But the legacies of both live on at Channel 9, sort of.
WGN-TV fields a 16-inch softball team, nicknamed “The Bozos” in the Chicago Media League.
“I think the fact that we’re called the Bozos, is the perfect name for us,” said Katharin Czink, a WGN News producer.
The team is composed of all WGN employees, according to team manager Scott Bennett, who is a television promotions writer and producer. “I have to beg borrow and steal to get people here,” Bennett said.
The co-ed league features competition in classic Chicago-style 16-inch softball, a sport where no mitts are allowed.
“You get a little competitive even though you know it’s an intramural game, it’s supposed to be fun,” said Ted Parra, a WGN News photographer. “But then the competitive juices start coming out.”
On a recent night, the team competed in the first round of the playoffs, a 7-inning battle between the Onion, the popular satirical newspaper, at Mozart Park in Logan Square.
“This is the playoffs: one and done,” said Robert Owens, an Onion team member. “You win or go home, and we’re not trying to go home.”
It was a see-saw game, with the score tied at 7-7 in the 6th inning, but the Bozos managed to add three runs and held the Onion scoreless the rest of the way, for a 10-7 victory.
“’What’s the Onion headline, ‘Distinguished journalists lose to a bunch of clowns?’,” asked Mike Lowe, a WGN reporter.
“That pretty much nails it,” said Lauren Moser, a senior editor for the Onion.
It wasn’t the Grand Prize Game, but it was a chance to keep the season alive for one more week. “I’m not sure who we face, but it’s definitely going to be a better team than us. So, it’s an uphill battle,” said Bennett.
“We are a bunch of bozos,” Parra added. “I mean what do you want?”
The Bozos next game is against WGN Radio, on Monday Sept. 12.