If you saw a headline that read “Cubs legend visits devoted fan,” who would you think the article referred to? Ernie Banks would be my first guess, though if I were in a good mood I’d probably accept Ron Santo, Billy Williams, or Ryne Sandberg. Heck, if it was a local Chicago paper and the “devoted fan” were a sick kid or something, I’d also grant you Mark Grace, Sammy Sosa or someone like that. Legends? Other than Banks not really, but we’ll let it pass if it’s for a good cause.
But no matter how good the cause is, Milt Pappas doesn’t seem to qualify:
Gewerth, now a 91-year-old patient at Manor Care in Palos Heights, had a dream fulfilled yesterday when he met and talked baseball with former Cubs pitcher and Beecher resident Milt Pappas as part of the nursing home’s Hearts Desire program, which grants wishes to dying residents.
“When I told John that Milt Pappas was coming, his eyes just lit up,” said Chris Raciti, an assistant administrator at Manor Care who worked with Gewerth’s hospice nurse, Barb Briarton, to bring the ballplayer to the nursing home. “He had a big smile on his face. He was speechless. He didn’t know what to say.”
Kudos to Pappas for making a dying baseball fan’s day and everything, but man, I can’t help but think that someone at the Southtown Star needs to recalibrate their adjective use.