Well, how about that?
It was exactly 366 days ago today that I sent out an email to less than 10 subscribers and then hit social media to tell people to sign up for my new Chicago sports newsletter.
One year later, there are a lot more of you.
And I'm still bothering people on Twitter and Facebook.
What a ride it's been so far.
We've been trying to get through a pandemic together by following games played in front of empty stands.
We watched five of our teams made the playoffs in the past year with only one non-Blackhawks victory to show for it.
We muttered way too many unmentionables about ownership in this town.
We've had a lot of fun, too, comparing notes on The Last Dance each Monday morning and clicking on links promising to show us the best-kept secret pizza in Chicago. If there was any normal to be had in the upside-down 2020, we damn sure tried to find and revel in it.
Thank you to everyone who's read and emailed since signing up.
The list of my favorite stories I've written so far looks like this ...
- The fight over Sammy Sosa's 62nd home run ball
- One man, one million Cubs baseball cards
- A one-of-a-kind Michael Jordan ticket collection
- The Wrigleyville bartender who quit his job for Shoeless Joe Jackson
- John McDonough's soft side
- The greatest Thanksgiving Day game in Chicago history
With a better idea of what this newsletter game is all about, I'm looking forward to growing Midway Minute even more in 2021.
To that end, I've made some changes to the paid membership program using the feedback I collected from last month's survey.
I'm happy to announce we're going back to a model where everyone — free and paid list — gets the daily newsletter. I enjoy the regular conversation with all of you too much to limit the audience and it gives me the ability to market more issues per week to potential subscribers.
Paid members, though, will get the following, all of which were popular perks when mentioned in the survey:
- Exclusive Q&As with Chicago sports figures
- A regular mailbag column from yours truly
- A community for Midway Minute readers to chat and swap links during the day (Coming by Opening Day)
- A thank you in an issue of Midway Minute
Becoming a member is also a way to support the work that goes into writing, maintaining and growing the daily newsletter that appears in your inbox each weekday morning.
Not to put too fine of a point on it, but if you've enjoyed Midway Minute over the past year, this is the best way to ensure we're back here in a year for birthday No. 2.
One more sweetener: Use the code "BIRTHDAY" at checkout TODAY and I'll discount an annual membership 20 percent.
Just want to make a one-time contribution to say congrats?
Again, it's been a great year and I will never take the platform you've given me for granted. Thank you so much for your support!
Hawks 2, Stars 1 (OT)
Pelicans at Bulls (7, NBCSCH)
Indiana at N’Western (4:30, BTN)
PECOTA pegs Cubs for more wins than Sox
Baseball Prospectus released its first standings projections on Tuesday and it apparently doesn't think much of Chicago.
- The White Sox landed on just 83.1 wins as the average of all its outcomes, just 0.6 games better than last February's calculations. That's honestly pretty shocking and it looks to be punishing the Sox's lack of depth by pegging them for a third-place finish in the AL Central.
- The left-for-scraps Cubs fared a bit better at 85.1 for second place in the NL Central, ahead of ... wait for it ... the Nolan Arenado-led St. Louis Cardinals. But they're behind the Milwaukee Brewers and the computer doesn't see many scenarios in which it gets into the high 80s and past 90.
I enjoyed Jim Margalus' measured take on the confusing Sox numbers, but the meatball in me enjoyed Danny Parkins' reaction: "I would just say to Mr. PECOTA if your machine says White Sox win fewer games than Cubs this year, don't publish. Just take a break. Take some time off. Recalibrate. Because it's wrong."
Hawks keep rolling with third straight
A game-winning highlight goal from Pius Suter. Thirty-four saves and a game-winning assist from Kevin Lankinen. Don't look now but the Hawks have only lost one game in regulation in their last 11 contests, have the eighth-most points in the NHL and barely anyone can score on them. Who is this team?
- Stan Bowman said earlier in the day that there's no update on Jonathan Toews' status, but that the team is not withholding information about his condition.
1. Good news! It looks like Ryan Pace is holding his own ground in the Carson Wentz trade talks. Pro Football Talk
2. JJ Stankevitz's conversation with the great John "Moon" Mullin is definitely worth your time. House of L Podcast
3. Brett Taylor goes deep on Cubs PECOTA. Bleacher Nation
4. Paczki Day is next Tuesday. Here are 65 places you can buy them from that isn't Mariano's. (Seriously, don't buy paczki from Jewel or Mariano's.) Block Club Chicago
5. Finally, Tuesday was a tough day for so many of us who knew and loved Terez Paylor. I worked with Terez at Yahoo Sports and we shared a Kansas City Star resume line. He was an unbelievable journalist and an even better friend. He was a first-day subscriber to this newsletter and consistently asked how it was coming along over the past year. All the love you see for him on social media is real, including the statement that Matt Nagy put out through the Bears. Rest easy, Terez. You are already missed. Chicago Bears
One year ago this morning ...