alphabetical journey through all Major League Baseball teams.

Detroit's very own Ashley Gold gained fame on tv's Hardcore Pawn. Seemingly always at odds with brother Seth, Ashley's tv persona was much different than the sweet woman I met at Motor City Comic Con. Ashley borrowed some stuff from the family-owned American Jewelry and Loan for her Celebrity Jersey Card.
Wasalu Muhammad Jaco was born in Chicago, but grew to fame as rapper Lupe Fiasco. During his career, he has received mulpitpl Grammy nominations. With no known connection to Detroit, I am guess his Celebrity Jersey Card came from an appearance in Motown, although maybe he just wore the jersey for a random show elsewhere. Either way, I like the "green-ness" of this card.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Mad Magazine's Tom Richmond Loves Johngy's Beat

At the recent Wizard World Chicago 2018, I caught up with Tom Richmond, one of my favorite creators. Tom is perhaps best known for his caricature work in Mad magazine. I am the proud owner of an original piece of his, as his version of The Johngy hangs on my wall at home.
After our chat, Tom was kind enough to cut a promo for Johngy's Beat. Thank you, Tom, for your kindness over the years, for this promo and especially for The Johngy!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Mickie Knuckles and The Resistance Are Back

The Resistance recently announced their next show. The Resistance Chapter IV Silent Night, Deadly Night will take place on December 1 in Summit, IL. It will feature all hardcore matches.
When you think of hardcore, Mickie Knuckles must come to mind. Mickie will be bringing her years of hardcore experience to The Resistance for Silent Night, Deadly Night. She won't be coming alone though. She'll be teaming with Jacob Black in an inter-gender tag team battle.
As hardcore as these two are, they will not have an easy night. Maria Manic and SHLAK are no strangers to the world of hardcore wrestling. Maria was very impressive in her last appearance for The Resistance. That was at Death Becomes Her, the 8 woman Death Match tournament.
I have seen Mickie wrestle many times and I am always impressed. While she can go hardcore all night long (see the previously mentioned Death Becomes Her video), she is also quite capable of old school technical wrestling. That makes her a total package and a dominant force.
I have not seen Maria wrestle, but her reputation is solid. I have heard rave reviews from everyone at Death Becomes Her.
Jacob Black and Shlak are not to be overlooked either. These men will make their presence felt, too.
In all, this match shapes up to be a slobberknocker of a blood bath.
There is more good news, too. This is only one of the several matches for the night. It's going to be a fun, hardcore night.
You can get more information on Silent Night, Deadly Night on The Resistance Facebook page. You can also find these wrestlers on social media, including Mickie Knuckles on twitter, Maria Manic on twitter and SHLAK on twitter.
Mickie Knuckles and me (with Erin Morris) in Chicago, IL-September 2014.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Colin Lawler at C2E2 2017

Cartoonist, illustrator, comic book artist Colin Lawler is another talented creator I have met at C2E2. Colin has done sequential art, logo design, watercolors, commissions and more.
He is extremely talented and a cool guy. He states he wants to "befriend a dinosaur, consume a strict diet of ice cream and cookies, use a jetpack as my primary means of transportation, live in a lighthouse, and spend my days drawing stories." I'm not sure about his progress on most of those, but I do know he does spend a lot of days drawing stories.
One such story that he is drawing is the ongoing comic Spirits: The Soul Collector on Webtoons. It is an all-ages, fantasy comic produced by Colin and Joseph Grabowski. It is described as being about the force and energy of life. It focuses on the lives of Norah and Will, a pair of seers.
Check out ColinLawler.com for all of the info on Colin. You can also follow Colin on twitter for regular updates and fun. Also, go to C2E2.com for the info, including scheduling and guest lists for C2E2 2019.
Colin Lawler and me in Chicago, IL-April 2017.