Pretty cool story here, guys.
I have this friend Jonathan Linton who was recently married and he shared this with me.
His new brother in law, it turns out, had an experience with Keith Moreland.
Back in 1986 Tom Strauss was a 13 year old shortstop who got hit in the head with an errant throw between innings of a little league game.
He didn't know it yet, in fact he played the next inning, but he had a fractured skull that would require a couple very serious surgeries.
And it so happened that Keith Moreland lived in his hood.
A neighbor arranged to have Keith come visit Tom at home, which of course was awesome all by itself.
But Keith also gave Tom a little pep talk, and that message has stuck with Tom ever since.
If you're too young to remember watching Keith Moreland, well here's one thing I remember: On a ground ball, you know how the camera follows the ball for a second and then cuts to the play at first?
If Moreland hit a grounder, he wouldn't even be in the picture before he got tossed out. Not alot of speed. He was a guy you'd pretty much call the definition of a Cub - not super gifted, but made up for it with a little pop and a ton of hustle which is why we loved the guy.
Keith's message to Tom went like so (Tom's words): "...he kneeled down to eye level and spoke to me about having to persevere through tough things that come up, not only in sports but in life. He said all athletes get hurt at one point or another, but what separates the good ones from the great ones are the people who put in the work and have the determination to not let anything get in the way of making a full recovery or a full comeback. He said if you see things through and have the right attitude, nothing can stand in the way of success."
Tom's doing just fine now, he's a parent himself in fact, and you can read the whole story from Miriam Romain at examiner.com here.
Jonathan shared the story with WGN, and they arranged a phone call between Keith and Tom which you can hear here.
So, pretty damn cool, and just another reason to be happy with Moreland's selection as half the voice of the Cubs on the radio.
I'm still on production and of course am completely out of touch with what's Cub-happening, but I'm well aware of the earthquake in Japan and, you know, it's just awful. So... hope Kosuke Fukudome's family and friends are okay, and same with Micah Hoffpauir and Matt Murton.