baseball and boogie–woogie
In advance of tonight’s All-Star game, here’s the answer to a baseball trivia question: Who’s the finest musician ever to work between the foul lines? This guy, “the progenitor of boogie-woogie piano,” played for the Chicago All-Americans, a Negro league team, during World War I, then worked for twenty-five years as a groundskeeper for the Chicago White Sox.
Jimmy Yancey (1894 [or 1898]-1951), piano, “Yancey Stomp,” 1939
The Cubs couldn’t seem to make up their minds this season. Were they—as often seemed to be the case—god-awful? Or, taking the longer view, were they simply mediocre? Oh, well. Instead of dwelling on this dismal season, let’s remember one of the brightest spots in Chicago baseball history. Here’s the finest musician ever to work between the foul lines: blues and boogie-woogie piano player Jimmy Yancey, who, for 25 years (1925-50), was a White Sox groundskeeper.
Jimmy Yancey, “Rolling the Stone” (1939)
“I can’t believe the season is over—but it is.”—WGN Radio Cubs broadcaster Pat Hughes, after yesterday’s game (a loss to Arizona, 5-2)