Results tagged ‘ Cubs Care ’

Cubs Convention passes go on sale at 10 a.m. Central

Don’t miss your chance to hear from the new Cubs baseball leadership yourself: Cubs Convention individual passes go on sale this morning at 10 a.m. Central.

New President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein will communicate his vision directly to fans and take questions. Current and former Cubs players and coaches also will be on hand for a variety of panels on the past, present and future of the organization. And the same great autograph and photo opportunities make for baseball’s ultimate offseason celebration.

The 2012 Convention will feature enhanced layouts and new family-friendly exhibits, including an interactive baseball area hosted by the Illinois Baseball Academy, a gaming zone and the LEGOLAND Discovery Zone.

More info: The 27th annual Cubs Convention will take place on Friday, Jan. 13, through Sunday, Jan. 15, at the Hilton Chicago (720 S. Michigan Ave.).

October 2011 Vine Line preview: Speed’s contagious

Bob Dernier and Tony Campana conduct a clinic with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, which has a wheelchair softball team sponsored by Cubs Care. (Photo courtesy Cubs Community Affairs.) The following is the Leading Off column from the upcoming October 2011 issue, previewing some of the content in this issue and expanded coverage coming up. Subscribe to Vine Line today.

Bob Dernier said they had a term for it in his playing days.

“Spook-you speed.”

A former speedster himself—and one who still looks fit enough at 54 years old to get down the line in four seconds—Dernier glows when talking about Tony Campana. Leave it to the coach whose stopwatch is permanently affixed to his hand to best appreciate how a 5-foot-9, 165-pound kid can change a baseball game.

You’ll see in Bruce Miles’ cover feature that the Cubs’ first base coach doesn’t just believe in Campana’s athleticism, however. He has a deep appreciation for the challenges Campana has faced his whole life, including Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a 7-year-old and then the continual need to prove himself as able to play with the big boys in professional baseball.

Earlier this year, the two helped lead a clinic for a group from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, with which Cubs Care sponsors a wheelchair softball team. Dernier encouraged Campana to talk to everyone about his own background.

As the 25-year-old, fresh-faced Campana described all the times people told him he couldn’t play baseball—he was too sick, too small, too weak—he had a direct message for each individual.

“I never listened to that stuff, and the next thing you know, I was in the big leagues,” he said. “Don’t let anybody ever tell you that you can’t do something. You have to believe
in yourself.” (more…)

Soggy night vs. Cincy

There’s no batting practice on the field today because of the Midwest’s continued rainy conditions. But tonight’s lineup will be all set to go:

Soriano, LF
Fukudome, CF
Lee, 1B
Hoffpauir, RF
Ramirez, 3B
Fontenot, 2B
Soto, C
Theriot, SS
Harden, RHP

Right-hander Micah Owings (0-1, 7.20 ERA) starts for the Reds.


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgWe speak espaol

There’s a lot of excitement in the front office today for the Cubs’ first Spanish radio broadcast under a deal with station La Tremenda 1200 AM. The games also will be broadcast on the Internet for anyone with MLB’s Gameday Audio package.

A few of us at Vine Line got to listen to Carlos Zambrano, Geovany Soto and Carlos Marmol speak in their native language about some of their most memorable moments in a Cubs uniform, who they looked up to as kids, what’s special about Latino fans, and what it means to be a Chicago Cub. More than anything, you can tell the pride (orgullo) that the players have representing their countries (Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, respectively). And they have a lot of enthusiasm for the Cubs’ Spanish-language efforts on loscubs.com, on the radio and in nearby Humboldt Park.

Caring for the community

The Chicago Cubs and the McCormick Foundation today hosted their annual Cubs Care grant award luncheon, distributing $1.06 million to non-profit organizations that aid those in the Lakeview community.

Left-hander Sean Marshall and TV broadcaster Len Kasper presented the checks to representatives from 41 different area organizations, supporting children with special needs, youth sports programs, victims of domestic violence and other charitable causes.

One such recipient was GiGi’s Playhouse, a local organization supporting families of children with down syndrome. Nancy Gianni accepted the Cubs Care check on behalf of GiGi’s Playhouse, and she gave some energetic and heartfelt remarks on what the Cubs’ support means and raising her daughter who has down syndrome. It was a moving speech that left those in attendance without a dry eye.

If you want more information on how to support Cubs Care, either through a donation or one of several Wrigley Field events, visit the fund’s page at cubs.com.

– Sean Ahmed

News and notes from a simmering off-season

Many of you probably have heard by now that the Cubs declined to offer arbitration to any of the club’s free agents. As was mentioned yesterday, the team still can negotiate with these players under the current Basic Agreement (which eliminated the restriction that a club must re-sign a player or offer him arbitration before the deadline else lose his rights until May 1).

The entire baseball operations department is at Wrigley Field and preparing for next week’s Winter Meetings. Those run from Dec. 8 to 11 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Some other notes:

? For those of you who have voiced your support for more Stephen Green photos on the blog, the longtime team photographer has heard your call. He is currently assembling some photos so that we can pepper them on the front page throughout the off-season.

Thanksgiving Kasper Vorwald.JPG? Charitable foundation Cubs Care funded and supported the annual National Runaway Switchboard Thanksgiving dinner at a local church last week. Play-by-play announcer Len Kasper and WGN Executive Producer Bob Vorwald helped prepare and serve food along with 20 members of the Cubs front office.

? Geovany Soto visited Wrigley Field a couple weeks ago and said that he has been back from San Juan Puerto Rico since late October. He, his wife, Luzem, and his daughter, Gia Leizan, enjoyed Gia’s first birthday on Oct. 24.

? Geo autographed hundreds of photos as gift items … including some Vine Line Cubs Convention prizes! Be on the look out for signed, uncut sheets of our exclusive 2008 Rookie of the Year cards at the Vine Line booth from Jan. 18-20.

? We offer our condolences to Henry Blanco and his family after the reported shooting of Henry’s brother, Carlos, in Venezuela.

In need of a W

The clubhouse was packed this afternoon with media covering a range of topics: from the impact of Hurricane Gustav on the Louisiana-based families of Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot to the need to get back on track from a three-game losing streak.

Theriot said his family wasn’t hurt, despite severe damage to their house. Best wishes to all those who were displaced or hurt in the Southeast.

Tonight’s lineup

Soriano, LF
Fontenot, 2B
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
DeRosa, RF
Edmonds, CF
Soto, C
Theriot, SS
Zambrano, RHP

Right-hander Brandon Backe (9-12, 5.42) pitches for the Astros.

Cubs caring

IMG_1133.jpg

Funny story from today’s school and hospital visits: WGN-Radio’s Cory Provus was asked if anyone went crazy over him by assistant director of media relations Jason Carr. Cory replied that one gentleman at Northwestern Memorial Hospital went down the line, shaking hands and greeting by name Rich Harden, Jon Lieber, Daryle Ward and Larry Rothschild. When he got to Cory, he simply looked at him and said, “Hello, Broadcaster.”

I’m pretty sure that’s not much worse than when I called Pat Hughes “Phil” this spring. You can tune in to AM 720 for more from Phil and Broadcaster tonight.

The morning went great by all accounts. Mike Quade stood out for his enthusiasm and connection to the kids at Children’s Memorial Hospital. Quade offered a lot of support and nudged them to be Cubs fans. Ringing the school bell at 7:55 a.m., Demp gave a great speech to the kids at Blaine Elementary School (Lakeview), stressing that they take school seriously and work hard.

Big thanks to all the guys for their time and support this morning.

More than a pitcher

Demp also was named the team’s Roberto Clemente Award recipient, combining “outstanding skills on the baseball field with devoted work in the community.”

One of the Cubs’ greatest personalities, Demp and his wife, Jenny, regularly invite groups to games and participate in charitable efforts. Just this year, Dempster has purchased 500 tickets for disadvantaged children and met them during batting practice. This Mother’s Day, he invited children with moms who were serving in the military as well as those women who have returned from service in the Middle East.

His sponsorship of a Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI) team and participation in various Cubs Care programs have benefited several hundred more children and victims of domestic violence.

Dempster elected to donate his $7,500 grant to Chicago Canine Rescue.

Once we get started …

Soriano, LF
Theriot, SS
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Johnson, CF
Soto, C
DeRosa, RF
Cedeno, 2B
Marquis, RHP

It’s left-hander John Lannan (6-12, 3.81) on the mound for Washington, which is why Lou has elected to go with all righties (aside from Marquis) in the lineup.

Lord Stanley’s visit

Former Blackhawk Chris Chelios is visiting today, though he’s receiving considerably less attention than the huge hunk of silver he’s towing along with him. Chelios brought the Stanley Cup, won by the Detroit Red Wings this past June, to show off around the dugout.

Team photographer Steve Green is out there now following Chelios. We’ll post blogs as soon as they’re available.

Expect it to make an appearance during the seventh inning on WGN …

Humbled at Humboldt

Visits by Geovany Soto and Carlos Zambrano made for an electric atmosphere Wednesday afternoon, as the two Cubs helped break ground on new Little Cubs Field in the Chicago neighborhood of Humboldt Park.

The Cubs’ Community Affairs department passed out several hundred hats to the children in attendance, all crowded around the podium on the middle of a dusty recreational diamond. Kids were screaming “Zambrano! Zambrano!” and “Soto! Soto!” as the two smiled and waved back.

(more…)

Wed to Wrigley Field

Meet the Team.jpgIf you’re going to get a wedding present for your future spouse, you may as well make sure you get to enjoy it, too.

Such was the line of reasoning that got Amanda Boudreau and Kyle Nauman to Wrigley Field this afternoon for “Meet the Team, Have a Ball.”

Wedding Couple.jpg“I came up with the idea to take him here, but then I thought, well, I’m not going to have him go but not me!” said Boudreau, wearing a white bridal veil.

Boudreau turned Nauman, never a baseball fan before, into a follower of the Cubs last season. She took him to his first game against the Mets in August, and that quickly escalated into the on-field meet-and-greet today. The pair, who will wed May 24, squeezed every second they could walking around the just-growing-in ivy before getting into the autographs line.

It was announced to those in attendance today that the event raised approximately $100,000 for Cubs Charities.

Also seen around the ballpark

Lou Piniella, Larry Rothschild and Ryan Theriot led off the long row of over 30 staff and players signing autographs. … Jim Hendry was in an enthusiastic mood in the mid-afternoon, on his way through the concourse to the home clubhouse. … TV play-by-play man Len Kasper recorded a pregame interview in front of the Cubs dugout with first base coach Matt Sinatro. The interview can be seen on Comcast SportsNet tonight. … San Diego’s Wilfredo Ledezma and Khalil Greene were jogging back-and-forth on the walkway between the 100 and 200 level before the game.


Sudoku_Arizona0509.jpgToday’s lineup and Cubs Sudoku answer

Same as yesterday’s with Jason Marquis (1-2, 5.08 ERA) going against Shawn Estes, in his first big-league appearance since 2006 Tommy John surgery.

– Sean Ahmed

 

Notes from the weekend

 5-10 Fukudome.jpg

Photo by David Durocheck

The team definitely seemed to relish the opportunity to play the MLB-best Diamondbacks, and it’s easy to see why: Not only were the Cubs able to get some revenge for last year, but they also erased Arizona’s lead in the NL. After last night’s 12-3 win against San Diego, the Cubs find themselves in a three-way tie for the league’s best record at 23-15, with Florida and Arizona.

Arizona and San Diego, despite its awful start, looked awfully tough coming into this 10-game homestand. But after a 4-0 start and six games left against the Padres and Pirates, what are your expectations through next Sunday?

Turnaround Ted

Ted has turned it around after a poor first four starts, and after Friday’s win over Arizona, he explained some differences in the postgame press conference:

“I’ve been throwing the ball a little bit better. Obviously, I was happy with how I threw the ball today. I used my change-up more, my curveball still is not as sharp as I’d like it to be, but I was getting ahead and pitching, using the outside part of the plate more.

(more…)

Caring like a big-leaguer should

CUBS CARE LUNCH.JPG

Last week, the Cubs announced that their charitable arm, Cubs Care, will award more than $1 million in grants to local non-profit organizations this year. Youth sports programs, children with special needs and victims of domestic violence will all benefit from the grants.

Ryan Theriot presented the checks and delivered some touching remarks at the luncheon. Introduced as a wonderful player and human being, Theriot said that he was inspired by the off-season charitable work on the Cubs Caravan, visiting kids in schools and hospitals. He has asked how to get more involved in these programs.

Like many other young children, Theriot said he dreamt of being a major-league player since he was in first grade, owning a big house and playing in big-league stadiums. But today he realizes that what is most important is to give back to the community. He thanked the fans for letting him be a professional player and allowing him the opportunity to understand what is most important in life.

“When you get here [to the big leagues], you understand how you can impact people in a different way,” he said.

Some classy comments from one of the team’s most popular players.

To read more about Cubs Care and find out how to make a donation or participate in one of the several Wrigley Field events, visit Cubs.com.

Sean Ahmed

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