Mark Grote

Les Grobstein had to keep moving like a shark, or else…

A 17-year-old Les Grobstein stands between Fergie Jenkins (left) and Ernie Banks (right) at the Thillens Stadium softball benefit Les organized on July 15, 1969. At far left is Thillens game worker Bob Pollack, who went on to become a CNBC camera operator.

A 17-year-old Les Grobstein stands between Fergie Jenkins (left) and Ernie Banks (right) at the Thillens Stadium softball benefit Les organized on July 15, 1969. At far left is Thillens game worker Bob Pollack, who went on to become a CNBC camera operator.

By George Castle, CBM Historian

Les Grobstein already was a legend in his travels when he agreed to co-host my syndicated “Diamond Gems” baseball radio show in 2003 after predecessor Red Mottlow had passed away at 76 from a brain tumor.

Once in a while, you could catch Les Grobstein in a sport coat and tie, but more often you’d see him as his informal self, pictured here.

Once in a while, you could catch Les Grobstein in a sport coat and tie, but more often you’d see him as his informal self, pictured here.

As the story goes, one seemingly impossible trip had The Grobber finishing his all-night show on The Score AM 670 at dawn Friday, then hopping a plane to Seattle to cover the White Sox-Mariners American League Division Series Game 3 scheduled for 3 p.m. Central Time. When the Sox lost, The Grobber simply turned around on the longest Lower-48 States flight to Chicago and returned home. The next afternoon, he supposedly was in attendance as usual at a Northwestern home football game.

Another all-nighter on radio, then a round-trip to a Cubs-Cardinals game in St. Louis, were also endurance feats to Grobstein’s credit.

“He lived the life that he wanted to live,” said Mark Grote, Grobstein’s Score teammate, former Cubs radio pre-and-post-game host and Frank Gorshin-like imitator of Les and Sweet Lou Piniella.

STORY >>

Category Chicago Baseball History Feature Tags , , , , , , , , ,