Daily Dirt: Pull up a chair and share some lunch with Stacey, Eric, Kathryn, Norman and more…

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Daily Dirt for January 24

If there’s anything Steve enjoys, it’s eating. Sit back, strap in and enjoy today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 192 of the Daily Dirt.

1. Even I find it hard to believe that we’ve entered the 14th year of these virtual “Lunch With Steve” events, but here we are. The format remains the same as we showcase four local and four celebrity lunch partners who I would enjoy breaking bread with — and why.Let’s eat!

  • Stacey O’Brien: Stacey is one of my favorite Facebook posters, and she always has an interesting take on the world. She’s also the wife of local sports reporting legend Don O’Brien. Lunch at: Kelly’s, where I’m sure Stacey and I could put a dent in that magnificent salad bar. I hope they are serving wings that day.
  • Eric Clapton:The hall of fame musician would need to bring his guitar, because before we exit from lunch I would coerce him into singing one of my all-time favorite songs: “Wonderful Tonight”. Lunch at: D’s Diner, where the audience will be intimate and Eric and I can get breakfast no matter time of the day it is.
  • Eric Ervin: The thing I love about Eric, a local insurance agent and radio play-by-play man for high school sports, is his willingness to provide an opinion. Our lunch hour could easily turn into a lunch afternoon: Lunch at: Lucky Dogs, the city’s newest eatery at 1800 State that specializes in hot dogs and tasty side dishes. There’s a chance Eric and I might put them out business.
  • Kathryn Morris: She was the star of the former CBS hit show “Cold Case,” and I readily admit I had a crush on her for many years. Since the show went off the air in 2010 I have not seen her in any other program or movie. Kathryn and I need to catch up. Lunch at: Little Greek, where Kathryn can order the souvlaki and I can woof down a gyro — with no sauce.
  • Jimmy Lieurance: Jimmy is the new operator of Adams County Speedway of Illinois (formerly Quincy Raceways), and I’ll be anxious to pick his brain as the season rapidly approaches. Lunch at: Sam’s Club. First of all those huge Nathan’s hot dogs served at that corneresque snack barinside Sam’s are magnificent. Secondly, I know Jimmy can’s be away from the track that long as offseason preparations continue. Thirdly, Sam’s Club is just down the road from the speedway, which makes it a match made in culinary heaven.
  • Norman Reedus: “The Walking Dead” series comes to an end in a couple of months, and I would like to personally thank Reedus for the all the joy he has helped usher into my life for the past decade-plus. His performance as Daryl Dixon has been magnificent. I will never be able to look a future zombie without thinking about him. Lunch at: Tiramisu, where Norman and I can split an oversized order of Ravioli Salsa Rosa. Mama mia!!
  • Kevin Meyer: Win or lose, the Quincy Notre Dame boys basketball coach is an extremely personable guy, which reporters always appreciate. I’d love to hear some of Kevin’s stories about his days at Tenth and Jackson, and what better way to do that than over a winter lunch? Lunch at: Maid-Rite, where we can both get the David Adam Special — a pair of mega-sized Cheese-Rites.
  • Rob Manfred: If there is a holdup on the start of spring training, or even the MLB regular season, I will hold him personally responsible. Sure, as MLB commissioner he works for the owners, but it’s also his responsibility to make them work as a cohesive unit regarding what’s good for the game — and locking out the players because millionaires on both sides of the bargaining table can’t come to an agreement is inexcusable. Do your job, Rob. Lunch at: Any fast-food restaurant, because I want this meal to be quick. I’m pretty certain the longer we sit across the table from one another the more upset I am going to get.

2. Statheads, listen up!

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jordan Hicks threw 635 pitches 100 mph or faster in 2018, the most since TruMedia data began tracking that statistic in 2008. Here are the top five season totals since that time:

  • 1. Jordan Hicks. St. Louis, 635, 2018.
  • 2. Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees, 570, 2016.
  • 3. Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees, 499, 2015.
  • 4. Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees, 494, 2014.
  • 5. Emmanuel Clase, Cleveland, 471, 2021.

3. Musicoholics.com recently released its ranking of rock’s all-time top 30 guitarists.

Here are the top 10, and the band they are most associated with (if applicable):

  • 1. Jimi Hendrix.
  • 2. Eric Clapton, Derek and the Dominos, Yardbirds, Cream.
  • 3. Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin.
  • 4. Prince.
  • 5. Keith Richards, Rolling Stones.
  • 6. B.B. King.
  • 7. Chuck Berry.
  • 8. Eddie Van Halen, Van Halen.
  • 9. Duane Allman, Allman Brothers Band.
  • 10. Pete Townshend, The Who.


Steve Fact O’ The Day Steve once considered changing his name to Aroldis.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. Aroldis is an anagram for Rolaids, which used to sponsor the award for baseball’s best relief pitcher.

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