Sunday, November 17, 2013

November Anniversaries (c) Jerry Pritikin

I'm just over a month away from my 77th birthday. If I don't look into a mirror, I can often forget how old I really am. However, I know I do not need a mirror to remind me that I'm getting older because, the ass I never had is sagging and the dust in my apartment accumulates faster then I can keep up to clean up.   For me, it's the fifty-first anniversary of my meeting the # 2nd of my 3 lovers. It was on our first anniversary that JFK was killed. 

I have not watched any of the JFK 50th Anniversary shows. There's nothing there that I have not seen before. No sense wondering what if, because we will never know. This month also marks another Anniversary of the killing of Mayor George Moscone and Gay Icon Harvey Milk. I knew them as friends,they fall into that "what if ?"category,too.
This is the lessor of my known images of Harvey Milk taken on Orange Tuesday 6/7/77... However what I love about it is MILK forever NOW! (c) Jerry Pritikin 

With Harvey Milk on the day he was the acting Mayor of San Francisco 3/9/78 Photo:Danny Nicoletta

With my friend Mayor Moscone,  Opening Day of the 1978 Gay Community Softball League.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Hey Yogi... it's over! 38 years ago I played on my first gay softball team... and now it's over.(c) Jerry Pritikin

 This was the only time that Jack"Irene"McGowan,Me in the middle and Mark Brown(sitting) that they were not yelling at one another!
Jack"Irene"McGowan one of the cofounder of the 1st Gay Softball League in the country and controversal manager in the league. That's S.F.City Hall in the background.(c) Jerry Pritikin
I was always into the game and depended on my knuckle ball and control. In the Opener of the 1978 season I gave up one run before 2,000 and ZERO runs before 8,000 fans for the Annual Police/ Gay Charity Game.

Gus Torez,knocking one out of Lang Field. He was the Leagues MVP in '78 and the reason I learned how to pitch... Thank you Gus!
For most of the 21st. Century, I played in the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association's Senior Cup softball tournament every September. I played on my first gay team in 1975. It was sponsored by AL Hanken's "Round Up" Bar. He belonged to the S,F. Tavern Guild. Jay Platt was the Manager, and I was a 38 year old rookie playing 12" ball. I started out as a third baseman, until Jay recruited Gus Torrez who also was a 3rd baseman. He was a San Francisco banker with a small child. I remember seeing him at batting practice and knew at once that would have to  find a different position to play.  Jay handed me the ball and said pitch batting practce. It turned out to be a turning point for me. I never played team ball since grammar school. I learned to throw a knuckle ball that danced in the bay winds. Hanken dropped us as our sponsor when he found his lover in the arms of Dr. Jim Halloran, our shortstop. Jay found us a new sponsor. Oil Can Harry's, the best gay disco bar in San Francisco. I had a radio show via the cable Viacom TV news/sports show channel 8. By osmosis I wrote sports/ and free lanced photography for several gay newspapers... and involved with a few start up magazines and newspapers.  I enjoyed the spotlight of pitching. I  was knocked out of only a few games over 4 seasons. I was a good fielding pitcher and had my shares of base hits with a few being extra base hits. 

The 1978 season turned out to be one heck of a time for me and my teammates. Mayor Moscone accepted my invitation to throw out the first pitch in front of 2,000 fans.
Before the game, George pitched batting practice to the Oilers and used my glove. I was the Opening Day Pitcher. When I was introduced,I heard a lot of boo's. This was orchestrated by Jack McGowan,who happened to be handling the mic. McGowan was one of the founding fathers of the league aka "Irene". I had a love to hate relationship with a few associates who were as stubborn as Billy Martin.  We had quite a few non-gay players, so during Irene's introduction ceromony, he would always ad "one of our own kind" when introducing a gay player on our team.  I had a fine over all pitching record going into the season. The 1978 season came with a unique incentive... the Championship team would represent S.F. at the 2nd Gay World Series in N.Y.City. We wound up as the Wild Card at the end of the season. I went 6-0 in the play-offs including a double header wins over the runner up team,the Sutter Mill's Gold Diggers for the Championship. The Oilers were blessed to have teammates from all walks of life,including Vietnam Vets,city firemen,a teacher and a doctor. However when we arrived in the" Big Apple", we were kicked out for having too many straights on our roster! 

In 1979, I played on the first gay senior's team in the nation.  Jack McGowan's FABULOUS 40s. It was the only time Jack respected me when playing on his team! We always had a feud going. The Fabulous 40's turned out to be a really was a good team and we came within a run of representing S.F. at the 3rd. Gay World Series. 

In 1981,I was playing for the MINT, Ron Lezell of the Mint team talked me out of retirement, and we made it to the play offs. I got former MLB player and friend Glenn Burke to strike out swinging on a knuckle ball. I have played for many teams over 30 years. Mostly as a pitcher. However for the past 13 years I played as a catcher. It seems most senior teams are over stocked with pitchers. I was able to get Bubbies Kosher Pickles(A legend in its own brine!) to sponsor several of our teams. The one thing I never did over my softball playing days was manage a team.  I equated that as bad as playing in the game of politics, especially when friends are involved. For over 10 years I played in the Chicago Metropolitan Sport Association's Senior Cup Tournament, winning a Championship, and 2nd place win in the Rocker Division for Bubbies sponsored teams.

I contributed to Bob's Big Bats Division Title in 2011 with some timely hits,a few walks and made some good plays at home plate. However last year was a different story. It rained the first day and we had to play on the wet grass and then on the muddy infield. I had a hit and a walk, and for the first time ever I swung and miss on a pitched ball... not striking out. I also hit into my first double play. A line drive speared by the 1st baseman and he caught the runner off base.

This week, I gave much thought about playing one more time. However at 76... I realize that mishaps happen on the field and there was talk again of rain for this weekend. So I decided to hang up my spikes, not with a bang. At least in my lifetime I got to know what it was like to play on a Championship team several times. I excelled when needed. The best highlight from anyone game that stands out for me was in the 1978 Police / Gay Softball game. The Crowd was over 8,000. Again, I was booed when the P.A. announcer introduced me. I left in the 5th inning,shutting the fuzz out and at one time retired 9 in a row and 7 on 7 pitches. I was looking forward to playing in the Gay World Series. 

In the mean while I played several regular seasons in the CMSA. Since the inception of the Senior Cup I have played for most of their 13 years. I won the OLDEST PLAYER AWARD 4 Times. Friday I decided not to play this year. The possibilities of rain added to my decision. I managed not to see this year's edition. Sadly I did not see many of the old timers that has been part of my September tradition.

I'm putting together a unique photo exhibit in Lakeview for October. I'll post more about that in days to come. I'm still looking for a doc-maker ... 
Gay Bleacher Bum... Mark Twain said the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Franciso!(c) Jerry Pritikin

Winning my 3rd of 4 Oldest Active Player Award in the CMSA's Senior Cup Tournament-2011
The Championship Bob's Big Bats-2011 It felt good contributing to the Throphy in the Rocker Divison. Can you find Waldo?

My introduction into the National Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame. I knew quite a few players inducted at this years event. I received a standing ovation after my acceptence speech.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Today was worth the battle for Equality By Jerry Pritikin/Chicago

                                                                             Just a proud American who happens to be gay!
                     This image was taken in 1977 at the S.F. Hay Pride Parade- I knew they had good parents.
 For Harvey Milk and all the pioneers in the the Gay Rights movement who never  stopped marching... it is NOW,more then ever on the road to equality.
 On the Day Harvey Milk was the Acting Mayor of San Francisco- 3/9/78 Photo credit:Dan Nicoletta
            My iconic image of Harvey Milk that has become a footnote in Gay History 6/7/77

             This is my Exhibit of my 40 years as a one man army in the front line of Social Justice!

Chicago 6/26/2013:  The news from the Supreme Court has brought all GLBT families closer to the fight for Equal Rights in America. It didn't happen over night and I want to thank all those courageous Draq Queens in San Francisco and Stonewall in New York who paved the way for us starting along time ago. Thanks to the Lawyers,politicians and pundits who helped all of us in our battle against ignorance and right wing bigots and closed minded religious leaders who tried to block us. Cheers and Tears for all of them past,present and in the future. Jerry Pritikin

Monday, June 3, 2013

Jerry Pritikin's SPIRIT of 76 Photo Exhibit for PRIDE MONTH at Chicago's Human Thread Gallery

That's a young me on th left and Nancy Pelosi and the Chairman Curtiss of the Democratic National Party1976. Photo Credit George T. Krause S.F.
This was the end of one great day of Adventure that started in Miami Beach stopped at the Everglade National Park and just in time to shot the sunset at Naples Florida.Thank you Richard!
I had sent advice to Amy who had a Lemond Ade Stand in Plains,Georga. This is her responce 

The story behind the message on this T-shirt is pure Mayor Moscone wit... it was taken at his offfice at S.F.City Hall.(c) Jerry Pritikin

Note the price of a dozen Donuts! (c) Jerry Pritikin...

Just this year,The Twin Peaks Bar at Market & Castro was declared S.F. Landmark Status and was the first Gay Bar in America who took off the paint from their plate glass windows that allowed people to look in or OUT in 1971


Last month a Columbia College Chines student(who happens to be straight) I knew informed me about a gallery looking for a GLBT Exhibit at the Bridgeport Art Center for June's Pride Month. It's a non-profit owned by a Japanese-American. The location of the exhibit is in the Bridgeport area of Chicago, known for being the home neighborhood of 2 former Chicago Mayors-the Daleys , as well as the home of the Chicago White Sox. And I happen to be a Jewish Openly gay man who was tabbed by Cubs Hall of Fame Announcer Harry Caray as the Teams #1 fan in 1987. He introduced me a few years earlier as a guest on his 10th Inning Show as John Q. Public,the Fan!  I roamed the Friendly Confines for over 25 years and became part of the lore of the fans in the cheap seats... however there are no more cheap seats in the bleachers.

What is interesting, where as most Cubs fans who do remember me, are not aware I was gay or a known photographer in San Francisco between the early 60s until the late 80s. There will be all kinds of images at the Human Thread Gallery on the 5th floor. Attached is a taste of what to expect- The Exhibit runs from June 17- until July 8th. Tell you friends...

Friday, April 19, 2013

CASEY NOW ROCKING FOR KARRMA! By Uncle Omie/Jerry Pritikin

There was a time when I thought my nephew's son would make a living from baseball. At 4 he could hit him self a pop up with a whiffelball, drop the bat and catch the ball.  He was born on a Cubs Opener and with a name like "Casey", and a father for a baseball guru, it look like he was on the way... when he was 5, in his grandparents backyard, broke a 2nd story window hitting a whiffle-ball and everyone cheered him as if he hit a homer. I returned from the baseball winter meetings and had a few new items,one being a magazine about baseball. I was sitting in living room chair reading it. He was looking over my shoulder when I challenge him to a guess"Who is it?" Quiz.  I turned to the old timers section and pointed a finger at a jovial rotund figure with his foot on the running board of an old Ford, and in black and white. And he said The Babe!
Then there was a sketch of a current  player and again Casey did not hesitate before stating Nolan Ryan.  It went that way until we got to the back inside page and he was stumped... But you know what I was so proud of him, because it was color ad for Kellogs, and it was their Cartoon of TONY the Tiger!

He has played ball at many levels at High School, College and various leagues and many Throphys to show for it, however he made a career change... for Music. Casey Manheim is part of a band called KARRMA and they have played well many well known music halls...
If he plays music half a good as he played baseball... he just might be in the right spot at the right time. I do know one thing... I have absolutely no musical talent, even with a tissue and a comb or Kazoo. My mother in a fun way would tell me when I was singing the latest from "Bandstand"... She would say " You have a Voice.... for peddeling fish!   She was right!
    This is Casey's KARRMA Band-mates and that's Casey under the "MA"
                                          UnKnown Tony, Casey's Little league Card.
"EARS" Manheim With future Hall of Famer Andre Dawson at Fenway Park

On the evening I was entertaining at a Kane County Cougar Game. Casey came to cheer me on!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bleacher Preacher's salute to Harry Caray (c) Jerry Pritikin

Just a typical summer's day and that "Voice" saying "Let Me Hear ya! A ONE, A TWO,
Photo By Lee Balterman, and my message of the day.

                                         With Harry Caray on his 10th Inning Show-1985
                                         Dutchie and Harry in the Bleachers (c) Jerry Pritikin
 When Harry sang TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME he always had a chorus Fans along with him.
 This was just a few moments before the Cubs Bus was taking the team to O'Hara and on to San Diego-  and one game away from the World Series-1984
 When Harry sat in the Center Field Bleachers he had request for autographs and Blessings!
Harry @ the Bat for a cause.

I was pitching a new gay sports magazine,and wrote about my times in the Gay Softball League,I'm wearing a Bubbies Kosher Pickles T-shirt A Legend in its own brine! On top of my solar powered Pith 
Helmet,a solid gold propeller!

Lee Balterman always enjoyed shooting the Preacher,he was the photographer of credit for a Day's Inn Ad in the Cubs 1989-90 Yearbooks.

Chicago: February 28,2013.  Tonight at Navy Pier the Bar with Harry Caray's name is saluting Harry's 99th Birthday.  I thought about going and I decided I rather stay home and pay homage myself.  It's hard for me to forget 25 years of roaming the Friendly Confines of Chicago's Wrigley Field. There has been many changes since Harry was traded to the St. Peter's All-Stars. I was one lucky baseball fan.

Once in a while, I got paid... but mostly not. The cost of a cheap seat has dramatically changed the complextion of the everyday fan... there are none! I really do not miss it... The ballpark no longer looks like the one my dad introduced me to back in 1945. For many years I equated my youth with them becaused they hardly changed in the first 40 years. But once the Cubs became owned by the Tribune Company,all that changed.  And now the new owners has left little of ballpark I was weaned on.  I have lost interest.  For years I was convinced my father's promise made to me in 1945 when I was 8 years old, was going to eventually happen.  I asked him to take me to the 1945 Cubs World Series, he felt I was too young and made me a PROMISE... he would take me the next time!  Over the years, I and the Cubs came close to it... but be that as it was... it never happened.  I believe that I have a Moses complex. I maybe able to see The Promised Land one day... but I'll never
get it to the PROMISED LAND.  However, Harry made it fun to be a Cubs Fan along the way!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

I surrender (c) Jerry Pritikin

Meteors ,asteroids,global warming and a new token for the game of Monopoly. I surrender... Bull Shit is winning,it's all noise and hard to escape. Nothing on the horizon worth noticing or noted. Not even a good comedian with a timecapsul observation. I haven't felt this way since 1959! All images (c) Jerry Pritikin
This was the headline of the S.F.Examiner  The story revealed a 2 inch hole was discovered in the 799 mile Alaskan Oil Pipe line. (c) J. Pritikin
Just a street level Billboard. I had witnessed the night before a father and son putting on the addition.(c) J .Pritikin
Over looking the Polk Street Pride Parade 1976 and it's One-of-a-Kind Shops. (c) J. Pritikin
Tim Sullivan on skates in Golden Gate Park-very 1978 (c) J Pritikin
Another happening in the 1970s (c) J.Pritikin

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The last Box-Score of Stan the Man Musial...(c) ByJerry Pritikin

Although I am best known as a Cubs Fan... I always respected the great players from the Visiting teams. I have seen quite a few as rookies and also many veterans who wound up at Cooperstown's Baseball Hall of Fame. Probably my favorite all time National Leaguer was Stan Musial. Tonight came the word that he had passes away. He had an unusual batting stance and once in an interview I described him as looking like a Rodan Statue when he was in the batters box. A cork screw like swing, and seldom striking out. I never heard a Cubs fan boo him, in fact he always received a great hand when ever he came to the batter's box. Most of the times I only got to see him in the Cardinal's gray traveling uniform whenever he played in Wrigley Field, and that was quite often. My dad would always give my Brother Allen and me enough money to the first game of a series... then after that game we would help clean the grandstands and earn a free ticket to the next game. We considered ourselves lucky when the Cubs and Cardinals played in a double header. Since the Cubs did not play night games, Allen and I would listen to the Cardinal games on the radio... it was always filled with static. Their announcers were Harry Caray and Gabby Street and the Call letters were KMOX. The beer sponsor was a local brewery with an unusual name... and it was not Busch! When we were able to see the Cubs Cardinals games on TV, it was in black & white because color TV was years away. I have to admit I always thought the Cardinal's home uniform was the best in the National League. Once in a while I got to see them wearing their home White uniform with the Red Birds on a bat when Sport Magazine had Musial, or some other Card great on the Cover.

There are a few facts I recall about Musial, like he had the same amount of hits on the road as he did at Sportsmans Park and later Bush Stadium. (1,815) and the unusual trivia question that asked "What did Cardinal ballplayer Pete Whisenant do that no other Cardinal player did? He actually pinched hit for Musial twice! I was lucky to see him interviewd by Jack Brickhouse often, and once in a while he played is harmomica,too.  I also recal the year that Cubs outfielder Frankie Baumholtz and Musial were battling out for the Batting Championship... and both teams were out of the pennant chase and on the final day of the season both players were starting pitchers, and pitched to each other. Musial won out,but the fans of both teams enjoyed the extra added attraction.

I remembered reading a great artical in Look Magazine in 1963 that said that Musial was retiring, and I took the time to write a letter to their editor and the printed it... see attachment. I was 27 when I wrote that letter. The following year I was mad when the Cardinals won the pennant because Stan Musial was not on the team. Yesterday I hit 76, and that's not homers... and Stan the Man from Denora Pa. is now playing in the Heavenly Confines for all times... Thanks Stan, you always were #1 with me and all baseball fans who appreciated Good Sportsmanship on and off the field.

Jerry Pritikin  aka The Bleacher Preacher
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