Hill leads Vikings past Morgan Park


Hill leads Vikings past Morgan Park

By Clyde Travis

With only one starter returning from last years team, Morgan Park was no match for senior-laden Homewood Flossmoor, which beat the Mustangs 57-47 in the Chicago Public Schools Shootout Saturday at the UIC Pavilion. No. 17 H-F (4-1) was up just 21-20 at halftime, but opened a 39-33 lead after three quarters.The Vikings got the first double-digit lead of the game 45-35 on a basket by Delvon Rencher with 4:36 remaining in the fourth quarter. Morgan Park (1-1) pulled within 49-43 on back-to-back baskets by Billy Garrett Jr., but they could not get any closer. We played a very unselfish team game, H-F coach Jim McLaughlin said. They suffered a heartbreaking loss against Bloom and that really got their attention. Maurius Hill led the Vikings with 16 points and seven rebounds. Tyrone Sherman had 15 points and six assists, while Rencher added 14 points and six rebounds.McLaughlin singled out Sherman for his excellent play: He has been a four-year varsity player and this may be one of his best games. He ran the offense and played some great defense on Garrett.Garrett, who was the focal point of the Viking defense, led all scorers with 18 points. Xzavier Taylor scored eight points and had a game-high 13 rebounds for Morgan Park. Mustangs coach Nick Irvin said his team did not match Homewood-Flossmoors intensity. We did not run our offense and execute the way we know we can, he said. Take nothing away from H-F, I was very disappointed with the way we played. We have to learn to be more aggressive, but we are a young team and we will get better as time goes on.

Kris Bryant is ready for fatherhood '[I was] put on this earth to be a dad'


Kris Bryant is ready for fatherhood '[I was] put on this earth to be a dad'

Suffice to say Kris Bryant is budding with anticipation for becoming a father.

Bryant and his wife, Jessica, are expecting their first child — a baby boy due in April. During Friday night’s Cubs-Padres broadcast, the third baseman shared his excitement for fatherhood with reporter Taylor McGregor

“I think this is really what I’ve been put on this Earth to do, is be a dad,” Bryant said, laughing. “Obviously I play baseball pretty good, but I’m just so excited [for] this new journey with my wife and my family. Honestly, I think this is going to be one of the best years of my life.”

Bryant’s son is due shortly after Opening Day, but the Cubs will play two spring training games in Las Vegas — Bryant’s hometown — on March 7-8. He told McGregor one of Jessica’s last doctor’s appointments is around the same time, so Bryant will get one last visit in before Baby Bryant is born.

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How Dusty Baker inspired former Cub Adam Greenberg after scary head injury


How Dusty Baker inspired former Cub Adam Greenberg after scary head injury

Adam Greenberg’s baseball career was cut short by a scary head injury 15 years ago. But with the help of Dusty Baker, he found the motivation to transition to his post-baseball life.

Greenberg made his MLB debut with the Cubs on July 9, 2005, and Baker called upon the then 24-year-old to pinch-hit in the ninth inning against the Marlins. On the first pitch Greenberg saw in the big leagues, Marlins reliever Valerio De Los Santos hit him in the back of the head with a 92-mph fastball.

Greenberg was concussed from the incident, suffered from vertigo and vision problems, and battled depression. The Cubs released him in 2006 and he caught on with the Royals and later the Dodgers in 2007 — which is when Baker reappears in the story. From’s Brian McTaggart:

A couple of years following the incident, in 2007, Baker got a letter from a fan requesting a baseball card be signed. In the letter, the person told Baker that Greenberg had been released by the Royals and his baseball career was in jeopardy. Baker tracked down Greenberg and left him the voice mail that served as his motivation for a post-baseball life.

“It was so genuine and from the heart,” Greenberg said. “It put me in tears the first time, but it was the motivation and inspiration I needed to get up and keep going. And since then, he’s been somebody that’s been near and dear to me."

It's unfortunate Greenberg couldn’t experience a long big-league career, but Baker inspired him and helped him move forward post-baseball. According to McTaggart, Greenberg started a nutrition company and sold it 10 years later. He also ran for state senate in Connecticut in 2019 and is currently a baseball analyst for the ACC Network.

Greenberg’s career effectively ended moments after it began, but 2005 wasn’t the last time he stepped in a big-league batters’ box. In 2012, fans started an online petition to get him one last at-bat — and his career came full circle. The Marlins signed him to a one-day contract on Oct. 2, 2012, and he pinch-hit that same day against the Mets.

Greenberg struck out on three pitches, but Baker’s voicemail left a mark on his life. Seeing him enjoy success outside of baseball is as heartwarming as it gets.