Monday, April 5, 2010

Friendly Encounters

This is another in a series of meetings of my friends and celebs.

Jim Gekas is a great friend. Actually, I think I might be the third Gekas brother that neither Jim nor Chuck ever wanted. I have spent a lot of time with both, discussing baseball trivia, making baseball lists and even attending games across the country.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Jim's latest endeavor. Together with his friend Tony Calderisi, Jim wrote Mr. Robinson, a tribute song honoring Jackie Robinson, but encompassing so much more. I encouraged you then and I encourage you now to give it a listen on YouTube. Baseball fan or not, you will enjoy it.
Years ago, Jim met former major league pitcher Sparky Lyle. Being a smart baseball fan, I am sure Jim knows that Lyle won 99 games and saved 268 in his 16 year career that ended on the south side of Chicago. Jim surely knows Lyle won the Cy Young award in 1977 and had a career batting average of .192.
Jim also knows that Lyle had a better mustache. Perhaps Lyle has one of the best mustaches ever. This might have been the reason Jim shaved his shortly after. Either way, good call on that, Jim.
I'll end with something I know. If you (or Sparky Lyle) listen to Mr. Robinson, you will like it.
Jim Gekas and Sparkly Lyle in Itasca, IL-Late 1990's.

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