From the Pages of Vine Line: Q&A with Scott Hairston

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Scott Hairston may be new to the Cubs, but he is far from a rookie when it comes to the big leagues. Hairston joined his grandfather, father, uncle and brother in the family business when he was drafted in 2001. The veteran outfielder had nine seasons of major league experience on his own resume before coming to Chicago—the city where he spent many childhood years rooting for his father’s White Sox teams. For the April issue of Vine Line, we talked to Hairston about growing up in a baseball family, how it feels to call the Friendly Confines home and which artists are on his gameday playlist.

FIRST LOVE  I think when I started playing Little League at age 7, that’s when the love of the game as a player began. And I decided early. As a kid, I was around the game my whole life, and I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else.

CLUBHOUSE CULTURE  Getting a chance to know some of the guys on the teams my dad was on really caused me to dream more. I looked up to those players, and it definitely made me work harder, because I wanted to be like them. It had a huge influence on me.

SOUTH SIDE  I [was a White Sox fan] growing up. I had to be. I think if I grew up rooting for the Cubs, my dad would have really been upset. So in a way, you pretty much had to be [a Sox fan]. But, you know what, I was a fan of a lot of the Cubs players. I did go to Cubs games. It’s not like I didn’t go. And I rooted for the players that were in that system, like Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg and all those guys that were there. Shawon Dunston and Lee Smith, those guys were there when I watched them.

BRICKS AND IVY  I’ve kind of stopped myself right before and hit [the brick wall] lightly. But I’ve seen guys go right in there. Psychologically, it’s always something that’s in the back of your mind. It’s there, but you’ve just got to be aggressive as an outfielder. The main priority is to catch the ball, but at the same time, you don’t want to put yourself in a position where you can get critically injured. That’s no fun either.

MUSIC MAN  I’m a big Dave Matthews Band fan. I have been for a long time. When it comes to R&B and rap, I love listening to Common. I love Radiohead. I think they’re one of the best bands in the world. And Pearl Jam—I can’t leave out Pearl Jam. I know [frontman] Eddie [Vedder] is a big Cubs fan, and I’ve been dying to meet him. When my brother played here in 2005 and 2006, Eddie came to the clubhouse two times. I’d be really happy to meet him. I’m a big fan of Pearl Jam. I have been since they’ve been out.

To read the complete interview with Hairston, pick up the April issue of Vine Line, featuring the rebuilt Cubs pitching staff, available now at select Jewel-Osco, Walgreens, Meijer, Barnes & Noble, and other Chicago-area retailers. Or subscribe to Vine Line today.

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