• John H. White/Sun-Times Media
  • Cook County commissioner John Fritchey—shown here calling for drug policy reforms in 2011—will join Mick Dumke and Ben Joravsky at the Hideout on September 2 along with state rep Ken Dunkin.

I was out of town when the Jackie Robinson West baseball team started its memorable race toward the Little League championship, so I missed much of the early buildup.

But thanks to the breathless coverage from my favorite mayor, I was able to follow the whole thing, as my e-mail account filled with one mayoral press release after another praising the team.

So one topic of conversation at the September 2 First Tuesdays show at the Hideout—after Mick Dumke and I congratulate the Jackie Robinson West team, of course—is whether Mayor Emanuel’s relatively late embrace of Little League baseball is (a) shameless pandering before February’s election or (b) evidence of a Scrooge-like conversion toward a more, oh, humanistic appreciation of Chicago and its people.

Feel free to discuss this at home, everybody.

On hand to help us make sense of this and other pressing issues of the day will be state rep Ken Dunkin and Cook County board commissioner John Fritchey.

Now, I know it will be tough to top the August show—which featured three of our city’s finest education reporters talking schools. But Dunkin and Fritchey—old friends from the state house—are two of the most opinionated officials in the land, so it should be enlightening and entertaining.

Among other things, Dunkin—one of the leaders of the legislative black caucus—has called for the resignation of police superintendent Garry McCarthy because “after three years now, this mayor and this so-called chief of police can’t figure out what the hell to do.”

As you can see, Rep. Dunkin’s not afraid to speak his mind.

Fritchey is helping lead the charge for the legalization—that’s correct, legalization—of marijuana in Illinois. He’s also probably as responsible as anyone for the mayor and the City Council inching—as in, moving really slowly—from arrests to ticketing.

Not that it’s working so well.

In summation, we’ll be talking baseball, politics, crime, and reefer—it’s all as American as apple pie.

The Hideout is at 1354 W. Wabansia. It’s $5 at the door and the show starts at 6:30 pm.