• National Anthems

    Singing 4 the Cubs: Boise Hawks

    When I created this Singing 4 the Cubs campaign, I knew it would take a lot of planning. Assuming I can get an invitation to sing at each of the ballparks (and there’s no certainty of that – I only have three confirmed stops on my map), the biggest question is how will I get to those ballparks? Drive? Fly? Singing for the Tennessee Smokies was easy enough; it was just a 3.5 hour drive from our home in southwest Nashville. Singing in the other cities will take more planning, a little luck and a lot of Southwest Airlines points. Still, as I scheduled my flight to sing the National Anthem for the Boise…

  • National Anthems

    Singing 4 the Cubs: Tennessee Smokies

    It’s moments before I am introduced as the game’s National Anthem singer and I am standing just off the grass, singing the first lines of the song over and over again. Every so often, I blow the note D3 on my pitch pipe. That’s the D below middle C, my starting note. Today I’m in Sevierville to sing the National Anthem for the Tennessee Smokies, the Double A team in the Chicago Cubs organization. It’s the next stop on my quest to sing the “Star Spangled Banner” for all the teams in the Cubs’ farm system. You see, I love to sing the National Anthem at baseball games. Even more…

  • National Anthems

    The First Time

    The first time I ever sang the Star Spangled Banner as a soloist was at a Little League game in Bellevue. It think it was the end of the season, perhaps the playoffs, so Terry wanted to do something out of the ordinary. Umpire and friend Dean Riordan recommended me for the task. I was happy to oblige. I climbed the rickety wooden “press box” above home plate and got ready to sing.  Nervous butterflies danced in my gut, though I was happy that I remembered a printout of the lyrics, which I could sing from without anyone noticing. After Terry’s introduction, I took the microphone, blew a tone on my…

  • Reel Life Journeys

    It takes strong faith and a sincere heart to cheer for the Cubs

    Two weeks ago (in 2007) I was at Wrigley Field in Chicago, watching the Cubs beat the Pirates and step toward the playoffs. As I drove home, I imagined conversations that might be heard if a Chicago sports talk program aired on a religious radio station. Good morning, this is Father Michael Patrick O’Connor talking to you live from our studio and devotional chapel on Waveland Avenue, overlooking the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. Go ahead, caller, you’re on the air. Caller 1: Hello Father Michael, it’s Cathy from Elgin. I have been a Cub fan all my life, but some of my friends have lost faith in the Cubbies.…

  • Featured Posts,  Reel Life Journeys

    Baseball delivers strong personal & family values

    “I believe in the church of baseball.” – Bull Durham You can learn a lot through baseball. I don’t mean the easy stuff, such as wrapping a rubber band around your well-oiled glove with a ball inside and placing it under your mattress all night to break it in; or never putting your favorite Mickey Mantle baseball card in the spokes of your bicycle. Save that noisy and destructive place for a Dick Tracewski or a Clete Boyer. I mean the hard stuff – the life values that many people spend their whole lives trying to understand. If they had only played baseball, they would have quickly learned how to……

  • Reel Life Journeys

    Fathers and sons love on the same frequency

    Dear Dad, I watched a really good movie last week with Tommy – Frequency, starring Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel. It came out in 2000 – did you ever see it? Tommy gave the film high praise, so I really wanted to watch it with him. As you know, it’s important to share special moments with your children because you never know how many you’ll have. The story is set in New York City in 1969. Frank Sullivan and his son John are huge Mets fans. Poor souls. Lucky for them it’s the year of the “Amazin’ Mets,” that stinking team that beat our Cubs and then defeated the Orioles…