The official user's manual for sunshine

Bush leagues: There’s baseball in them thar ’burbs

Baseball No Comments »

By Dave Chamberlain

It is a game. Nothing more.

But over the course of its 150-year evolution, baseball has grown into America’s great—summer—pastime. Though other sports during other seasons may have used the 1994-95 strike to vault over baseball in terms of viewership and advertising dollars, (specifically, basketball and football), baseball is as much a part of the typical American family’s summer as trips to the beach and amusement parks. Like hockey in Canada, it’s a cultural distinction.

And also like hockey in Canada, baseball’s talent-development system reaches much further than basketball and football’s high school-college-pro succession. Baseball’s minor leagues, more than 300 teams playing in every city from Rochester, NY to Spokane, Washington, provide young baseball players—right out of high school or college—a chance to play at whatever level they’re deemed ready. Every American-born player, whether highly touted youngster like J.D. Drew or journeyman middle reliever like Eric Plunk, starts in America’s minor league baseball system. Read the rest of this entry »

The Complete Summer

Amusement Parks, Baseball, Food & Drink, Living Arrangements, Outdoor Concerts, Parks & the Great Outdoors, Road Trips, Summer Romance, User's Guide to Summer No Comments »

Before you can say “cold front” it’ll be September and you’ll be wishing you hadn’t spent all summer watching reruns on TV. There’s a whole world around Chicago, and for three months, it’s not as icy, bitter and unforgiving as a jilted lover. The sun glistens of the concrete, steel and glass menagerie we call home. But since it’s such a pain to find out what’s going on, and to plan things, NewCity did the work. From hot air balloons to Binti the ape who save lives, we tell you where to go to make you want to sing like Brian Adams about the Summer of ’97. Read the rest of this entry »