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The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #297: The Opening Day That Wasn't

A visit to Ernie Banks' grave instead. Plus: Curly Neal Made Life Better; Tokyo Drift; The McCaskeys Absolutely Did Not 'Step Up;' Ryan Pace's Pathetic Record Just Got Worse; Bears Re-Sign Tyler Bray!; Biggs Time; Cubs, White Sox Minor Transactions; and UIC Screws Steve McClain.


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SHOW NOTES

* 297.

1:08: The Opening Day That Wasn't.

* Ernie Banks' grave.

* New York Times: Trump Pardons Jack Johnson.

* Daniel Burnham's island grave.

* The Athletic: A Conversation With Len Kasper And Jim Deshaies On Would-Be Opening Day.

* Wallenstein: Opening Day Requiem.

* Coffman: Missing Chicago's Game.

26:08: Curly Neal Made Life Better.

* New York Times: Curly Neal, Globetrotters' Dazzling Dribbler, Dies At 77.

32:10: Tokyo Drift.

* Bloomberg: The Five Biggest Challenges Facing The Delayed 2020 Olympics Now.

35:15: The McCaskey Family Absolutely Did Not 'Step Up.'

* Drew Brees And His Wife Donate $5 Million To Louisiana For Coronavirus Relief.

* Green Bay Packers Donate $1.5 million To COVID-19 Relief Efforts In Brown County, Milwaukee.

* Browns' Haslams Donate $1.5 Million To Ohio COVID-19 Relief Funds.

* Jets & Johnson Family Donate $1 Million.

* Vikings' Kyle Rudolph, Wife Jordan Donate 82K Meals To COVID-19 Relief Effort.

And the McCaskeys, net worth $1.3 billion . . .

Bears Donate $250K To Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund.

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38:35: Ryan Pace's Pathetic Record Just Got Worse.

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* "Since 2014, the Bears have handed out $122.5 million in guaranteed money to four quarterbacks they thought would start for at least one season. They also have traded a first-round draft pick, two third-rounders and two fourth-rounders to try to find their franchise quarterback. They haven't found one one."

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41:50: Bears Re-Sign Tyler Bray And Other Head-Scratching Transactions.

* Coffman: "Whatevs."

47:49: Biggs Time.

* "How is it not apparent that swapping a fourth-round pick and guaranteeing Foles a little more than $20 million isn't a complete admission that Trubisky is not the guy?"

* "The concern with Trevathan is durability. He has missed 18 games since coming to the Bears on a four-year, $28 million contract in 2016. The only season he got through clean was 2018, when he started all 16 games. Dating to his time in Denver, he has missed at least seven games in three of the last six seasons. So history tells you there is a decent chance he will be sideline at some point this season."

53:40: Dillon Maples Sent To AAA: Bust.

55:27: Michael Kopech Sent To AAA: On The Cusp Of Stardom.

57:32: UIC Screws Steve McClain.

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STOPPAGE: 2:59

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For archives and other shows, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Tom Chambers:

One time, Jack Johnson was speeding through town in his Duesenberg (!) and got caught for speeding. The cop said "$50 fine." Johnson handed him $100. Cop said, "It's only $50." Johnson said. "I'm going to be going just as fast on my way back through."

They changed the rules of boxing to keep out another black champ. Not 'til Joe Louis.

2. From Roger Wallenstein:

Leon Hillard begot Curly Neal, and Goose Tatum begot Meadowlark Lemon. I think I got that right. Maybe in 1952 or '53 a friend's dad took us to see them in the New Trier gym. A night I'll never forget.

Also, I think that Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton, from the South Side, also played for the Trotters and later in the NBA. I was on the WTTW crew (Tom Weinberg was the producer) that did a feature on Sweets, as Veeck, who was his friend, called him. Nat drove a yellow cab in Chicago for many years. He really was sweet. Took us to his apartment for an interview after meeting him at the taxi depot. Another great memory.

Sweet Charlie Brown is another old-timer from the South Side (DuSable) who would be a great interview.

But it was Marcus Haynes who was the first dribbling phenom.

And Wilt played one season with the Trotters. Dropped out of Kansas after junior year. NBA had rule you couldn't draft a player whose class hadn't graduated so he spent that season with the Trotters.

P.S.: The Sweetwater Clifton piece, now that I think about it, might have been part of a WGN series called Once a Star. We had George Blanca, Bill Wade (QB of the 1963 Bears), Dick the Bruiser Afflis . . .to name a few.

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