Today is an epic day for birthdays among Chicago sports figures. Included among those sharing March 22 as a birthday are at least five world champions, two local broadcasting giants and an NFL Hall of Famer. Check it out:
Juan Uribe, 2005 White Sox
Uribe started a 6-3 putout to Paul Konerko for the final out of the '05 World Series, quenching an 88-year-old championship thirst for the Sox. One out earlier, Uribe made the defensive play of the Series, running full-speed and tumbling over a short fence into the stands to catch a pop-up. Later in his career with the Dodgers, Uribe became an emo icon. Happy 42nd, Juan!
Jimbo Covert, NFL Hall of Famer
The best player on a respected unit overshadowed by the defense, Covert made two Pro Bowls and was twice selected as an AP All-Pro left tackle. He played eight seasons for the Bears, notably for the 1985 Super Bowl champions. He finally (jeez) made Canton in 2020. Happy 61st, Jimbo!
Bob Elson (1904-1981) Sox, Cubs, Bears and Hawks broadcaster
Elson called Sox and Cubs home games starting in 1929 and shifted exclusively to the Sox in 1946 after he left the Army (where he got the nickname, "The Ol' Commander"). He also called Bears and Blackhawks games and did national events like the World Series. Elson influenced several generations of broadcasters who followed — the likes of Jack Brickhouse, Milo Hamilton, Harry Caray, Bob Uecker, Harry Kalas and Dave Niehaus. Elson received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.
Lloyd Pettit (1927-2003) Blackhawks voice
Before Pat Foley there was Lloyd Pettit, who called Hawks games on radio and TV for 14 seasons in the 1960s and 1970s. His famous phrase, "A shot and a goal!" helped to define the Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita era. He shared many of those Hawks broadcasts, like he did his birthday, with Elson. At the turn of the century, Chicago sports fans named Pettit the city's best all-time play-by-play voice.
More Chicago sports birthdays from March 22:
• Dexter Fowler (35) hit a leadoff home run for the Cubs in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, the first such homer in a Game 7. Can you believe that? Well, you'd better!
• Joe Smith (36) made 16 appearances for the Cubs as a side-winding middle reliever in 2016 but he did not appear in a postseason game. It's still his birthday!
• Emery Moorehead (67) was the starting tight end on the '85 Bears, usually lining up next to right tackle Keith Van Horne and catching passes in the slot from Jim McMahon and Steve Fuller and others.
• Glenallen Hill (56) hit moonshots during games and batting practice in two stints for the Cubs, starting in 1993 and 1998, respectively.
• Dick Ellsworth (81) had a 13-season MLB career, notably as a 22-game winner in 1963 and a 22-game loser in 1966 for the Cubs.
• Gene Oliver (1935-2007) hit 93 home runs over his 10-year career in the majors, mostly with the Braves and Cardinals, before finishing as a backup catcher on the '69 Cubs.
• Sonny Parker (66) is a philanthropist and basketball coach whose youth foundation in Chicago helps inner-city students. A Farragut High grad, Parker was a first-round pick of the Golden State Warriors in 1976. A son, NBA vet Jabari, played at Duke and for the Bulls.
• Billy Goodman (1926-1984) platooned at third base with Bubba Phillies for the 1959 White Sox, the AL champs. A two-time All-Star, Goodman won the AL batting title with the Red Sox in 1950 and is a member of the Bosox Hall of Fame.