Archive for the ‘ Cubs and the Community ’ Category

Now Playing: Clark the Cub makes his debut

Clark, the newly introduced Chicago Cubs mascot, made his debut Monday night along with more than a dozen prospects in the Cubs Rookie Development Program at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Pediatric Developmental Center. Together, they helped reinforce positive activities being taught to children with autism and other developmental challenges.

Clark was joined at Advocate Illinois Masonic by prospects Albert Almora, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, C.J. Edwards, Kyle Hendricks, Pierce Johnson, Eric Jokisch, Mike Olt, Neil Ramirez, Armando Rivero, Rubi Silva, Jorge Soler, Christian Villanueva and Arodys Vizcaino.

The players divided into four rooms and hosted activities for the children and their siblings, including an interview room where kids asked questions of players and practiced social skills; a reading room where players and kids looked at pictures of Wrigley Field and read stories about baseball; a game room where kids practiced sportsmanship in matches against their Cubs counterparts; and a gym where Clark and players stressed the importance of learning from others through pre-activity stretching drills and practiced motor activity skills during a ball-toss drill.

The next stops for Clark will be the Cubs 100 Gifts of Service 2014 Caravan Tour and the Cubs Convention.

The Cubs unveil their new mascot, Clark

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Kids, meet Clark, the Cubs’ new mascot.

The Cubs will introduce the organization’s first official team mascot Monday evening when Clark visits children at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Pediatric Development Center. He will make his debut alongside more than a dozen Cubs prospects who are currently participating in the Rookie Development Program.

“The Cubs are thrilled to welcome Clark as the team’s official mascot,” said Cubs Senior Director of Marketing Alison Miller. “Clark is a young, friendly Cub who can’t wait to interact with our other young Cubs fans. He’ll be a welcoming presence for families at Wrigley Field and an excellent ambassador for the team in the community.”

After consistently hearing through survey feedback and fan interviews that the Cubs needed more family-friendly entertainment, the team surveyed fans and held focus groups to determine the interest in and benefits of introducing an official mascot. The appetite for more family-friendly initiatives became clear, and the concept of a mascot who interacts in the community, engages with young fans and is respectful of the game was widely supported.

Clark will play a big role in the Cubs Charities’ mission of targeting improvement in health and wellness, fitness, and education for children and families at risk. Young fans can see him at the Cubs Caravan, Cubs On the Move Fitness Programs, hospital visits and other Cubs events.

On game days, Clark will greet fans as they enter Wrigley Field, and he’ll stop by the Wrigley Field First Timer’s Booth to welcome new guests. The mascot will also help kids run the bases on Family Sundays.

The young Cub will interact with fans at Wrigley Field all season long at Clark’s Clubhouse, where he’ll spend most of his time during Cubs games.

Cubs announce 100 Gifts of Service Caravan Tour

Caravan

(Photo by Stephen Green)

The Cubs announced the schedule for their 100 Gifts of Service 2014 Caravan Tour Friday. The annual event features players, coaches and front office personnel traveling through the Chicagoland area to give back to the community.

The 2014 Caravan, themed 100 Gifts of Service, will kick off a yearlong program wherein Cubs staff and players will engage in community service projects to help celebrate Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday. This year, members of the Cubs organization will visit three schools, three hospitals and a military base.

Here is the schedule for the two tours of the Cubs Caravan:

Tour One

Jan. 16

Team 1
10 a.m. – Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy – 250 E. 111th St., Chicago
11:30 a.m. – 2nd Battalion 24th Marines – 3034 W. Foster Ave., Chicago
2 p.m. – Casals School of Excellence – 3501 W. Potomac Ave., Humbolt Park

Team 2
10:30 a.m. – Blaine Elementary – 1420 W. Grace St., Chicago
11:30 a.m. – 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines – 3034 W. Foster Ave., Chicago
2 p.m. – Casals School of Excellence – 3501 W. Potomac Ave., Humbolt Park

Tour Two

Jan. 17

Team 1
11 a.m. – Advocate Children’s Hospital – 4420 S. Sacramento Ave., Oak Lawn

Team 2
11:15 a.m. – Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital – 225 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago

Team 3
11:30 a.m. – Advocate Children’s Hospital – 1175 Dempster St., Park Ridge

Ring in the holidays with the Wrigley Field tree-lighting

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(Photo by Dave Durochik)

Want to welcome in the holiday season the Cubs way? Join board member Laura Ricketts, Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins and Cubs fans to kick off the season with the annual tree-lighting ceremony under the Wrigley Field marquee Thursday night.

The 24-foot tree, which will be lit at 5:30 p.m., is decorated to incorporate Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday. In addition, the Cubs will be hosting a toy drive from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. today, with toys being donated to Lawrence Hall Youth Services. Fans can bring unwrapped gifts to the administrative entrance located on Clark Street next to the Ernie Banks statue.

Hot chocolate, cookies and a photo opportunity with Santa will also be available.

The Cubs are collecting for Illinois tornado relief

Meteorologists from the National Weather Service have determined that at least 16 tornados hit Illinois and Northwest Indiana last Sunday, the largest of which ravaged the town of Washington near Peoria.

On Thursday and Friday morning, the Cubs will be doing their part to help the storm’s victims. Thursday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. through Friday from 8-11 a.m., people can drop off donated items at Wrigley Field’s Purple Lot on Clark Street just west of the stadium. These items will be loaded onto a truck, and a small group of Cubs volunteers will personally drive them to Peoria Friday afternoon. The organization is working with Heroes Memorial Foundation to ensure the donations reach people in need.

Below is a list of items the Red Cross has specifically requested for donation.

Items Most Needed:

  • Tote bags
  • Plastic trash cans
  • Plastic storage bins
  • Gloves

Other Items Needed:

  • Non-perishable food items (granola bars, canned food items, etc)
  • Bottled water
  • Large garbage bags
  • Toiletries (toothpaste, deodorant, soap, etc)
  • Buckets
  • Sponges
  • Mops
  • Towels
  • Baby formula
  • Diapers
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Manual can openers
  • Duct tape
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Female hygiene products
  • School supplies – new or used backpacks, crayons, colored pencils, notebooks, binders, etc.

Cubs unveil 100th Anniversary logo

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When the Cubs play their home opener on April 4, 2014, it will kick off the 100th season of baseball at Wrigley Field. Over the weekend, the team unveiled a new logo to commemorate 100 years at the venerable ballpark.

The logo was created by graphic designer Brandon Ort of New Bremen, Ohio, who’s design beat out more than 1,200 other submissions in the “Wrigley Field Turns 100″ logo contest, held earlier this year.

For his efforts, Ort was recognized during an on-field ceremony prior to Saturday afternoon’s game against the Braves. His logo will be featured as a patch on the team’s home uniform next year, as well as in a variety of promotional items, including memorabilia and commemorative baseballs.

“I am excited and completely honored to have my ‘Wrigley Field Turns 100’ logo design selected to represent this historic ballpark in its 100th year,” Ort said. “Creating the design that will be a part of Cubs and Wrigley Field history is incredibly humbling and serves as a benchmark in my career. What better way to celebrate than to watch a game at Wrigley Field today with close friends and family.”

Throughout the 2014 season, the Cubs will celebrate 100 years of Wrigley Field with promotions, events and collectible memorabilia. Additional details will be revealed later this offseason, and attendees of the 2014 Cubs Convention will get a first look at many aspects of the planned celebration.

“We’re very excited to unveil our official logo celebrating 100 years of Wrigley Field and to kick off what will be a season-long celebration of the past century at this beautiful ballpark,” said Alison Miller, Cubs senior director of marketing. “Our fans will want to be here to remember and possibly re-experience many of the historic moments that occurred at Wrigley Field.”

Fans can now find official Wrigley Field 100th merchandise—such as hats, clothing, glassware, pins and pennants—at the Cubs store on Clark Street and at Wrigley Field gift shops. Chicago Cubs Charities has also introduced a limited-edition Wrigley Field 100th Anniversary ornament.

Rizzo named Cubs Nominee for Clemente Award

Cubs vs Rangers

(Photo by Stephen Green)

Major League Baseball and Chevrolet today announced Anthony Rizzo has been named the Chicago Cubs’ 2013 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. MLB will honor Clemente’s legacy on Tuesday, September 17, with the 12th annual Roberto Clemente Day. Rizzo is one of the 30 club finalists for the annual award, which recognizes a player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.

“In his two seasons with the team, Anthony has made a tremendous, selfless impact in the community and with his teammates,” said Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer. “We urge all baseball fans to recognize him as the 2013 national Roberto Clemente Award recipient.”

Beginning Tuesday, fans are encouraged to help select the national award recipient by visiting ChevyBaseball.com to vote for one of the 30 nominees. Voting ends Sunday, Oct. 6, and participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2013 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will be announced.

Last year, during his first season with the Cubs, Rizzo started the nonprofit Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation to raise money for cancer research and provide support to children and families battling the disease. As a cancer survivor, Rizzo understands the impact cancer has on the entire family. Through fundraising for research and providing support for pediatric cancer patients and their families, the foundation aims to give every family a fighting chance against the disease.

Since its inception, the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation has hosted two successful inaugural events. The Walk-Off For Cancer was held in Rizzo’s Florida hometown in December 2012, and the Cook-Off For Cancer took place in Chicago with the support of teammates and the front office in August 2013. Together, these events have raised more than $250,000 for cancer research.

In addition to these fundraising efforts, Rizzo makes monthly visits to Lurie Children’s Hospital, where he spends much of his time talking with the patients and their families, signing autographs, taking photos and handing out Cubs goodies. Rizzo will be recognized for his nomination before the team’s Sept. 23 home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and his foundation will be presented a $7,500 grant.

Banks awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

President Barack Obama today announced Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks has been named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this great award and to be among such distinguished honorees,” Banks said. “I have spent my life trying to help others enjoy and appreciate the sport I love. I thank President Obama for all his efforts. The Chicago Cubs and Cubs fans everywhere share in this award, as their support makes me proud to continue to work on behalf of America’s greatest game.”

According to the White House, The Medal of Freedom is the highest honor awarded to civilians in the United States. It was established in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy and is presented to those who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

“This honor is well deserved for a man who has done so much for the game of baseball,” said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts.  “His contributions on and off the field have made a monumental impact to society. He is a great American ambassador who continues to spend his time and effort helping others love and appreciate America’s pastime.”

Banks joins a distinguished list of baseball players to receive this prestigious award, including Hank Aaron (2002), Roberto Clemente (2003), Joe DiMaggio (1977), Stan Musial (2011), Buck O’Neil (2006), Frank Robinson (2005), Jackie Robinson (1984) and Ted Williams (1991).

Ricketts to serve as honorary parade marshal

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts will serve as the honorary parade marshal of the 84th Annual Bud Billiken Parade on Sunday, Aug. 10. Ricketts becomes the first honorary marshal from the Cubs organization. The parade has long served as a way to get Chicago students excited about going back to school.

“I am honored to serve as honorary parade marshal in support of our city’s youth and education,” Ricketts said. “The Bud Billiken Parade is one of Chicago’s greatest traditions, and I am happy to join the thousands of talented youth who will be providing an atmosphere of excitement and family fun.”

Both the Cubs Trolley and the Cubs RBI team will also participate in the event.

Cubs to be inducted into National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame

Gay-Games-7

(Photo by Stephen Green)

The Chicago Cubs will be inducted into the inaugural class of The National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame Friday evening, joining other organizations, former pro sports officials, activists, journalists, and retired and current athletes. The National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame selected the Cubs for being the first professional male sports team in the country to place an ad in a gay newspaper in 2000; hosting Gay Games VII at Wrigley Field in 2006; being the first professional male sports team to have a float in an LGBT pride parade in 2010; and being the first team in Major League Baseball with an openly gay owner—Chicago Cubs board member and Chicago Cubs Charities chair Laura Ricketts.

“We are honored to be included in the inaugural class of the National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame,” Ricketts said. “When you look at the other impressive and talented individuals who were selected for this great distinction, we feel very special to be included among these great pioneers in sports.”

Other inductees in the inaugural class are Anheuser-Busch, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Glenn Burke, Ben Cohen, Jason Collins, Orlando Cruz, Chuck Dima, Justin Fashanu, Gay Games, Andrew Goldstein, LZ Granderson, International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA), Christina Kahrl, Billie Jean King, Chris Kluwe, Dave Kopay, Greg Louganis, Martina Navratilova, Outsports.com, Dave Pallone, Jerry Pritikin, Renee Richards, Patty Sheehan, Dr. Tom Waddell and Johnny Weir.

The induction of the first honorees occurs Friday night during a ceremony at the Center on Halsted in Chicago. Tickets, available as VIP or general admission, are available at http://www.gayandlesbiansports.com.

The induction ceremony will be held in conjunction with tomorrow’s annual “Out at Wrigley” game, the nation’s largest “Gay Day” at a major league sporting event. Tickets for the Aug. 3 “Out at Wrigley” event can be purchased in the Terrace Reserve or all-inclusive Budweiser Patio at http://www.outatwrigley.com. Budweiser Patio tickets include a free ticket to tonight’s HOF Induction Ceremony. Wrigley Field will also fly two rainbow flags over the stadium Saturday, while Adam LeBlanc, winner of the “Out at Wrigley” Anthem Finals, will perform the National Anthem.

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