Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tuesday Sports Short: Poison Ivy

After a long hiatus Tuesday Sports Shorts are back.

The Cubs have a long and storied history, unfortunately for Cubs fans most of the stories are like this one.

Lou Novikoff, the mad Russian, played outfield for the Cubs from 1941 to 1944. Lou had only one problem playing for the Cubs, let me explain. Any time a fly ball was hit over his head in Wrigley Field Novikoff would back up only so far then stop. It did not matter how far the ball went he would only back up to a certain point, and then stop. Many times the ball sailed over Novikoff’s head hit the wall, and caromed past him back towards the infield.

Finally frustrated Cubs manager Charlie Grimm asked Novikoff why he constantly gave up on balls that seemed catchable. Novikoff’s went on to explain that he had a fear of vines (Which is a pretty big problem when playing in Wrigley!).

Grimm did everything he could to show Novikoff that there was nothing to fear. Grimm even ate part of the vine to show that it wasn’t poisonous. Despite Grimm’s efforts Novikoff never was able to overcome his fear, and many catchable fly balls fell into the ivy.

*I wonder if Manny Ramirez has ever thought of something like this?*


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