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Eric Cioe

Cool story

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I had lunch with my grandma today, and she brought up her oldest sister Marg, who died in the 1950s. Marg lived in Hyde Park in Chicago and was a big Cubs fan, but her husband was from Grand Rapids and was a Tigers fan, so they went to both games with some regularity. Well, turns out she used to hang out with some of the old Cubs players, and when in Detroit she'd hang out with Gehringer and Greenburg. How cool is that?

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Very. Would have been even cooler if she had scored some signed photos!

Back in my early teens, I was given a copy of the 1935 Tigers media guide (yearbook). The booklet had been tossed into some boxes with a bunch of old newspapers and Life magazines, and I got pretty excited when I spotted that!

I really enjoyed the book and the colorful writeups on each player, but over the years it just gathered dust and I finally sold it.

I still have a few scans from that guide - I'll have to try to hunt those down and post them here.

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Pretty cool.

I had a co-worker whose Grandfather was Vic Saier - a power-hitting 1B for the Cubs in the dead-ball era who was reasonably successful / famous before suffering a career ending injury. This co-worker asked his grandmother about what it was like to be married to a MLB player with a measure of fame.

She responded that the players and their wives were all nice, and it was a fun time in general - except for that Heinie Zimmerman, who was a jerk (with a heavy emphasis on the word jerk). We still joke about "that Heinie Zimmerman" at work from time to time.

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Another story...my old man was a golf caddy in the Detroit area for most of his youth and early adult-hood, and apparently was pretty good - he frequently caddied at Oakland Hills and was a caddie in the 1951 US Open, back before pros hired their own caddy full-time, and rather used local caddies instead.

In any event, at Oakland Hills, he caddied for Charlie Gehringer on multiple occations. My father was a huge baseball fan in general, and the Tigers in particular. So I asked about how exciting it must have been to caddy for Gehringer and his guests. He said it was cool to caddy for Gehringer - and that Greenberg was often a guest of Gehringer's - but mostly what my Father remembered was that Charlie was cheap. Real cheap. 40 to 50 years after the fact, and my old man was still pissin' and moanin' about how cheap the Mechanical Man was.

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Very. Would have been even cooler if she had scored some signed photos!

.

Usually if someone "hangs out" with a player, it is a friendship. If a friend or family member were someone famous, I would not even think of them as someone famous but rather as my friend or family member and getting an autograph would be the last thing on my mind.

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During grandparent's weekend of my freshman year of college, down near Cinci, some guy commented on my Tigers ballcap. We got to chatting, and it turns out that he was in the Detroit farm system for awhile in the '30s, and he got to play with some of the Tiger greats of that era during Spring Training.

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I had a freshman ball coach who played little league in St. Louis and had a Cardinals players son on the team, long story short, most of the Cardinals would come to their little league games and root them on.

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