I posted a link to an article about Miracle Mets catcher Jerry Grote on my Facebook page this morning and someone commented with a mention of Amazins' southpaw Jerry Koosman. That reminded me that Koosman lives in America's Dairyland.
But I couldn't remember the town, so I searched it and up popped not only No. 36's address up north, but also his phone number.
Recently, I wrote a story about Milwaukee musician Eric Blowtorch and his penchant for dialing the phone numbers printed on the labels of his favorite Jamaican 45s. That's resulted in Blowtorch making some great connections in reggae music and has led to some cool collaborations for him, too.
It's been great for him, but I'm a little more shy about it.
A map to Koosman's place near the Minnesota border popped up in the search results, too. Maybe I could combine a trip up there with a stop in Disco, Wis., a place just west of Black River Falls that I've always wanted to stop to have my picture taken (next to the town sign, of course!).
But, what would I say if I dialed Koosman's number (or, egads, showed up at his door)? Would I call him "Jerry" or "Mr. Koosman" or "ace?"
Would I tell him that when I was a kid, he was a god to me?
I know one thing for sure: I'd feel like a schmuck. I just don't have the cold calls in me.
But, hey, if he ever comes to Milwaukee, I'm buying the beer. Can you imagine -- tall boys with Koos? (Unless I can find Rheingold or Schaefer.)
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.