Daley the baseball fan

On a spring day in 2004 in his City Hall office, Richard M. Daley was shown a photo taken in 1955. It featured newly elected Mayor Richard J. Daley at Comiskey Park, standing with his sons, Richard, William, Michael and John, and chatting with Sox manager Marty Marion and Cubs skipper Stan Hack.

"Oh, yeah ... I was in seventh grade then," said the mayor. "I played baseball all the time. I played catch with my dad. I was the pitcher, he was the catcher, or sometimes it was the other way around. I was 4 or 5 and we were always in the backyard throwing the ball."

Were you a good player?

"I could hold my own," he said. "I played center field, shortstop, third base. And I also did a lot of pitching."

He looked at the photo again and recalled another long-ago day when Sox great Minnie Minoso stepped on his foot. When he came home from the game his mother asked if he had gotten Minoso's autograph.

"No," he said to his mom. "I got something better. I got his spike mark right here on my shoe."

Rick Kogan writes the Tribune's Sidewalks column.

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