Archive for the ‘ Cubs and the Community ’ Category

Cubs to honor Jackie Robinson

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

As the Jackie Robinson biopic 42: The True Story of An American Legend is released in theaters nationwide Friday, the Chicago Cubs announced they will honor the 66th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier on Tuesday, April 16. This historic moment is celebrated league-wide each year on April 15, with all uniformed personnel wearing Robinson’s retired no. 42 in honor of the legendary Hall of Famer.

“We’re happy to join all of Major League Baseball on this historic occasion,” said Tom Ricketts, chairman of the Chicago Cubs. “Jackie Robinson is a true American hero, and we are all greatly indebted to his contribution to not only baseball, but to American history and culture.”

Since the Cubs’ home series against the Texas Rangers begins on April 16, the Cubs will honor Robinson during a pregame ceremony, and players on both teams will wear No. 42. Nearly 50 “42” flags will adorn the roof of Wrigley Field during the series.

In addition, the Chicago Cubs will host more than 300 Chicago Public School (CPS) high school baseball players to attend Tuesday night’s game in recognition of the celebration. Several CPS baseball players will be recognized during the pregame ceremony.

As part of the pregame ceremony, Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Billy Williams will both be recognized. Banks shares a special kinship with Robinson as the first African-American to play for the Cubs. Banks considered Robinson a mentor during their time in the majors.

Billy Williams broke into the majors not long after Robinson and Banks, and credits Robinson with being the pioneer who opened the door for all baseball players of color. Williams will share his comments about Robinson and his own personal experience playing in the Robinson-era during the game telecast on Comcast SportsNet.

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., who gave the eulogy at Robinson’s funeral services in Brooklyn, N.Y., and actor John C. McGinley will throw out the first pitches t the game. McGinley, who stars as Brooklyn play-by-play announcer Red Barber in the movie, will also serve as the guest conductor for the 7th-inning stretch.

Following the game, Cubs Authentics will auction a game worn No. 42 jersey signed by all the Cubs players and a flag from the roof of Wrigley Field, with proceeds going to Chicago Cubs Charities.

Have a drink with David DeJesus and Anthony Rizzo

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

If you’re in the Phoenix area this week for Spring Training, join Cubs outfielder David DeJesus, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and other big league ballplayers for a drink—for a good cause, of course.

The David DeJesus Family Foundation will be hosting a Celebrity Bartending Night on Wednesday, March 20, at the American Junkie Bar in Scottsdale, Ariz., to benefit families in need. Featured celebrity bartenders include Darwin Barney, Anthony Rizzo, Travis Wood, Adam Eaton, Javy Guerra, David Hernandez, Casey Kelly, George Kontos and Wade Miley.

The event goes from 9-11 p.m., and general admission tickets are available for purchase at the door for $50 per person. VIP tickets are $150 and include a preparty cocktail hour from 8- 9 p.m. with food and a private mix-and-mingle as the players learn how to bartend.

“We are excited to raise funds to support our mission from this fun event,” said DeJesus. “My wife, Kim, and I started the David DeJesus Family Foundation and are excited to be continuing its growth here in Arizona.”

The event is being hosted in conjunction with Issues Concerning Athletes and MiCamp Merchant Services. American Junkie Bar is located at 4363 N. 75th St., in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The David DeJesus Family Foundation was created by Cubs outfielder David DeJesus and his wife, Kim, in order to help families in crisis in Chicago and in parts of the world where people lack basic human needs.  DDFF is committed to helping alleviate suffering for those that face devastation due to illness, poverty or disaster as well as those who seek a voice to be heard. In particular, DDFF has been actively involved in the fight against ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Kick off the season with the 8th Annual Race to Wrigley 5K

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Ever dream of running through Wrigley Field like your favorite Cubs players? All you need to do is sign up for Chicago Cubs Charities’ 8th Annual Race to Wrigley 5k Run, presented by Athletico Physical Therapy.

The Race to Wrigley, which will take place on Saturday, May 11, starts and finishes at Wrigley Field and helps kick off the baseball season the right way. The course winds through the streets of the Lakeview neighborhood before returning to the Friendly Confines, where runners get a chance to run through Wrigley Field’s ground-level concourse, finishing under the famous marquee at Clark and Addison.

But the Race to Wrigley is about more than just fitness. It also offers runners an opportunity to show their support for a good cause. This year, personal fundraising proceeds will benefit Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, formerly known as Children’s Memorial Hospital.

After you sign up for the race, you can create your own personalized fundraising page. Or if you’re not interested in lacing up your running shoes but still want to help, you can become a virtual runner on the race’s website. Runners and virtual runners who raise $1,000 or more become Race MVPs. These lucky competitors get to run a victory lap around the Wrigley Field warning track and see their name in lights on the scoreboard.

Participants can register for the race at www.racetowrigley.com. Registration is $40 for a chip-timed run or $35 for a fun run. The chip-timed price will increase to $45 and the fun run price to $40 starting April 12. The chip-timed run begins at 8 a.m., and the fun run begins at 8:10 a.m.

The 2013 Race to Wrigley will be capped at 10,000 total runners. Registration will be closed once this capacity is reached or after May 9.

Cubs and Northwestern are bringing football back to Wrigley

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

The Chicago Cubs and Northwestern University Athletics announced a historic partnership on Tuesday that will bring football back to Wrigley Field for the first time since Northwestern and Illinois squared off in 2010. The multiyear, innovative event and reciprocal marketing partnership will showcase a wide range of Wildcats athletic programs—including baseball, lacrosse and five Northwestern football games—at historic Wrigley Field in the coming years.

“We are thrilled to partner with a professional sports franchise as iconic as the Chicago Cubs in an agreement that truly is the first of its kind,” said Jim Phillips, Northwestern University vice president for athletics and recreation. “As Chicago’s Big Ten team, this is a natural fit that will create tremendous opportunities for our student-athletes, our coaches and our fans in the area.”

As part of the partnership, the Friendly Confines will potentially serve as a home venue for many of Northwestern’s 19 varsity programs over the coming years. Two sports programs have set tentative dates to kick off the partnership. On April 20, Northwestern baseball will host the Michigan Wolverines in a Big Ten matchup. In spring 2014, the Wildcats’ women’s lacrosse team, winner of seven of the last eight NCAA championships under head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller, plans to host regional rival Notre Dame.

According to Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney, all profits from these events will go back into the Cubs baseball operations. The dates of the five football games are yet to be determined, as Big Ten schedules are being reworked due to the additions of Maryland and Rutgers. The restoration of Wrigley Field is also a factor.

“To do this on a consistent basis, we have to have a renovation of the park so that the field fits the right way,” said Cubs owner Tom Ricketts. “But we’ve anticipated that in our designs, and we look forward to making sure we get the right renovations in so we can hold a [football] game every year.”

Now Playing: Cubs Caravan On the Move

On Jan. 16 and 17, the Chicago Cubs On the Move 2013 Caravan Tour delivered Cubs baseball to deserving individuals and organizations throughout the Chicago area and northwest Indiana. The annual tour featured two busloads of players, coaches and front office personnel visiting more than 15 locations.

The Cubs Caravan highlights the importance of reading, education and fitness to students at schools and libraries; drops in on patients in hospitals to brighten their days; and visits military personnel to show appreciation to those serving our country. This year’s theme, Cubs on the Move, reflects the Cubs’ and Chicago Cubs Charities’ focus on health, fitness and education for at risk individuals.

The 2013 tour visited six schools, four hospitals and the Chicago Public Library (Merlo branch). New stops included the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine base, where Cubs players, coaches and front office staff served lunch to active duty military and veterans in partnership with the USO.

Cubs Caravan is on the move

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(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.

CUBS ON THE MOVE 2013 CARAVAN ITINERARIES
TOUR ONE
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

TOUR TWO
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

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(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 woodfamilyfoundation.org.

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 www.cubs.com 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.com

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 www.rinkatwrigley.com for updates.

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