Monday, April 27, 2009

Take's one to know one...2009

This image was to be a cover for "The Alternate" national gay magazine, out of San Francisco in 1978. There was a non-perfect storm brewing in the first gay organized sports league in the country. I covered, and was part of that storm.... as a player, and player rep... for one of the league's more controversial teams. We had many straight players, playing and enjoying the good sportsmanship on and off the fields. It was the time of Anita Bryant, and Briggs. I was considered an outsider to many in the gay community. I was sports editor and photographer of the latest entry of city gay papers... the Gazette, and a friend of Mayor Moscone at City Hall.

I approached the Alternet Magazine with a cover and story idea, that asked the question about the old adage...DOES IT REALLY TAKE ONE... TO KNOW ONE?

It was pulled by the editor, it never made the cover. A couple of months later they used one of my images of Harvey Milk for a special Assassination Edition Cover... and par for the course... they gave my photo credit to another photographer who was supposed to have that cover for the next issue.

Now , all visitors to this site can take part in it, via a link to a well-known baseball site that ran the story several years ago... and which is still on the web at

The photo and survey will also be part of my exhibit THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO IN THE 1970's, opening May 13th at Scot's Bar in Chicago and running through June.

Who's Who?
Is the gay player "Flash" of the Mint? or Tim of
Oil Can Harry's?
Both were 21 year old rookies in 1978 and each brought their mother to the games.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I expect failure, based on my past history... but having fun doing so... most of the time. Years ago, a reporter friend of mine... always finished his story /30/ . Like the copy he sent in to his editor. Now, when I see /30/... I don't think it is an end of a story, but just the beginning of over 30 years of memories... I was learning something new about gay rights, like an eager kindergarten kid, just waiting to be pointed in the right direction.
Harvey Milk made "time" his direction, and he provided a newness of "GAY" Pride. I remember a hot Sunday August Afternoon in the summer of 1978. I was walking home from Lang softball Field, still in my uniform and bumped into Harvey...

My Oil Can Harry's team had lost the first of the best of 3 to the Sutter's Mill "Gold-diggers" for the Championship of the Community Softball League, and the right to represent San Francisco in the 1978 Gay World New York Series. I had just given a "win one for the Gipper" speech from the grassy knoll to my teammates... just behind 3rd base. I even said... "it may be my only chance", because I was in my 40's, and and thought of that age as old.

On Sunday, we had to take both games to win the Championship. I decided to walk home and take a shower, then go to the Castro... and I bumped into Harvey Milk, and I invited him to come out to Sunday's games... because a San Francisco Championship team was going to represent the city in the Big Apple's gay World Series. He said that The Castro Street Fair was on... and he couldn't make it , saying "THE FAIR WAS HIS BABY !" and under my breath... "and the gay softball league was mine."

Link up to both web-sites below for a trip down memory lane...THE CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON-1978

The crowds were always large. The late Jack "Irene" McGowan, would always add "One of OUR OWN KIND" ,when ever a gay player was introduced on the PA. He was the Jack McGraw of our league and by no means a saint. We were arch enemies from the time I was appointed our team's representative... and wrote sports for the latest gay newspaper, The "Gazette". I predicted the OUTcome ...


In the Head of the Statue of Liberty-1978 (c) J Pritikin

(LEFT) Poster from gay softball game
(RIGHT) Citation given to Oil Can Harry's for being so diversified, like the City of S.F. by Mayor Moscone-1978

(LEFT) 3 S.F. GAY HALL of FAME members... Jack Irene McGowan, Myself in the middle and Sitting Down...
Mark Brown Would you believe... we never got along! @25,000 ft on way to N.Y.City.-1978
(RIGHT) The Last Round Up-Photo by: Emory Reiff

photo credit: Patt Wexler

(RIGHT) Mayor Moscone, commenting on the first edition of the "Gazette".
On the front page... my photo of him throwing out the first pitch of the 1978
C.S. League at City Hall-1978. and inside his welcoming letter... that I set up.
(c) Jerry Pritikin-1978

(LEFT) Sunday Gay Bleacher Bums - Lang Field-1978 (c) J Pritikin
(RIGHT) Taking my cut and taking it to Right Field-1978 Photo credit Emory Reiff

(LEFT) On my teammates shoulder's-1978 -photo Efrem
(RIGHT) Original CSL fans They celebrated 37 years together,
and feared being outed to their family and workplace at Southern Pacific Railway
1978 CSL Fans (c) J Pritikin

Monday, April 13, 2009

coming soon...

to Scot's Bar in Chicago: A show of photographs by Jerry Pritikin

The show will be opening in May 2009 (check here for exact date to be announced)

Before the World Wide Web... I first exposed my photographic journal via the windows
of Gerogianna's Bakery at 420 Castro Street... just a few steps away from today's Harvey Milk Plaza.
This image is from the Bi-Centennial year-1976

(c) Jerry Pritikin

Recently, the mother of the girl holding the doll wearing an Areatha Franklin-like hat... contacted me, and asked if I remembered the day.... I spent with her family in Golden Gate Park. She was a fan of the window and asked me to shoot her kids! And, it turned out as a good day for all of us, in Golden Gate Park. The story of the Shoot is coming soon on this site.

Sara McAlister-1976 (c) Jerry Pritikin

THANKS TO SCOT'S BAR ... a neighborhood tavern, ... like Archey Bunker's place, except it's in Chicago... and it's a gay! I am putting together Images from the bakery shop window, and the stories behind them. Plus several photos of events portrayed in Gus Van Sant's "MILK" movie... however they are the real thing... taken at the time the events took place, and are not a recreations. Plus images from San Francisco early gay politics and sports, and the nation's first gay organized Softball League. Their managers, and the players and thousands of fans and my moments playing and pitching for a Championship team... tell of a rich era in sportsmanship and legendary characters...

Hope you plan to visit... in person.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

CUBS Opening Day...2009 "What if?"

What if? ... At the age of 8, my dad took me to my first Cubs game late in the summer of 1945... at beautiful Wrigley Field. A few weeks later, when the Cubs clinched the pennant, I asked him to take me to the World Series. He said I was too young, but he made me a promise... he would take me the next time the Cubs won the pennant! It was that "PROMISE" that made me a life long Cubs fan.

In 1984.. The Cubs were one game away from getting into the World Series, but somehow lost the next 3 games to the Padres. Based on that history, and cheap seats costing only a few bucks... I evolved into becoming the "Bleacher Preacher"for the next 25 years... looking for closure to my dad's PROMISE.(Harry Caray tabbed me as the Cubs #1 Fan in '87) In 2003, the Cubs were within 5 outs of getting "ME" the PROMISED LAND... but be that as it may, a guy named BARTMAN got between the World Series and "MY" destiny.For the last 2 seasons... the Cubs made the post season, only to be eliminated as fast as you can say "JACK ROBINSON"! Well cheap seats are no longer cheap... and I am 72 years old... and the other day I was thinking to myself the "WHAT IFS"?
What if the Cubs didn't get into the 1945 World Series, then my dad would of never made me "THAT PROMISE!" What if the Cubs won one more game in 1984... I would of have closure... and the same goes for the following "Close Seasons"... So I asked myself
the what if as Opening Day '09 was approaching, and wondered...
What If my Dad was a "Tiddly Winks" fan?

FOR 25 years, I was a fixture in the bleachers of the "Friendly Confines" of Wrigley Field... and often called the #1 fan of the Cubs. I was known for my life size Voodoo Doll, timely signs, special awards for fans and players, and conversion of fans of other teams into loyal CUBS fans. Today,I have been priced out of the ballpark at the face value of a ticket. I've been the subject of books, documentaries, and national and local print and broadcast media features. I now have a blog.

Dog day afternoon in the old Bleachers (c)J Pritikin-1985

With Harry Caray, as a guest on Harry's 10th Inning Show-1985

Conversion of a Sox's Fan-1988 (c) J Pritikin

Don Zimer holding up a Pritikin sign in 1984 (c) J Pritikin
(that sign was featured on the PUNKY BREWSTER TV SHOW!)

A Great Cub Fan and side-kick Carmella Hartigan-2001 (c) Jerry Pritikin

With life size Padre Voodoo Doll-1984

Harry Caray and Steve Stone on way to San Diego and Jerry's bumper Sticker...
just one game away from the 1984 World series.
ALL of the © JERRY PRITIKIN images on this blog
cannot be reproduced, re-posted elsewhere or published without PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION