Cubs

Maine South cruises to big victory over Niles North

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Maine South cruises to big victory over Niles North

Friday, Sept. 16, 2011Posted: 11:25 p.m.

By Matt Harness
YourSeason.com

Niles North tried to catch No. 1 Maine South sleeping with an onside kick to start Fridays game.

Ever ready these days, the Hawks recovered the ball. Four plays and 36 seconds later, they were in the end zone on Matt Alvitis 34-yard pass to Jimmy Frankos.

The junior tossed two more touchdowns, including another to Frankos in the first quarter as the Hawks (4-0) cruised to a 42-6 victory over Niles North (1-3) in Park Ridge. The last time these two teams played, Maine South beat Niles North 66-0 in 2002.

Alviti, who completed all 10 of his passes in the first quarter, finished 13-for-17 for 180 yards with three scores and one interception in two quarters of work. Paul Preston caught a touchdown and ran for another in the first half.

I was feeling really good, Alviti said. We were competing against ourselves, and we played a great game.

Alvitis 10-yard run made it 35-0 at the half, and Maine South rested most of its starters for the second half. Frankos completed the scoring for the Hawks with a 75-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Fahey, who danced down the sideline and into the end with 1:51 to go in the third quarter to trigger the running clock.

Were looking pretty good, junior left tackle Pat Maloney said. We could always use some improvement. The OL could use some work. Once we get everything working, we can put up some points.

Niles Norths Oshayne Brown ran for more than 100 yards for the fourth consecutive game, finishing with 156 on 27 carries. Following Browns 52-yard run, Vincent Rodriguez got the Vikings on the board with his 1-yard touchdown dive midway through the fourth quarter.

Playing without starting quarterback Billy Voitik, who was on the bench with a head injury, the Vikings hung tough against the three-time defending state champion Hawks.

Thats the best team in the state, and we got to see what the best team looks like, said Brown. We want to be more like that.

Both teams head into conference play next week. Maine South takes on New Trier, while Niles North plays Maine East. The Vikings believe they have a shot at the CSL North title.

We feel like theres a lot of parity on our side, Niles North coach Scott Smith said. Its fairly equal, and we feel like theres an opportunity for us.

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

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USA TODAY

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

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AP

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 MLB.com’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.