It didn’t really matter to me which team won the World Series. My St. Louis Cardinals had another October off.

However, being I’m the baseball old school type, I must admit I leaned toward Boston. They played the game the right way. Two Dodgers didn’t, in my ancient opinion.

I did discover that Boston does have a connection to Illinois agriculture.

John Henry II, principal owner of the Red Sox, was born in Quincy, Illinois. His parents, Charles “Chad” Sumner Henry and Sue B. (Kelley) Henry, were soybean, corn and wheat farmers, and he spent his time growing up in Illinois and Arkansas. His dad was born in Quincy, and his mom was born in West Point, Illinois.

“Little did he know that the crops would give him inspiration to start a major business after he had matured into adulthood, but not as a farmer,” according to a Money Inc. article.

Due to Henry’s asthma, the family believed a move to a different climate would improve his condition, and they moved to Apple Valley, California, when he was 15 years old.

When John’s father died in the 1970s, he returned to run the family farm. However, it wasn’t his cup of tea, but he always was exceptionally good with numbers.

Now that he had a working knowledge of the grain industry and how it figured into the commodities market, he began trading. It was there where he used his keen business sense to build a fortune, according to the article.

Henry was 27 years old in 1976, when he was approached by a Reynolds Securities commodities broker to advise farmers. He turned them down and would use the money he had made in the market to start his own marketing management firm in 1981.

The rest, as they say, is history, but it all started on a farm.

Tom C. Doran can be reached at 815-780-7894 or Follow him on Twitter at: @AgNews_Doran.


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