A baseball player at heart, John Cruz-Barcenas shows his Raiders uniform under his graduation gown at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. --Supplied photo

A baseball player at heart, John Cruz-Barcenas shows his Raiders uniform under his graduation gown at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. --Supplied photo

He’s a baseball player at heart

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By Joan Hadac

Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge

(708) 496-0265 • joan.hadac@gmail.com

John Cruz-Barcenas is on his way to a career in mechanical engineering, but he’s a baseball player at heart.

The photo his mom shared with me tells the tale.

Screen Shot 2022 06 11 at 10.18.41 AM

A baseball player at heart, John Cruz-Barcenas shows his Raiders uniform under his graduation gown at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. –Supplied photo

John recently graduated from the prestigious Milwaukee School of Engineering. But at commencement exercises last month, he wore his baseball uniform under his cap and gown.

At the MSOE, John was an infielder for the Raiders, and this season the club won the Northern Athletic Collegiate Conference, the first tournament title in program history.

Up next is grad school. John was accepted at DePaul, Loyola, UIC, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. He chose the U of C and is set to begin studies there this fall, pursuing a master’s degree in public policy.

Before he played college ball, John played all four years at Whitney Young Magnet High School.

Before that?

John grew up in Clearing and got his start on the diamond with Clear-Ridge Little League, which since 1952 has provided athletic opportunities for thousands of boys and girls in Clearing and Garfield Ridge. With the CRLL, John was an all-star and played on at least one league championship team.

So here’s a big tip of the (baseball) cap to you, John. I know your mom, Augusta, and dad, John, are as proud of you as they can be.

Mark your calendar

  • Don’t worry if you missed opening day last Wednesday. The Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their farmers market from 3 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday (today included) through September in the parking lot of Mayfield Banquets, 6072 S. Archer. For more information, call (773) 424-3345 or visit garfieldridgecc.com.

    joanhadac 1

    Joan Hadac

  • The next CAPS Beat 812 meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 8 (that’s tonight, folks) at the Clearing Branch Library, 6423 W. 63rd Place. This is the meeting to attend if you want to know about crime happening in the neighborhood and what police are working on. It’s also the place to express your concerns to police about crime in the neighborhood and meet with like-minded men and women, including member of the Clearing Night Force, who would gladly welcome you into their ranks. My thanks to longtime CAPS facilitator John Kurtovich for sharing this information.
  • Speaking of making Clearing a better place, the Clearing Civic League is meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14 at Hale Park, 6258 W. 62nd St. All are invited. Since 1960, the CCL has served as a non-profit, non-partisan group of Clearing residents dedicated to improving the community. Thanks to President Mary Shilney for talking with me the other day and letting me know about the meeting.
  • The next Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch/CAPS Beat 811 meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 21 at Byrne School, 5329 S. Oak Park. Weather permitting, the meeting will be held outdoors. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the meeting will move indoors in the school.

You will get all the updates on what’s happening in our community. Chronic problems and issues that affect our neighborhood will be discussed. It’s also a chance to meet Beat 811 police officers and community leaders. You may also share information and concerns that you have. Thank you to CAPS facilitator Marilyn Koperniak for sharing the news.

  • Speaking of making Garfield Ridge a better place, the Garfield Ridge Civic League will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 15 at Crossroads Community Church, 5433 S. Austin. All are invited. Please enter via the east side of the church.

Free refreshments and Weber’s Bakery pastries will be available.

GRCL membership is $10 a year, and members who need to renew are asked to do so at the meeting. Non-members are also welcome.

Founded in 1939 as the West End Civic League, the GRCL has for decades served as a non-partisan group of homeowners and other residents who work together to build a better, safer and stronger neighborhood. Thanks to GRCL President Hank Pukala for sharing this news.

  • Family Fest is coming to Two Holy Martyrs Parish (St. Symphorosa-St. Rene Goupil) Thursday through Sunday, July 14-17. While individual tickets can cost a lot of money, Two Holy Martyrs Parish is helping out by offering four-day Family Fest wristbands for $50. Think of the savings. The wristbands will be on sale the weekends of June 25 and 26, July 2 and 3 and July 9 and 10 at all the Masses in the lobby at both churches.

Masses are held at 4 p.m. Saturdays at St. Rene Goupil Church, 6949 W. 63rd Place and 5:30 p.m. Saturdays at St. Symphorosa Church, 6135 S. Austin. Masses are held on Sundays at 7:30 and 10:30 at St. Rene and 9 a.m. and noon at St. Symphorosa. For more information, call (773) 767-1523, visit twoholymartyrs.org or the parish’s social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. A tip of the cap to Lara Hess for letting me know about Family Fest.

That’s all for this week. Let’s all get off our keyboards, enjoy the weather and meet each other face to face, with smiles.

1 Comment

  1. Debbie on June 11, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    Congrats Johnny!!
    Job Well Done!! ????????‍????????????



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