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Cubs Win/Spirit of Billy Jurges

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1:20 p.m. April 22---

Billy Jurges is looking good.
Of course he’s dead, but on March 3 I got Chicago area medium Rik Kristinant to channel the former Cubs shortstop on his feelings about the 2008 Cubs. March 3 was the anniversary of Jurges’ death. He was born on May 9, 1908. You know, the last year the Cubs won the World Series. We held the seance at the Sheffield House, 3834 N. Sheffield in Chicago. This was formerly the Hotel Carlos.
Jurges told us things would be just fine this year if the Cubs “played for love.”
Since our seance Cubs general manager Jim Hendry acquired throwback outfielder Reed Johnson, who keeps a photo of Ty Cobb by his locker. Ace pitcher Carlos Zambrano has mellowed for the betterment of the team. Koskue Fukadome has brought the Japanese baseball tradition of grace, unity and going with the pitch to Chicago.
“The Great Chicago Earthquake” happened on April 18, registering 5.2 on the richter scale. The last time an earthquake shook Chicago shook this much was in 1968, the year the Cubs woke up from decades of hibernation and ascended to first place.
People are already whispering about 2008 post season play.
Click this link to watch our now historic meeting with Billy:

http://video.ap.org/v/Default.aspx?g=f9f1ffe4-630f-4540-b12e-38728443646b&mk=en-ap&f=ilchs&fg=email

On July 6, 1932 cabaret singer Violet Valli visited Jurges in Room 509 of the Hotel Carlos. She wanted to confront Jurges about their "love affair".............


Valli pulled out a gun and winged Jurges in the buttocks and the left hand. She blamed the shooting on “too much gin.” This event was a partial inspiration for the Bernard Malamud novel “The Natural.”
In 1949 another Cub named Eddie Waitkus was shot by another female at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. She was disturbed because the Cubs traded Waitkus to Philadelphia in 1948.
These things just aren’t natural.
Unless you live in Cubdom.
Kristinant, 52, has been a medium since he was 9. His father was one, too. A medium works with spirits. A psychic predicts things.
The hard core baseball backstory to our seance is that Jurges was placed on the disabled list after the shooting. The Cubs acquired shorststop Mark Koenig, who hit .353 for the Cubs in a 33 game pennant drive. Koneig had played with the New York Yankees between 1925-30. During that period his teammate was Leo Durocher---who managed the 1968 Cubs!
The Cubs went on to win the 1932 National League pennant but the team only voted Koenig a half share of playoff money. The Cubs met the Yankees in the ‘32 World Series. Koenig’s old pal Babe Ruth was upset at the slight.
So with Cubs pitcher Charlie Root on the mound, Ruth allegedly pointed to center field and called his home run.
But those in the know say Ruth was pointing at the Cubs dugout and calling out the team for their treatment of Koenig.
The Yankees swept the Cubs 4 games to 0 in the ‘32 World Series.
“Billy is telling me the good went away in the post season of ‘32,” said Kristinant, who had no tip off on Jurges’ background. “That’s why it never came back. I don’t know if he got kicked out or what, but the good went away. He said he is part of it.”
Chicago baseball historian/Scratch Crib correspondent Mike Reischl was in the hotel room. Only then did he mention Koenig to Kristinant. He had a copy of “The Golden Era Cubs 1876-1940 (Bonus Books), co-written by late great Sun-Timesman Eddie Gold. “Billy Jurges and Billy Herman were the only two dissenters on the vote to appropriate the playoff share money to Koenig,” Reischl reported.
“Aaaah,” Kristinant said with a satisfied smile. “That makes sense where I’m getting ‘2’s (Jurges and Herman). Babe Ruth was mocking Billy. They had words. He pointed at Billy, but I don’t know where he was playing. (Jurges did return at shortstop for the World Series). I also feel something about the Giants. (Koenig ended his career in 1936 with the New York Giants).
“Money pisses Billy off. (Koenig appeared as himself in the 1942 film “Pride of the Yankees”). Just talking about money makes him mad. Now he knows. Now it makes sense. He’s looking for his redemption. That’s what I do as a medium, is I give them their redemption. Billy, you can move on. You’re forgiven for taking Mark’s money.”
See you all in October at Wrigley Field.


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2 Comments

Hey Dave,

If the last time Chicago experienced a noticeable earthquake was 1968, should we consider the occurrence to be a precursor for a heartbreaking collapse by the Cubs for the following year? You do remember 1969? Becasue of the warning that the Wabash fault gave us in 2008, should we contact Rik and see what kind of collapse awaits for our beloved Cubs in 2009? Should I just start bleeding now? Should I assume the inevitable for 2009? I blown lead in Sept? I guess I can make vacation plans for October of 2009 that don't include a trip to Wrigley.

Mike Reischl

Billy Jurges was my grandfather and your channeling is a bunch of bunk.

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Dave Hoekstra

Dave Hoekstra has been a Chicago Sun-Times staff writer since 1985. His collection of Sun-Times travel columns, "Ticket To Everywhere," was published in 2000 by Lake Claremont Press. He was lead writer for "Farm Aid: Song for America" (Rodale Press, 2005) which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Willie Nelson inspired effort.
He won a 1987 Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick O-Type Award for Column Writing. Hoekstra wrote and co-proudced the WTTW-Channel 11 PBS special: "The Staple Singers and the Civil Rights Movement," nominated for a 2001-02 Chicago Emmy for a documentary program/cultural significance.
He lives in Chicago.

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