|Looking across North Branch of the Chicago River to|
the 17th green at Glen View Club.
With a fixed and stable membership, it was pretty much the same lineup that showed up to play golf time after time. Ladies day was Tuesday mornings. Doctors played Wednesday afternoons. Saturday mornings and Sundays before 11:00 am were reserved for men. Husbands and wives and some cobbled together pairs, played couples golf, teeing off from 11:00 am on Sundays into the late afternoon. Many of the caddies had regular loops, and there were regular groups of players.
If there was to be anything new and exciting it was generally in the way of guests and so it was for me one Monday morning in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The club pro, Ed Oldfield Sr., hosted a foursome of Chicago Cubs, on a rare major league baseball midsummer off day, to play as his guests. The foursome was made up of Ron Santo, Glenn Beckert, Kenny Holtzman and Peanuts Lowery.
The most famous member of this group, Ron Santo, played third base mostly -- the hot corner -- for the Cubs from 1960 through 1973. Professional baseball not being the road to riches it has since become, Santo worked hard at developing and promoting a product called "the pro's Pizza" and found a way to include his teammates in on the action.
|Ron Santo baseball card cover on the pro's Pizza box.|
In the mid-1960s, Pro's Pizza was a concessionaire at Wrigley Field, Comiskey Park and Soldier's Field, selling individual serving pizzas to those in attendance at Cubs, White Sox and Bears games.
In that era, the pizzas were sold in single-serving boxes that featured on their lids player pictures.
The earliest of the issues was a set of 1966 Chicago Cubs. The "card" portion of the box was about 6" x 6" and featured a large black-and-white player photo at left with white-and-red stripes and sports action drawings at right.
|Roomies and Gold Glove winners Ron Santo and Glenn Beckert.|
Glenn Beckert was a good fielding, reliable slap hitting, second-baseman who excelled at hitting behind the runner and starting and making the pivot on the double play. He choked high up on the bat that was lathered with more pine tar than even George Brett imagined possible. Beckert made four all-star teams. Glenn was the toughest strike out in baseball.
|Ken Holtzman interviewed subsequent to his August, 1969 no hitter.|
Peanuts Lowery was not a player, but a coach, and a confidant of Cubs manager Leo "The Lip" Durocher. He was called Peanuts because he was a little guy. When he played for the Cubs in the 1940s he actually appeared in a World Series (imagine that Cub fans!). Lowery had a good arm and a bum arm. He used the good one to wave runners rounding third on the way to home. By the timing of Lowery's first stint as Cubs coach, the year of this loop must have been either 1970 or 1971 -- most likely 1970, when I had progressed to caddie badge number 2.
I caddied for the pitcher and the coach. Santo and Beckert were good buddies and free swingers who bombed the ball, without a whole lot of respect for direction. They had decent short games and were obviously experienced golfers. Ken Holtzman was a neophyte golfer with a way too quick swing and a sharp temper that Santo and Beckert missed no opportunity to stoke. They called Holtzman not by name but by the sobriquet Heeb, which I found startling, to say the least.
October 20, 1966
Off the field, Mr. Lowrey was a talented golfer. He won several tournaments for major league baseball players.Peanuts Lowery shot a 74 that day on a course he had not previously seen, He was a perfect gentleman who took no umbrage and placed no blame when I mis-clubbed him on the 10th hole.
Ron Santo, Glenn Beckert and Peanuts Lowery had a good time. Holtzman persevered and suffered through it. So it was on a midsummer day some four decades back.
|Ron Santo rolling pizza.|