Jim Vinicky dead at 71; White Sox fan, foodie —like Yelp before Yelp

Jim Vinicky outside Guaranteed Rate Field. He loved food, family, animals and the White Sox.


When Jim Vinicky attended a traditional Swedish Christmas Eve dinner at his high school girlfriend’s house in Hinsdale, he brought a jar of giardiniera.

It was an audacious move. The spiced and brined vegetables clashed with the family’s admittedly bland homemade sausage, pickled herring and hunks of cheese.

It was tolerated by her parents. And secretly heralded by the rest of his future in-laws.

Mr. Vinicky, who grew up in neighboring LaGrange and was under the impression everyone in Hinsdale was rich, mistook his girlfriend’s grandmother for the family maid the first time he went to their house, family recalled.

“We were Cubs and Chicago Tribune people, and he came into the family and was a White Sox guy who read the Sun-Times,” said Brenda Lundstrom, Mr. Vinicky’s sister-in-law.

“Everyone came to love him,” she said.

Mr. Vinicky was the kind of guy who always got in the pool and swam with his kids and grandkids, even though he didn’t know how to swim.

“He’d always kind of wade into the deep end, and I’d be like, ‘Dad, don’t you dare!’” said his daughter, Amanda Vinicky.

He was the perennial — and successfully anonymous — Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, the king of dad jokes (How are you feeling? … With my hands!) and an astute and unprompted imitator of the gravelly siren call of his favorite ballpark beer salesman, a guy named Russell. 

Mr. Vinicky died March 5 of leukemia. He was 71. 

Years ago, upon driving his son, Jimmy Vinicky Jr., to Florida for a new job, Mr. Vinicky handed Jimmy his …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.