Jerry Tiberi joined Lerner Newspapers as a graphic artist. He joined our softball team as an outfielder.
Tiberi grew up on the south side of Chicago, in an area called South Deering. I grew up just north of that area, but my grandmother lived there and I spent a lot of time there. While at Lerner, Jerry and I would often wax nostalgic about the great cookies at Calumet Bakery (they are still awesome, by the way) down there.
Tiberi was a solid softball player, but he did contribute one funny moment. Tiberi laid down a drag bunt down the third base line that would have made Rod Carew proud. The only problem was that bunts (of any kind) are not permitted in softball. Tiberi said he just didn't know. Undaunted, he stepped back to the plate and singled.
That was a good example of Tiberi. He is a lot of fun and a solid guy on and off the field. He didn't take softball as life or death, but he played to win.
Below is a great shot of Tiberi showing his excellent batting form. I love this shot because of that and because you can see most of the team in the background. Jay Riley is far left. Michelle Schermerhorn and Connie Leander (sister of Chris Connole) are above Tiberi's left arm. Farther down are Teresa and John Zgonina, Cindy Dzien, Chris Connole and Faye Leander (Chrissy's mom and our biggest fan).
Tiberi is also a fine jazz musician. I had the pleasure of hearing him play several years ago. He plays in several different combos, usually around the Chicago north shore area. To hear samples of his music or to check for his performance schedule, you can go to Tiberi's website.
Recently, I reconnected with Tiberi. He is working at Pioneer Press and is doing good. He remembers softball fondly and Calumet Bakery cookies even more so!