I loved all kinds of sports—hockey, football, baseball, everything. We were Cubs fans of course. But it was mostly about staying in good physical shape, and being social with each other.
My father and I used to visit our grandfather’s apartment on the South Side every Sunday, or every other Sunday, to watch baseball. The old man wouldn’t let us in the kitchen. If I was hungry, he’d be the one who’d fix me something.
My grandfather worked until he was 95, and he didn’t until die until 117. He outlived 16 of his 21 kids. He worked on the Pacific Railroad and served in the Army in both world wars.
Baseball was his game, that’s all there was back then. But I came more for the wisdom, to listen to him talk about family. Listening was the most important thing to me as a child. I didn’t know nothing, and I had to learn something: family was important, and we should always do right. You would always learn something, if you listened. And that’s what baseball gave me.