(Photos by Stephen Green)
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played the first of two sold out shows at Wrigley Field last night. During the 3 1/2-hour set, Springsteen was joined on stage by 18 musicians and singers, including Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello. The Boss will be back for a second show tonight.
(Photo courtesy Jam Productions, Ltd.)
A view through the ivy. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band bring their Wrecking Ball Tour to Wrigley Field this Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. This will be the last concert of the season at the Friendly Confines, which previously hosted Roger Waters and Brad Paisley.
Glee star Jane Lynch has spent much of her life playing an assortment of characters on the big and small screens. But there was no acting when the excited Chicago native returned to Wrigley Field on June 27 to sing the seventh-inning stretch. Lynch, a lifelong Cubs fan, happily recalled some of her fondest memories from her countless visits to the Friendly Confines before belting out a rousing version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” that would have made Harry Caray proud.
To read the complete interview, pick up the September issue of Vine Line, which also features stories on first baseman Anthony Rizzo and top draft pick Albert Almora.
This afternoon, Jeff Samardzija helps the Cubs kick off a 10-game homestand with the Rockies, Brewers and Giants. If you’re on your way to Wrigley to cheer on the new-look North Siders, here’s your seventh-inning stretch lineup:
- Friday, August 24 - Glenn Beckert, former Cubs great
First Pitch: Rowdy Gaines, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist in swimming, Pregame: Several other Olympic swimmers are on hand for a special recognition, including Peter Vanderkaay, Davis Tarwater and Cullen Jones
- Saturday, August 25 - Fergie Jenkins, Cubs Hall of Fame pitcher
- Sunday, August 26 - Tom Dreesen, comedian and Chicago native
- Monday, August 27 – Buddy Guy, Grammy Award-winning blues legend
- Tuesday, August 28 – Len Kasper and Bob Brenly from the Budweiser Patio
First Pitch: Elisabeth Moss, actress and star of Mad Men
- Wednesday, August 29 – Umphrey’s McGee, popular rock jam band
- Thursday, August 30 – Doug Bruno and Oliver Purnell, DePaul University’s women’s and men’s head basketball coaches
- Friday, August 31 – Bobby Hansen, former Chicago Bulls guard and current Iowa basketball broadcaster
First Pitch: Fran McCaffery, University of Iowa men’s head basketball coach
- Saturday, September 1 – Jon Lovitz, actor and comedian
- Sunday, September 2 - TBD Chicago Blackhawks players
First Pitch: Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks star
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.
Over the weekend, the Cubs welcomed Ron Santo’s family, University of Illinois football coach Tim Beckman and entertainer Steve Harvey to the Friendly Confines. If you’re headed out to Wrigley for the three-gamer with the red-hot Pirates, here’s your seventh-inning stretch lineup:
- Monday, July 30 – Gloria Estefan / singer and star of the new CW show The Next
- Tuesday, July 31 – members of the band Poi Dog Pondering
- Wednesday, August 1 – TBD
While you’re at the park, pick up the latest issue of Vine Line and the collectible Vine Line Gameday Edition and scorecard.
Jay Cutler and Khalil Bell of the Chicago Bears both gave memorable seventh-inning stretch performances over the weekend. If you’re headed out to Wrigley for the three-game set with the Marlins, here’s your seventh-inning stretch lineup:
- Tuesday, July 17 – Jim Belushi / actor, Chicago native
- Wednesday, July 18 – Andre Dawson / Cubs great, Hall of Famer and State Farm ad star (First Pitch: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis / actors, stars of the upcoming film The Campaign)
- Thursday, July 19 – Gary Sinise / actor and Chicago native
While you’re at the park, pick up the July issue of Vine Line, detailing the fans’ picks for the greatest Cubs players of all time at each position.
Cubs fans have been waiting a long time for third baseman Ron Santo to take his rightful place in Cooperstown. That long wait finally comes to an end this weekend. On Sunday, July 22, Santo will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, where he’ll join teammates Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins.
To celebrate Santo’s induction, the Cubs have announced a schedule of events that will allow fans to take part in the joyous occasion. The full press release is attached below.
CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs have announced a schedule of events for fans to celebrate Ron Santo’s Hall of Fame induction, including a Cubs Corner Luncheon at Wildfire Chicago July 17; a Cubs Fan Fest in Cooperstown, N.Y., July 21; the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cooperstown July 22; a corresponding viewing party at Wrigley Field’s Captain Morgan Club July 22; and Ron Santo Day at Wrigley Field for the Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals game July 27, the team’s first home game following Santo’s induction.
On Ron Santo Day at Wrigley Field, the Cubs will honor Santo with a special pregame ceremony featuring members of his family. The first 10,000 fans in the gate will receive a commemorative Ron Santo Hall of Fame Plaque courtesy of PNC Bank, while commemorative memorabilia will be also available for purchase from corporate partners such as Majestic and Chicago Kernel Gourmet Popcorn. The team has partnered with Scotts to incorporate an honorary design into the outfield grass of Wrigley Field for that afternoon’s game.
“Ron Santo embodied what it meant to be a Chicago Cub. This franchise couldn’t be prouder as he is enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and we’re honored he will forever represent the Chicago Cubs in Cooperstown,” said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. “Our family looks forward to celebrating this well-deserved accomplishment with Cubs fans worldwide.”
A full schedule of celebratory events follows:
July 17 – Cubs Corner Luncheon – Chicago
A panel featuring Ron Santo’s son, Ron Santo Jr., former teammate and Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins, and Cubs WGN Radio broadcaster Pat Hughes will reflect on Ron Santo’s Hall of Fame induction at the Cubs Corner Luncheon July 17 at Wildfire Chicago. The session will air on WGN Radio 720 AM from 12-1 p.m. CDT.
Cubs Corner Luncheon tickets are priced at $55 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity. Each guest receives an autographed photo of a featured panelist upon check-in and a lunch of signature Wildfire dishes, including an individual salad, rolls, an individual main course plate and dessert. On-site registration begins at 11 a.m. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., while the live broadcast takes place from 12-1 p.m. Tickets are available at http://www.cubs.com/cubscorner.
July 21 – Cubs Fan Fest – Cooperstown
The Cubs will host a Cubs Fan Fest in Cooperstown Saturday, July 21, in honor of Ron Santo’s induction into the Hall of Fame. The party will be held in the lawn-tented section of Cooperstown’s Fenimore Art Museum from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT. This casual party is for Cubs fans who wish to celebrate Santo’s life and induction with other members of the Cubs community, including Ron’s teammates and several members of the Cubs front office. Special guests include Pat Hughes, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Randy Hundley, Glenn Beckert, the Ricketts family and others. Attendees will enjoy a live Q-and-A session, video of memorable Santo moments, music, food and drinks. A suggested $10 donation at the event will help benefit Chicago Cubs Charities and the not-for-profit National Baseball Hall of Fame.
July 22 – National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – Cooperstown
The National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Sunday will take place in Cooperstown July 22 at 1:30 p.m. EDT on the grounds outside of the Clark Sports Center. The ceremony is expected to last two hours. Seating for the event is unlimited and free of charge. A blanket or lawn chair is recommended for comfortable viewing. Ball caps, yearbooks and museum membership packages are available for purchase at the Hall of Fame induction site.
July 22 – Hall of Fame Induction Viewing Party, Wrigley Field’s Captain Morgan Club – Chicago
Concurrent with the National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cooperstown, the Cubs will host a viewing party at the Captain Morgan Club adjacent to Wrigley Field starting at 11 a.m. CDT. Attendees can watch the ceremony live on dozens of televisions from 12:30-2:30 p.m. CDT just steps away from Ron Santo’s statue at the corner of Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue.
July 27 – Ron Santo Day at Wrigley Field – Chicago
The first Cubs home game following the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be dedicated to honoring Ron Santo in the ballpark he enjoyed the most with the fans he cherished closely. The following activities will highlight Ron Santo Day at Wrigley Field:
· The Cubs will honor Santo during an on-field ceremony featuring members of his family before the 1:20 p.m. CDT game vs. the St. Louis Cardinals.
· The first 10,000 fans to arrive at that day’s game will receive a commemorative Ron Santo Hall of Fame Plaque, courtesy of PNC Bank.
· The outfield grass in center field will showcase an honorary Number 10 design that was chosen by fans through a partnership with Scotts, the Official Lawn Care Company of the Cubs and Major League Baseball.
· Chicago Kernel Gourmet Popcorn will hand out free samples of their gourmet popcorn at Wrigley Field and sell a limited-edition collectible art popcorn tin commemorating Ron Santo’s legendary career and induction into the Hall of Fame. Each tin includes a limited-edition Ron Santo baseball card.
· Majestic will offer commemorative Ron Santo Hall of Fame Cubs jerseys, T-shirts and patches for sale, with proceeds benefitting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
Fans may purchase tickets for the July 27 game at Wrigley Field at http://www.cubs.com, 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827) or in person at the Wrigley Field Box Office.
Chicago Cubs right-hander Kerry Wood formally announced his retirement from baseball today at Wrigley Field with his family by his side, ending a 14-season big league career.
Originally selected by the Cubs with the fourth overall pick in the 1995 draft, Wood pitched 16 years in the organization, including his first 14 seasons. He retires with the third-most strikeouts in team history (1,470) and as only the fourth pitcher to spend 12 or more seasons with the franchise, joining Charlie Root (16 seasons), Guy Bush (12) and Rick Reuschel (12).
The 34-year-old Wood walks away with a career 86-75 record, 63 saves, 1,582 strikeouts and a 3.67 ERA (563 ER/1380.0) in 446 major league appearances (178 starts). He averaged 10.32 strikeouts per nine innings in his career, the second-highest total of any pitcher in major league history, behind only Randy Johnson’s 10.61 mark (minimum 1,300 innings pitched).
On a perfect, sunny day at Wrigley, Wood stood at a podium in front of home plate and thanked his family, teammates, coaches and colleagues. Here are some highlights from the ceremony:
“I’m excited for the future, and I’m excited to watch what these guys are going to be capable of doing. These guys are starting the journey I’m ending today, and I’m looking forward to watching these guys grow and learn this game and ultimately bring a championship to the city that deserves it.”
“I just love the city, love the atmosphere. I love the attitude of the people, love just everything about it. I’m a kid from Texas who showed up here at 17 or 18 years old and white-knuckled the cab ride all the way to the stadium from the airport. I just never thought I’d be able to do it. The place grows on you, and I just love everything about it.”
“I didn’t have to try to crank this thing up today and come in and stretch or do anything like that. I got to watch a little league game this morning and loved every minute of it.”
“You know when it’s time. The body was telling me and obviously the results were telling me. So I’ve got no regrets. I played this game as long as I could and as hard as I could. And I’m fine saying that.”
“This is home. This is why I came back. The fans, this stadium. Yesterday was the best weather day we had. This place was beautiful and rocking. That’s the way I want to remember Wrigley Field, and that’s the way I will remember it.”
Baseball has always been about reinvention. Even at the major league level, players change positions all the time.
But few have done so with the regularity, and consistent success, of Cubs No. 3 starter Jeff Samardzija. After an outstanding career on the gridiron at Notre Dame—and the promise of an NFL career as a wide receiver—Samardzija changed course when he was drafted in the fifth round by the Chicago Cubs.
After a few up-and-down years, the 6’5″, 225-pound flamethrower arrived as a major league pitcher in 2011, posting a 2.97 ERA in 75 appearances out of the bullpen. But there was one problem—Samardzija saw himself as a starter. So when the 2012 offseason rolled around, he headed to Arizona and dedicated himself to securing a spot in the Cubs rotation.
Five months later, Samardzija joined Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster as stalwarts in the Cubs biggest area of strength—their starting rotation. In the May issue of Vine Line, we look at Samardzija’s long road to the Cubs rotation, his mile-long competitive streak and how be became a more complete pitcher.
We also have an exclusive Q&A with the man who is reinventing what it means to play baseball the “Cubs Way,” General Manager Jed Hoyer. We go in depth about why he wanted the Cubs job (which he calls “the best in sports”) and his expectations for 2012 and beyond.
“If you acquire players who play hard—and we have a manager who is going to stress that—if you do the little things well, you always have that chance to catch lightning in a bottle,” Hoyer said.
Finally, we go inside the numbers with four key players—and the advanced metrics that explain why they are so important to the Cubs success.
This season, reinvent the way you get news from your favorite team by subscribing to vineline.mlblogs.com. If you live in the Chicago area, pick up the May issue at select Barnes and Noble, Jewel, Walgreens and Meier locations. Or subscribe to Vine Line today.