John Robert Balazs
Born: 1939 : Died : 2019
Beloved Husband of Mary Lou
Father of 4, Grandfather of 6
Supporter / Editor / Content Writer: of www.baseballhistorian.com.
Amazing all-time fan of baseball history. Grew up in Chicago as a fan of Cleveland Indians and Chicago Sports Teams, especially of the Chicago Cubs.
Favorite Players: Al Rosen, Larry Doby, Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg, Moe Drabowsky, Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle, Chet Hajduk, Cecil Cooper, Tony Campana, Stan Musial, Fergie Jenkins, Ted Williams, Kris Bryant, and Emilio Bonifacio.
When my father was first diagnosed with cancer some 20+ years ago (1990's), I developed the Baseball Historian web site as a way to keep him busy and staying positive. Something to divert his mind from the disease that he fought mightily against for the rest of his life. It was a way for him to tell his stories about baseball and life to me and anyone else who was willing to listen (or in this case.... read). My father taught my brother John I to appreciate and love baseball as children, and over the years, my sisters and extended family all shared in the love as well.
When I was a child, he took the time to show us his hobby of writing to the baseball players telling them of our appreciation of their talents, and asking for an autographed picture in return. Most of the pictures you'll see on this site, are from our personal collection of scrapbooks, autographed pictures, baseball cards, etc. They are snapshots of memories shared.
John attended a multitude of games throughout his life, including a World Series Game of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, a no-hitter by Bob Keegan of the Chicago White Sox, and the famous New York Subway Series of 2000, in which he attended with his son Joe. Watching the Mike Pizza / Roger Clemens hurled jagged bat incident, taking the subway to the games, going to the Statue of Liberty, hearing the chants of "Leeeeehhhhhts Go Yankees..... Leeehhhhhts Go Mets" always comes to mind. A truly memorable experience. We attended waaaaay too many Cubs games to count, and very much enjoyed playing strat-o-matic games on our front porch in the Summer while listening to Bob Eucker's Brewer's broadcast.
The sounds of Summer, were that of dice rolling and the crowd chanting "Cooooooooop" will be forever ingrained in my mind. We'd sometimes attended games at the Old Comiskey park, however growing up in the Northern Suburbs of Chicago, and driving through traffic in downtown Chicago to the South Side was a lot harder for us than driving to Milwaukee to see Brewers games, so we'd attend at least 5 or more Brewers games a year. We followed that 1982 Brew Crew team so close, that I when I finally got a Golden Retriever that I'd been wanting my whole life, I named him Cooper :)
This all time great was a friend of Cub's pitching and pranking legend "Moe" Drabowsky. After much of Moe's memorabilia was tradigically destroyed, my father donated any and all material that he gained through the years to his family. Moe was a special man, and my father appreciated his unique take on life.
Highlights of John's baseball career include spending his life attending games with his sweetheart; Mary Lou, and family. Watching his grandchildren Kali, Lauri, & Mia excel at softball. Going to Cub and Brewers games with his grandchildren Abby and Jake, and finally watching his beloved Chicago Cubs win the unattainable, the impossible, the incredible World Series in 2016. The only downside to that, of course, is that it was against the Cleveland Indians, who are still in the middle of their drought. Maybe, might be, could... this be their year (with a little help from above?). He took us to a special game on April 17, 1976, when Mike Schmidt hit 4 Consecutive Home Runs at Wrigley Field.
Harry would say: "Balazs spelled backwards is: Szalab"
He took us out to the ballgame
He took us out with the crowd
He bought us some peanuts and crackerjack
And made sure that we'd always come back
We'd root, root, root, for the home team
When they didn't win, wasn't us to blame
It may be one, two, three hundred years
but we'll never be the same.
We Love and Miss You Dad
- Joe Balazs, and our entire family
Please enjoy our site, share a memory with us and say a prayer for our and your loved ones who have passed and are forever in your heart.
>> PS. "Hi Eugene, My dad always loved talking baseball and seeing you."