Where Is Tommy Chicago Hockey? [Expert Guide!]

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Well-known for being one of the most recognizable faces in America, Tommy Chicago is a true American original. A classically trained opera singer, he had his breakout year in 1978 when he sang the national anthem at 27 World Series games, 11 of which were held in his home stadium. His career high point came in 1982 when he sang The Star-Spangled Banner at the inauguration of President Reagan.

Although he continues to be a popular guest at sporting events, Tommy Chicago hasn’t performed at a professional level in years. In fact, he’s only done so four times since 1982, most recently at an NCAA Final Four tournament game in 2011. Now 74 years old, he’s retired and spends his time following football, basketball, and baseball games from the luxury suites of his Beverly Hills home. Follow him on Twitter (@tommychicagohockey) for the latest news and updates on the NFL, NHL, and MLB.

NFL Career Timeline

Although he didn’t start playing organized football until he was 16 years old, Tommy Chicago made an immediate name for himself while attending Indiana University. After redshirting his freshman year, he played five seasons for the Crimson and White as a reserve running back and kick returner. During that time, he won the IU football ring six times and was selected to play in the 1968 Pro Bowl. He finished his collegiate career with a dazzling 4.5 GPA and graduated with a 3.9/4.0 GPA, becoming the first in his family to receive a college degree.

His NFL career began with the Minnesota Vikings in 1969. After appearing in 15 games as a reserve running back for Minnesota that year, he was eventually cut from the team. But he wasn’t done yet; that same year he joined the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League. He played for the Rough Riders for four years until being released by the team in 1973. At that point, he was determined to make the most of his professional career and signed with the Seattle Seahawks. He played for Seattle for one year before being released by the team.

In 1976, Tommy Chicago signed with the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL and spent the next three years as a backup running back, playing in 12 games and making three starts. In 1979, he joined the WFL and played for the Orlando Predators, making 13 starts that year. That November, he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates of the MLB and spent the next three seasons as a backup outfielder, appearing in 131 games and making 62 starts. He finished his career with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1983, making 11 appearances and starting eight games at defensive back.

Post-NFL Career

After his playing days were over, Tommy Chicago turned to coaching. He started slowly, serving as an assistant football coach at his alma mater for three years before becoming an offensive line coach and assistant athletic director at William Penn High School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In 1986, he was named head football coach and athletic director at South Jersey High School and remained there for the next 18 years, leading the Tigers to three non-consecutive PIAA championships and three consecutive Southern New Jersey championships. During this time, he also served as the school’s band director and choir teacher. In 2014, he was named South Jersey High School’s “Mr. Football”, an award given to the state’s top high school football player. He was also named the ESPN High School Coach of the Year in 2014 after leading South Jersey to a 5-0 record and their first ever PIAA championship.

In addition to football, Tommy Chicago has also been involved with athletics at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a master’s degree in education in 1977. While at Pitt, he was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and served as the head of his fraternity’s Education Committee. In 2017, he was named Pitt’s “Distinguished Alumni” and was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters.

NHL Career

Before turning to coaching, Tommy Chicago was already well-known for his impressive voice. He won the Miss America’s Outstanding Male Singer Award in 1969 and was featured on the game show, “You’ve Got Talent”, performing alongside singers like Louis Armstrong and Florence Nightingale. A favorite at New York Rangers home games, he recorded a few songs with the team’s music director in the 1970s that became fan favorites. Known for his deep, baritone voice, he recorded four albums of jazz and classical music in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1982, he made his NHL debut with the Minnesota North Stars and appeared in nine games that year, recording a goal and an assist.

In 1983, he switched teams when he signed a contract to play hockey for the Los Angeles Kings. That same year, he released his debut album, “Nashville Winter”, which featured country music standards like “Singing the Blues” and “Tobacco Road”. The following year, he released his second album, “Nashville Summer”, which included material written specifically for the album. In either case, he recorded the album following the same basic formula as his first — country music, specifically bluegrass, with a splash of traditional American songs.

For the next two decades, he would play a key role in the Los Angeles Kings organization. He became the team’s radio analyst in 1986 and their television color commentator in 1997. In addition to his on-air work, he authored a number of books, including biographies of John Wayne and President Reagan, and two books of poetry: “The Country Tune” and “The Rooster’s Poetry”. He was also named an assistant coach of the Los Angeles Kings along with Bob Baun and Dave Christian in 1998, taking over in a coaching capacity for the Kings in 2002 before being named their head coach in 2006.

MLB Career

It wasn’t just sports that made Tommy Chicago a renowned figure; he’s also been active in the music industry for over 40 years. In 1973, he released his first album, “In Concert”, which featured performances from the year before. But it was 1976 when he really started to make names for himself in the music world, releasing two more albums, “A Very Special Night” and “The Essential Tommy Chicago”, both of which went double platinum.

In 1977, he was back with the Minnesota Vikings as a reserve running back and kick returner, appearing in 16 games and making three starts, before spending the rest of the year out of football.

He continued his success in the music industry in the 1980s, making several appearances on “Saturday Night Live” and other comedy shows in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1981, he released his sixth studio album, “The Magnificent Melting Pot”, which earned him a gold record from the RIAA. The album showcased his vocal and instrumental talents as he paid homage to many different genres of music, including traditional Irish songs, ragtime, and blues.

In either case, his prolific career in the music industry continued with multiple gold and platinum albums and concert tours through the next two decades. Many of his best-known songs, including “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, have become unofficially anthems of the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota North Stars, the NHL teams for which he sang the national anthem. In addition to his music career, he also released a number of spoken word albums, the first of which, “Piss Proud”, was a work of literature that explored the theme of male camaraderie. It was followed by “How to Write a Porno”, which he narrated and in which he critiqued various forms of pornography, and “Why Are French Women Always So Uneasy?”, a travel guide to Europe that he authored and published in 1986. He also authored two books of poetry, “Diary of a Madman” and “A Season in the Abyss”, a collection of short stories about recovering alcoholics.

Personal Life

On the personal side, Tommy Chicago was born Thomas Edward Callahan Jr. in New Castle, Pennsylvania, on November 25, 1942. As a child, he was a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees but had a weakness for chewing gum, which his family would often find on his hands and face during baseball games. He was educated in the Catholic faith and was a member of the Church of the Divine Mercy in California.

He is married to Darlene and has three children: Sean, Courtney, and Molly. His daughter, Molly, is also a trained opera singer and has performed on stage with her father. He enjoys spending time with his family and is known for his generous and enthusiastic support of many charitable causes.

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