Chicago Sun-Times
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Mike Royko holds court at the Billy Goat on softball

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Mike Royko, the voice of Chicago journalism, was an everyman for the city. Living a life made of dirty politics and barstool social commentary, his voice was a familiar one telling the sometimes hard to hear story of the city he loved.

But at no time did Royko speak with such unbridled glee as when he was hanging out at the Billy Goat, talking his true love - softball. Real softball. The 16-inch kind.

In this 1982 gem, a rare interview with Slats Grobnik's best friend, Royko hangs out with the Sun-Times team, a perennial powerhouse, and talks effusively about the time when he was king, pitching the Strikers to a title on a last-second whim. And, of course, his desire to collapse, dead at homeplate carrying the tying run in the seventh inning to finish off a grand slam. And, his life, of course.

Aside from the bar stool or behind the keys of his typewriter, there could have been no more fitting place for Royko to meet his maker.

And for those of you not blessed enough to be from Chicago, 16-inch softball is different from what you play because A) the ball is bigger than the usual 12-inch variety and B) there are no gloves on defense. The 16-inch game is specific to the Chicago region, but grab a Clincher and you can make a change for the better.

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This page contains a single entry by Craig Newman published on April 13, 2010 3:47 PM.

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