Good morning, frents!
So today's newsletter is a little different, but I'm more excited to send it out than any of the other 300+ that have come before it.
When I started Midway Minute in February 2020, I hoped it'd be the sort of thing that would soon develop into brewery meetups and watch parties.
You know what happened next. The only brewery meetups we made were between an empty growler and a tap. All of our watch parties were confined to Twitter.
Still, we made it through and — 18 months later — I think it's time to leave the comfort of our inboxes and meet up in real life.
I've been thinking a lot the past few months about how I wanted the first meetup to go. Which brewery or bar has the best location and selection? Which night is best? Should we hold a watch party?
But I soon realized that after the past year it had to be something more than that. Not only because there are a lot of people in Chicago hurting and in need of help after 2020, but also because I've met some incredible and generous people through this newsletter who care about the city.
What better way to do a first meetup than arrange a service project?
(And then maybe get a few beers after that?)
So I called my friends over at Humble Design.
Humble Design Chicago is one of my favorite volunteer opportunities in the city. Based in a warehouse near Sox Park, their team helps individuals and families transition out of homelessness by furnishing their new homes with professional makeovers before a big HGTV-style reveal.
They do this by getting help from a group like us that shows up on the big day to move in furniture, assemble bunk beds and hang pictures before the family returns from work and school in the afternoon.
I had the opportunity to work with Humble Design twice when I was at Yahoo Sports. The experience was so fulfilling and rewarding that I believe they were the two best days I spent at the company in almost 12 years there. (The third, no hyperbole, was a bucket list item: Working at Wrigley when the Cubs clinched their first pennant in 71 years.)
But don't just take my word for it. Watch this short and emotional video to see the impact Humble Design has on the people they serve.
So here's the deal.
I've arranged for a group from Midway Minute to help with a transformation on Wednesday, August 18 from 8 to 3. We'll meet at the Humble Design warehouse in the morning, load the truck and then make our way to the family's home and start working.
A few details:
- There's only room for 10 readers this time around so if you're interested and can commit, email me today. If I get more than 10 people interested, I'll hold a drawing for the available spots over the weekend. Anyone left out will get first crack at the next opportunity. (Yes, I hope this is just the start of projects like this one.)
- You don't have to be handy to participate, but you will be carrying heavy items and likely going up and down a lot of stairs. Experience cleaning kitchens and using an Allen wrench is also a plus.
- If you can't make this project or live out of town but still want to help, don't worry. As the event gets closer, we'll be raising money to furnish the apartment with other necessities that go along with moving into a new place.
- About those aforementioned beers: A Midway Minute happy hour will definitely be in order afterward and open to all. Those details will be ironed out in the weeks ahead.
Like I said at the top of this letter, I'm beyond excited for this event. It's one thing to start a newsletter to make jokes about Mitch Trubisky and keep writing about baseball after getting laid off from your job. It's another to see it grow into something you know you can use to help others.
Let me know if you'd like to be involved.
News and results
Brad Miller came out of retirement from the Bulls* to hit three homers on Thursday night, including two off starter Adbert Alzolay. The lineup didn't have Kris Bryant or Javy Baez for the second straight night and the shutout halted the Cubs' winning streak at ... checks notes ...one game.
- The night's biggest news was Jed Hoyer meeting with the media and declaring trade szn open after the 11-game losing streak.
- Said Hoyer: "Eleven days ago, we were fully on the buy side of this transaction and everyone was calling about that,. Obviously, people are now calling to see which players are available, so it's a very different scenario than we expected. Life comes at you fast. Eleven games changes a lot of things."
- "Turnover is inevitable. We've been as stable as anyone, but at some point there is going to be some turnover on the roster, in part, because we're not seeing the results that we need to."
Next: The Cardinals arrive at Wrigley with an identical 43-45 record, but the Cubs hold a 5-1 edge in the season series so far. Kyle Hendricks (10-4, 3.83) gets today's start against Wade LeBlanc (0-1, 4.24).
*OK, it might have been a different guy.
Finally, some good Sox injury news! The Sox's affable left fielder will start his rehab assignment tonight High-A Winston-Salem. While Jimenez told reporter there's no target date for a big league return, he did say he feels "200 percent." The Sox can't get his bat and personality back on the South Side fast enough.
Next: Dallas Keuchel (6-3, 4.48) starts the weekend series against the 28-58 Orioles. Jorge Lopez (2-11, 6.12) goes for Baltimore.
Saturday's date with the Mystics is the final Sky game until August 15 as the WNBA breaks for its All-Star Game and the Olympics. Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot and Kahleah Copper will participate in the July 14 All-Star Game while center Stefanie Dolson is headed to Tokyo to be part of the United States' 3-on-3 women's basketball team.
- Promising sign? Eddie Goldman is back in Chicago and working out. OnTap Sportsnet
- Patrick Williams is trying to make the most of his opportunity to train against this year's Dream Team. Tribune
- Alex Shapiro on how Eloy Jimenez's teammates helped speed up his rehab. NBC Sports Chicago
- 18 Division I basketball coaches played high school ball in Illinois. Joe Henricksen looks at all of them. Sun-Times
- Why Chicago brewpubs are earning Michelin stars. Thrillist
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