JONATHAN EIG never pegged himself as a sportswriter. “I’ve always dabbled in sports,” says the former Chicago editor, veteran Wall Street Journal editor, and author of two best-selling baseball books: Opening Day, on Jackie Robinson’s first year in the majors, and Luckiest Man, the story of Lou Gehrig’s fight against ALS. In Chicago’s May issue, Eig will introduce a column (his first) that will go wherever his curiosity leads him in the world of sports, whether it’s a stadium that seats thousands or the end of the bench during a game of high-school hoops. For a feature in this issue, “The Tipping Point,” he examines how Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has spectacularly raised his game.
If contributing editor CATEY SULLIVAN could be anywhere in the world—beyond the Midwestern byways she explores for The Escape Artist—you’d find her at the peak of El Capitan, Yosemite National Park’s 3,000-foot monster of rock. “Nothing compares to Yosemite,” says Sullivan, who, starting with this issue (and in every alternating issue), will take The Escape Artist out of the Midwest to a Chicagoan’s beloved distant destination—beginning with the playwright Tanya Saracho’s favorite spot in the mountains of central Mexico. “Once people start talking about a place they’re passionate about, they’re able to capture its essence,” Sullivan says.
TAYLOR CASTLE, who photographed the six honorees of Chicago’s fifth annual Green Awards, wanted his subjects’ personalities to stand front and center in portraits that had an organic quality—though he admits he took “organic” too seriously at first. “It was just too literal,” Castle explains of his original backdrop, which he fashioned from $150 worth of Spanish moss and peat moss. “The contrast was too much—it looked like one of those sweaters psychiatrists wear.” Castle, whose work has appeared in Fast Company, Money, and Men’s Journal, went back to the drawing board (and the moss, he says, went to the compost heap).
It can take months—and many attempts—to get a minute with the winningest coaches in high school, college, and professional sports, but contributing editor NOAH ISACKSON couldn’t have caught Ozzie Guillen at a better time. “No one was happier or in a better mood than Ozzie,” says Isackson, who sat down to a leisurely interview with the World Series–winning White Sox manager the day after his contract was re-upped. For “The Wisdom of Coaches,” Isackson gathered the motivational nuggets that Guillen and other championship coaches have tried and tested while prevailing in state title, NCAA, and Stanley Cup contests.
Photography: (From top) Lizz Kannenberg; courtesy of Catey Sullivan; courtesy of Taylor Castle; Megan Lovejoy; Charles Cherney/Chicago Tribune