Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Say it ain't Yosh

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We all knew the day was coming, but it was still a sad page in Cub history that marked the end of the lengthy chapter of clubhouse man Yosh Kawano's career -- its 65-year span going back two years before the Cubs' last pennant.

Kawano, who turns 87 in June, was removed from his clubhouse duties over declining health, a decision that apparently came during spring training when Kawano spent two days in the hospital with a foot injury. The Cubs plan to keep him on the payroll and reassign him to a more symbolic position, and they plan to honor him before a game later in the season.

The Cubs' clubhouse was named in his honor in 1984, and he was inducted into the Cubs' Walk of Fame in 1996.

But his name already has been removed from the list of clubhouse guys in the media guide. And, however necessary this move might be, it comes at a time when crusty, foul-mouthed, cash-grabbing Sam Zell has not only become the bitter face of the franchise but when the very face of the ballpark is threatened and when tackiness such as the yellow ``CBOE'' on the brick is starting to creep through the park.

Change may sometimes be necessary. But that doesn't mean you've gotta like it.

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3 Comments

I don't understant the need for the "CBOE" sign on the bricks. Would no one know these seats were up for auction without those tacky 4 letters? I think those seats would be snatched up for untold dollars without even a little publicity, much less the garrish yellow letters. Get rid of the signs and keep the money from the seats. That is the answer.


Who, besides Yosh, has this kind of tenure with the Cubs? Nobody! He's deserving of all the accolades and respect being shown him, as he has made the clubhouse home away from home for the players for 60+ years and that can't have been an easy job.

My dad played for the cubs in 62, 63, and 64. When I was a little girl, he told me that if I were a boy, he would've named me "Yosh." At the time, I was so glad I was a girl. Now it would be such a privilege. Yosh treated my dad with the same respect he showed Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, and Lou Brock. I finally asked him if I were going to be named after the little guy in the floppy hat in the dugout and he said "Yes, he was very nice to me and a good man." I bought a floppy hat at the ball park so I could be "Yosh." God Bless Yosh and his family for his dedication to the Cubs and kindness to Chuck Lindquist, #48. My dad is dying of lung cancer, and if he's strong enough, I plan on taking him on the day they honor Yosh and I'll be wearing my floppy.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on April 2, 2008 2:56 PM.

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