Archive for the ‘ Cubs and the Community ’ Category

Cubs Caravan is on the move


(Photo by Stephen Green)

The Chicago Cubs have announced the Cubs On The Move 2013 Caravan Tour, which includes the winners of the 2013 Cubs Caravan Visits My School Contest. The annual tour will feature two buses of players, coaches and front office personnel.

This year’s Caravan theme, Cubs On The Move, reflects the Cubs’ and Chicago Cubs Charities’ focus on health and fitness.

The tour will visit six schools, four hospitals and the Chicago Public Library on January 16 and 17. New stops this year include the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine base, where Cubs players, coaches and front office staff will serve lunch to active duty military and veterans in partnership with the USO. The Caravan will also stop at the new Cubs Single-A affiliate Kane County Cougars’ ballpark and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Two lucky schools were selected as winners of the Cubs Caravan Visits My School Contest this year: Montini Catholic High School and DeWitt Clinton Elementary School. Montini Catholic (Lombard, Ill.) was selected as a contest winner for proudly displaying team memorabilia throughout the school. DeWitt Clinton Elementary School (Chicago) was selected for integrating Cubs baseball into their teaching curriculum and for their commitment to fitness initiatives.

Attendees (subject to change) include: David Bell, Joe Bohringer, Mike Borzello, Michael Bowden, Randy Bush, Shawn Camp, Tony Campana, Steve Clevenger, Rob Deer, David DeJesus, Jim Deshaies, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Len Kasper, Andy Lane, Dave McKay, Jason McLeod, Keith Moreland, Jamie Quirk, Shiraz Rehman, Anthony Rizzo, James Rowson, James Russell, Dave Sappelt, Lester Strode and Dale Sveum.

January 16
9 a.m. – Montini Catholic High School – Lombard, IL
11 a.m. – 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines, 3034 W. Foster Ave. – Chicago (Cubs Caravan Luncheon)
12:15 p.m. – Advocate Christ Medical Center – Oak Lawn, IL (Two players)
1 p.m. – DeWitt Clinton Elementary School – Chicago
2:15 p.m. – Museum of Science and Industry – Chicago

January 17
10 a.m. – Fox Chase Elementary School – Oswego, IL
11:15 a.m. – Kane County Cougars – Geneva, IL
2 p.m. – Advocate Lutheran General Hospital – Park Ridge, IL
4 p.m. – Urban Initiatives at Jahn World Language Elementary School – Chicago

January 16
9:15 a.m. – Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago – Chicago
11 a.m. – 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines, 3034 W. Foster Ave. – Chicago (Cubs Caravan Luncheon)
2 p.m. – Battalion 9 Fire House – Chicago
3:45 p.m. – Chicago Public Library: Merlo Branch – Chicago

January 17
9:30 a.m. – Lake View High School – Chicago
11 a.m. – D’Agostino’s Pizza with Blaine Elementary School – Chicago
3 p.m. – John Spry Elementary School – Chicago
3:30 p.m. – Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago/Ronald McDonald House – Chicago

Woody’s Winter Warm-Up tickets on sale now


(Art by Jerry Neumann)

Kerry Wood has spent most of his adult life honing his craft as a major league pitcher. So excuse him if he’s not a world-class bartender.

On Jan. 18, you’ll get your chance to see him in action and critique his skills as he slings drinks at the second annual Woody’s Winter Warm-Up at Harry Caray’s Tavern on Navy Pier. Starting at 8:30 p.m., Wood will join former and current Cubs players, as well as local celebrities, behind the bar, where they will compete for tips with all proceeds benefitting the Wood Family Foundation. Wood said the event is a good time, and current players like Darwin Barney, Jeff Samardzija and James Russell are expected to attend.

“People want to give back and do it for a good cause,” Wood said. “Last year … people got really into it, and it was really cool.”

At the inaugural mixer in 2012, the Grammy-nominated band Plain White T’s performed. They even got a little help from former Cub Randy Wells and baseball president Theo Epstein on a few songs. The event raised more than $85,000, thanks to about 30 current and former players, who pitched in behind the bar or simply enjoyed the evening.

But don’t count on Wood to make you the best Old-Fashioned or dirty martini of your life, as he admits this probably won’t be a new career path.

“I’m really good at taking the tops of beers off with the opener,” Wood joked. “I pour a mean glass of wine, but I’m not a mixologist.”

Tickets are on sale now and in limited supply. For more information, visit

Now Playing: The Cubs ring in the holidays

The Cubs kicked off the holiday season in fine fashion on Friday with the second annual lighting of the holiday tree and the grand opening of the Rink at Wrigley. Hundreds of fans were on hand to watch Tom and Todd Ricketts, David and Kim DeJesus, Fergie Jenkins, Congressman Mike Quigley and many others light the 30-foot tree, which is located in front of the famous Wrigley Field marquee. Chicago Cubs Charities and WGN also kicked off a toy drive at Wrigley. All presents will be donated to Jennifer Hudson’s Julian D. King Gift Foundation.

Bring the Chicago Cubs to your school

For the third straight year, Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana schools can enter an essay contest for a chance to bring the annual Chicago Cubs Caravan to their community. The Cubs Caravan Visits My School Contest will reward one enthusiastic school with a visit from Chicago Cubs players, coaches and front office leadership on the morning of Jan. 16, 2013.

The annual Cubs Caravan is a two-day excursion to schools, neighborhoods and communities throughout Illinois and Northwest Indiana. The 2012 caravan visited seven schools, two hospitals, a police station, a library, the USO of Illinois at the Great Lakes Naval Academy and a luncheon benefiting Chicago Cubs Charities.

Teachers or principals are encouraged to team up with their students to submit an essay of 400 words or fewer in support of their school as a Cubs Caravan destination. Consideration will be given to schools that show knowledge and passion for the Chicago Cubs and promote health and fitness throughout the school year. Visit for official rules and an entry form. The entry period is open now and ends Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at 8 p.m. CST. Schools must be located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake or McHenry counties in Illinois, or Lake or Porter counties in Indiana.

The winner of the 2012 Cubs Caravan Visits My School Contest was Ernst Prussing Elementary School at 4650 N. Menard Ave. in Chicago. The school was selected because of its inclusion of Chicago Cubs baseball into its curriculum. The faculty integrated the team’s schedule and statistics into classroom assignments, including geography lessons based on the team’s away games, math problems using earned run averages and writing assignments that include drafting player biographies. The school also participated in a walk-a-thon to support Juvenile Diabetes research—a cause beloved by Cubs Hall of Famer Ron Santo.

To enter the 2013 Cubs Caravan Visits My School Contest and to review official rules, visit the contest page on

Cubs usher in the season with holiday tree and Rink at Wrigley

This year, Chicago Cubs Charities is doing its part to make the holidays a little brighter.

The Cubs will kick off the holiday season with a daylong celebration, culminating in the lighting of the Cubs Holiday Tree, on Friday, Nov. 30. The WGN Morning Show will also produce a live broadcast from Wrigley Field to launch the WGN Morning News Drive-Thru Toy Drive.

Fans can help support needy children during the holidays by bringing an unwrapped gift to the administrative entrance at Wrigley Field, Nov. 25 through Nov. 29, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Nov. 30, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. All fans who donate a toy will receive a pass for one free skating session at the Rink at Wrigley during the 2012-13 skating season. Toys will be donated to Jennifer Hudson’s Julian D. King Gift Foundation.

This marks the second year the Cubs have held a Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony under the famed Wrigley Field marquee. David DeJesus and his family will be on hand to help light the tree, and the celebration will feature photos with Santa, free hot chocolate and ice skating. The tree was designed by Christy Webber Landscapes.

Also, for the fourth consecutive year, an ice skating rink outside the Friendly Confines will welcome skaters this winter thanks to the generosity of the Ricketts family and Chicago Cubs Charities. The full-size rink will be available in the Cubs’ parking lot at the corner of Clark and Waveland through March 3, 2013. The Rink at Wrigley is sponsored by the Ricketts family and the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Cubs Charities, the Chicago Park District, Westrec Marinas, Christy Webber Landscapes and the Central Lakeview Merchants Association.

The rink is open Monday through Thursday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $5 per adult and $3 per child Monday through Thursday, and $10 per adult and $6 per child Friday through Sunday. Season passes are available for $60.

NOTE: Due to high temperatures, the Rink at Wrigley will not open Friday as scheduled. Stay tuned to @Cubs and for updates.

Now Playing: Wounded Warriors at Wrigley

On Monday morning, three very special guests took a private tour of Wrigley Field and met the Cubs front office thanks to the All32in17 program. Led by Craig and Matt Steichen, a father-son team from the suburbs of Chicago, the All32in17 mission is to take wounded warriors to all 32 NFL stadiums during the 17-week NFL season. While in each city, the warriors receive the VIP treatment and get to visit iconic locations. On Monday, three wounded warriors and Chicago natives stopped by Wrigley Field prior to heading over to Soldier Field for the Monday Night Football game between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions. Dozens of members of the Cubs front office, including Todd Ricketts and GM Jed Hoyer, were on hand to welcome the warriors to Wrigley and thank them for their service to our country. The Wounded Warrior Project strives to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, and to provide direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

Now Playing: Cubs, Kerry Wood break ground on new field

For years, Chicago Public League baseball teams haven’t had a true home-field advantage when the high school playoffs come around. Without a serviceable field to play on, city teams have been forced to trek out to the suburbs when the single-elimination tournament starts up each May. But that’s all about to change.

The Chicago Cubs Charities and the Wood Family Foundation broke ground on Kerry Wood Cubs Field Thursday, a high school baseball diamond located at Clark Park near Lane Tech High School about a mile west of Wrigley Field. The $5 million project should be completed in the first half of 2013. The stadium will seat 1,100 people and will have lights for potential night games.

Vine Line was there for the ceremony, where former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood and Cubs co-owners Tom and Laura Ricketts spoke of the excitement surrounding this new venture.

Now Playing: Cubs Social Media Night 2

Last night, the Cubs helped fans pass the three-and-a-half-hour rain delay in style at their second Social Media Night event of the season. Though the game didn’t get started until 10:42 p.m., Social Media Night kicked off at about 5 p.m. in the Captain Morgan Club. Each attendee received a Social Media Night T-shirt with a design that was selected by the fans. Comcast SportsNet also broadcast their Chicago Tribune Live show from the Captain Morgan Club, and many prizes were handed out, including signed copies of Vine Line, Cubs Authentics products and a ticket upgrade. One lucky fan even got to throw out the first pitch at last night’s long-delayed game.

Seventh-Inning Stretch Lineup, 9/14-9/23

The Cubs kick off their second-to-last homestand of the season on Friday, as the Pirates, Reds and Cardinals come to town. If you’re headed to Wrigley Field over the next week, here’s your seventh-inning stretch lineup:

Friday 9/14: Jonathon Brandmeier, WGN Radio morning drive host
First Pitch: Christina Loukas, USA Olympic diver
Saturday 9/15: Keith Moreland, former Cub and current Cubs radio broadcaster
First Pitch: Carlos Leon, paralympian, track and field
Sunday 9/16: TBD
First Pitch: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Monday 9/17: Israel Idonije, Chicago Bears Defensive Lineman
Tuesday 9/18: Firefighter Appreciation Night
Members of Fire Department Engine 78, located across the street from Wrigley Field, will lead the seventh-inning stretch
-Actor Taylor Kinney from the new NBC show Chicago Fire will throw out the ceremonial first pitch
-Actor Jesse Spencer from Chicago Fire will play the national anthem on violin, joined by real-life Chicago firefighter Art Guzman on guitar
-Multiple cast members from Chicago Fire will be joined by multiple firefighters on the field for a pregame recognition and photo
Wednesday 9/19: Donnell Woolford, former Chicago Bears cornerback
Thursday 9/20: Michael Madsen, actor and Chicago native
Friday 9/21: TBD
Saturday 9/22: George Lopez, actor and comedian
Sunday 9/23: Kerry Wood Day
Kerry and Sarah Wood will lead the seventh-inning stretch along with their three kids, Justin, Katie and Charlie
Kerry’s son, Justin, will throw the ceremonial first pitch and Kerry will catch it

While you’re at the park, remember to pick up the latest issue of Vine Line and the collectible Vine Line Gameday Edition and scorecard.

The Cubs Remember 9/11

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(Photos by Stephen Green)

On September 27, 2001, baseball returned to Wrigley Field after the tragedy of 9/11. To commemorate the occasion, the Stars and Stripes were flown all over Wrigley Field, and the Cubs front office placed a small American flag in every seat. The emotional pregame ceremony included the Chicago Police Department Emerald Society performing “Amazing Grace” and “America the Beautiful.” The Cubs and Astros lined up on the field with police officers and firefighters, and team captain Joe Girardi delivered a short address to the crowd.

“I will never forget that day,” Girardi told Vine Line in September 2011. “I had so many emotions going through my head when I addressed the fans. You try to be strong, but I was thinking about all that New Yorkers had gone through. More than that, I was really thinking about all the children who had lost parents on 9/11. It was a hard say, and it was difficult to play a baseball game. But I also felt a sense of pride in that our country was resilient enough that we were back on the field. People were enjoying the national pastime in every city, and that proved that we could not be defeated.”


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