DOUG FINKE, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER | LINK TO ARTICLE
There is a tradition in the General Assembly that when a current or former member passes away, a sort of memorial service is held in the chamber where the member served.
It’s a time when members stand up and relate their memories of the departed. The stories are sometimes poignant and often funny, but they’re usually revealing about the former member. Sometimes, though, they reveal something about the storyteller.
Last week, the House remembered former Democratic representative Joel Brunsvold of Milan, who went on to serve as director of the Department of Natural Resources. Rep. Susana Mendoza, D-Chicago, recalled her efforts to convince Brunsvold she was worthy of playing on the House softball team that plays the Senate each spring session for softball supremacy.
Mendoza said Brunsvold wasn’t keen on the idea of women playing on the team. She wanted to play. She wanted very badly to play.
At one point, they were both attending a Cubs game in Chicago. They weren’t in Wrigley Field, however. They were in bleachers atop one of those buildings across the street from the stadium. Mendoza offered a deal to Brunsvold. Would he let her play if she could heave a baseball into the stadium? That’s a pretty good toss if you can pull it off.
The deal was on. Mendoza said that during the seventh-inning stretch, she wound up and let a baseball fly. It didn’t land in the seats. It flew over them and landed on the field.
Forget about the House softball team. The Cubs ought to sign her.
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