We scooped The Wall Street Journal and Sports Illustrated

July 5, 2014 • Posted in baseball, Mike Knezovich, Uncategorized, writing by

Your kind and thoughtful words the past month have meant a lot to Mike and me, and they serve as a reminder of just how fortunate – and grateful – we are to have such amazing friends in our lives.

Two of those amazing friends were featured in national publications last month. If you recognized Jill Foucré in a profile in The Wall Street Journal or Kevin Goldstein’s name in a cover story in Sports Illustrated, that’s because you read about them here at the Safe & Sound blog first.

A photo from Marcel’s grand opening gala. That’s Jill in the middle, flanked by her sister Jenny, and Jenny’s husband Dean.

Jill is a dear friend of mine from high school. I first wrote about Jill here in 2011 when I was invited to the exclusive “Friends and Family” grand opening of Marcel’s Culinary Experience, her culinary retail store and cooking school in Glen Ellyn, Ill. I blogged about her again when I took a cooking class at Marcel’s the next year.

Jill was profiled in The Wall Street Journal as part of a series called “Second Acts” that looks at the paths people are taking in their 50s and beyond. Jill was 51 when she left a career as Chief Operating Officer of UnitedHealth Networks (a division of UnitedHealth Group Inc.) and opened a combination cooking school and retail shop. From the article:

She is working as many hours now as she did as a globe-trotting executive, but she says she prefers her new life, especially given what she sees each day.
“Customers are always in a good mood—cooking a great meal with friends, having a glass of wine, and just chatting and relaxing,” says Ms. Foucré. “Food brings people together.”

If you’re in the area, treat yourself to a visit to Marcel’s — the store is as terrific as the owner.

Now for our friend Kevin Goldstein. He’s the Director of Pro Scouting for the Houston Astros, and I wrote about him last year when he invited Mike and me to join him on the field at White Sox Park before a game against Houston.

That's Kevin at home with his favorite pooch Otto.

That’s Kevin at home with his favorite pooch Otto.

I got to know Kevin back in the 1990s, when he was working with Mike at a start-up company called Spyglass. Kevin is smart, and he’s computer savvy, too, but so were most of the people I met at Spyglass. Kevin stood out, though.

I think he was the youngest person working there, and Mike says Kevin was one of the smartest. He paid attention to new-age baseball stats (otherwise known as sabermetrics) long before the book Moneyball was published, and he knew about minor league prospects long before anyone else did. When Mike left Spyglass, we moved to North Carolina. When Kevin left Spyglass, he moved to baseball.

Kevin started writing for Baseball America, and then moved on to write for Baseball Prospectus. He developed his own email prospect newsletter and started envisioning working for a Major League club someday.

That day came in 2012, when Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow contacted Kevin for an interview and offered him a job.

Last month the Houston Astros were on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The cover story explored Houston’s radical plans to rebuild their team and described Kevin as a respected writer who had never worked in pro baseball before joining the “Nerd Cave” behind the scenes at the Houston Astros. Kevin is quoted in the story, and of course Mike and I root, root, root for the Astros now –unless they are playing the White Sox.

Judy Spock On July 5, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Thank you, Beth and Mike, for a chance to have views and news of Dean and JennyŠ(I think the most vivid memory I have of them was hearing, from Anne, Dean¹s Mom, that they had gone to a High School Junior Prom togetherŠand if I recall it correctly, were inseperable ever after! ) I am so glad I was able to join the Zartmans for one part of the many occasions celebrating your family¹s remarkable MotherŠ.I treasure my (bi?) Centennial quarterŠand wonder how many of us now have themŠ?! Her life had an impressive scopeŠinfluencing so many fine family members..an amazing legacy. It¹s good to be back to our Memoirs group againŠI know now, I¹ll never run out of memories of my complex, now-historic (!) lifeŠ.it¹s rife with anecdotes, mostly untold, and I will happily Œmine¹ it as long as I canŠIt¹s wonderful to have the opportunity! Thank you! Judy Spock

From: Safe & Sound blog Reply-To: Safe & Sound blog Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2014 19:23:04 +0000 To: Judith Spock Subject: [New post] We scooped The Wall Street Journal and Sports Illustrated

WordPress.com bethfinke posted: “Your kind and thoughtful words the past month have meant a lot to Mike and me, and they serve as a reminder of just how fortunate ­ and grateful ­ we are to have such amazing friends in our lives. Two of those amazing friends were featured in national “

bethfinke On July 6, 2014 at 8:29 am

Oh, dear Judy, I was so touched that you and the Zartmans took the time to come out to Elmhurst for Flo’s funeral. I love hearing how you treasure that bicentennial quarter. Explanation for other blog readers: for some reason Flo took to saving Bicentennial quarters back in 1976, and she’d continued doing so ever since. The Bicenntennial quarters were minted special that year to celebrate the 200th birthday of the US. She had piles and piles of them, and her children, grandchildren, great and great-great grandchildren took to looking out for them on her behalf,, too. Many of us mailed the quarters to her when we found them and she was tickled by each and every one we found for her. As people left Flo’s funeral last Friday, the great and great-great grandchildren placed a Bicentennial quarter from Flo’s collection in the palm of everyone who was there, it was meant as a reminder of Flo.


Bev On July 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Wow, Beth…you have some really great friends!

bethfinke On July 6, 2014 at 8:30 am

I sure do. I am one lucky woman.


Mary Rayis On July 8, 2014 at 5:23 pm

It was great reading about our fellow high school classmate Jill Foucre! I will have to check out her shop and cooking school. My husband is always interested in taking cooking classes.

bethfinke On July 9, 2014 at 7:20 am

You and your husband won’t be disappointed, Mary. And if you have time, you can saunter down the street to The Bookstore — our class of ’76 classmate Jenny Foucré works there from time to time. Jill Foucré, the owner of Marcel’s, was in the class of ’77 at York. . Two bangs for the buck, all right there in Glen Ellyn!


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