John Owens, Author
John Owens is an award-winning media professional with more than 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist, producer, director and videographer.
He has worked in a variety of capacities in broadcast, print and online — from producer to executive producer to director to videographer to writer to reporter.
Owens has produced numerous full-length documentaries and programs for broadcast and online platforms. His film “The City’s Pastime” received the Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for best historical documentary in 2005, and his film “Kenwood’s Journey” won the Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for best topical documentary in 2015.
Owens also received honors for his work from the Chicago Headline Club, the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association, the Digital Edge Awards, the Telly Awards and the National Association of Black Journalists.
His work as a writer and reporter has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Reader, Block Club Chicago, New City, Reel Chicago, Neiman Reports and other publications.
Owens’ broadcast work has been featured on the Decades Network, Me-TV, WGN-TV, CLTV, WYCC-TV (PBS), Fox News Chicago and Link-TV.
In addition, Owens is also an adjunct professor at the City Colleges of Chicago, where he teaches broadcast writing and interactive media.
He is also the President for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Chicago/Midwest Chapter.
Dr. David J. Fletcher, Author
Dr. David J. Fletcher is a 1972 alum of Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, Ill., where he played baseball. Sometimes taking three trains as a teenager to go to baseball games in Chicago, Fletcher attended some 20 White Sox games in 1972, and witnessed first-hand what Dick Allen meant to the city.
In 1980, he graduated from Rush Medical College, and practiced medicine in the U.S. Army. Along with his private medical practice Safeworks Illinois (www.SafeworksIllinois.com) in Champaign, Ill., Fletcher has become a noted baseball historian.
In July 2005, he was granted the Hilda Award at the Shrine of the Eternals 2005 Induction Ceremony of the Baseball Reliquary in Pasadena, Calif. The annual award acknowledges a person’s unique passion and dedication to the game of baseball. Fletcher was recognized for his work for trying to clear the name of former White Sox third baseman and banned Black Sox George “Buck” Weaver. Fletcher created the website www.ClearBuck.com and is an expert on the Black Sox.
In 2005, Fletcher began efforts to develop the Chicago Baseball Museum (www.ChicagoBaseballMuseum.org), which would honor Chicago’s many contributions to the national pastime. In 2007, the CBM, through Fletcher’s efforts, acquired the private baseball library and papers of sportswriter and MLB’s first official historian, Jerome Holtzman.
Fletcher and John Owens have teamed up before for “Buck O’Neil and Black Baseball in Chicago”, a documentary written and filmed by Owens. The documentary aired on PBS and won the praise of White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who noted that the film was “vitally important for future generations.” In September 2010, Fletcher screened the documentary at the Baseball Hall of Fame film festival in Cooperstown, N.Y.
For several years, Fletcher had urged that Dick Allen be recognized for his many contributions to the White Sox franchise. In 2012, he convinced the seven-time All-Star to participate in a two-day event at U.S. Cellular Field, co-hosted by the White Sox.
After the 2012 event, Fletcher became very close to Dick and his family. In September 2020, Dick personally asked Fletcher to attend the ceremony in Philadelphia to retire his Phillies uniform No. 15. Sadly, in December 2020, Fletcher also served as a pallbearer for Dick and spoke at his funeral in Wampum, Pa.
George Castle, Editor
Editor George Castle is one of the top authors and historians in baseball and broadcasting today.
An author of 21 books and historian for the Chicago Baseball Museum, Castle turned an avocation into a vocation. A native of Chicago’s far North Side, he grew up in the cheap seats of Wrigley Field and old Comiskey Park, paying just $1 to get into the bleachers of the former in the early 1970s. Sometimes he’d splurge to spend $1.75 on grandstand seats.
On an off-day from his summer stockboy job at the downtown Goldblatt’s Department Store, Castle was an eyewitness to Dick Allen’s prodigious center field homer on Aug. 23, 1972, described in Chili Dog MVP: Dick Allen, the 1972 White Sox and A Transforming Chicago.
Castle began covering baseball in 1980 at both Chicago ballparks. Castle went on to write for a variety of newspapers and magazines. He founded “Diamond Gems”, his own syndicated weekly baseball radio show, in 1994. Through spit, gum and wire, Castle kept “Diamond Gems” on the air for 17 seasons. Castle began his author’s career with the first book published on Harry Caray after his death in 1998.
Castle has built longstanding connections to a number of Hall of Famers and top baseball personalities, who have helped him in his coverage. He co-authored The 1969 Cubs with Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins in 2019.
He is a longtime North Suburban Chicago resident.