Results tagged ‘ Ernie Banks ’

BREAKING NEWS: Cubs icon Santo elected to Hall of Fame

Legendary Cubs third baseman and broadcaster Ron Santo will finally join teammates Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins in baseball’s Hall of Fame. Santo was elected by the Veteran’s Committee in Golden Era balloting, the results of which were announced Monday morning at the baseball winter meetings in Dallas.

Santo, who died from complications of diabetes and cancer a little more than one year ago, was a nine-time National League All-Star and had 342 home runs, 1,331 RBI, a .277 lifetime batting average and five Gold Gloves during his 15-year playing career.

According to baseball analyst Bill James, Santo is ranked as the sixth best third baseman of all time. Read the full press release below:

CHICAGO – Chicago Cubs legend Ron Santo today was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame after being named on 93.8 percent (15 of 16) of the Veteran’s Committee ballots.

Santo, who passed away December 3, 2010, will become the 10th player in franchise history to be elected to the Hall of Fame wearing a Cubs hat, the first third baseman in the 135-year history of the club.  Santo joins Ernie Banks (1977), Frank Chance (1946), Kiki Cuyler (1968), Gabby Hartnett (1955), Billy Herman (1975), Fergie Jenkins (1991), Ryne Sandberg (2005), Billy Williams (1987) and Hack Wilson (1979) as players wearing Cubs hats in the Hall of Fame.

Overall, Santo becomes the 46th person with a Cubs association to earn enshrinement to Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

“All who knew Ron or welcomed him into their homes on the radio recognize he was so much more than a Hall of Fame baseball player.  He was the beating heart of Cubs fans,” said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts.  “As an athlete, he was our All-Star.  As a radio analyst, he carried our passion. For those battling illness or disease, he remains an inspiration.  And for all of us who had the honor of calling him our friend, he is forever beloved.

“Though it is bittersweet that Ron is not here to enjoy this day, we are comforted by the pride members of the Santo family have for their husband, father and grandfather.  On behalf of the Chicago Cubs organization and all of our fans, we congratulate Ron Santo’s family on this historic day and look forward to his induction next summer.”

A nine-time National League All-Star and five-time Gold Glove Award winner, Santo hit .277 with 365 doubles, 67 triples, 342 home runs, 1,331 RBIs and 1,138 runs in 2,243 games covering 15 major league seasons with the Cubs (1960-73) and White Sox (1974).  He is one of only two third basemen in big league history with at least 300 home runs and five Gold Gloves, joining Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt.

Santo ranked among the elite during his 15-season big league career.  Between 1960-74, only four players had 2,000 hits, 300 home runs and 1,300 RBI: Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Billy Williams and Ron Santo.  Additionally, only four players had 2,000 hits and 1,000 walks in that span:  Hank Aaron, Carl Yastrzemski, Frank Robinson and Ron Santo.  Santo’s 342 home runs were the most by any third baseman in his 15-season career, easily outpacing his next closest competitor in Brooks Robinson (248 home runs in that span).

In his 15-year career, Santo finished in the league top 10 in batting average three times, slugging percentage five times, on-base percentage seven times, base on balls nine times, games played eight times, home runs seven times, RBI eight times, runs scored three times and total bases five times.

Overall, Santo had 11 seasons of 20 or more home runs, including four in a row of 30 or more. He had eight 90-plus RBI campaigns, four seasons with at least 100 RBI and ranked in the top 10 in RBI eight years in a row.  Santo was top 10 in RBIs for eight straight seasons.

Santo holds or shares many defensive records for third baseman, including most consecutive National League games at third base (364) and most years leading either league in total chances (nine).

Santo stayed involved in baseball since retiring after the 1974 campaign.  He was an empathetic voice of the fans on WGN Radio for 21 seasons through the final year of his life from 1990-2010.  Santo also helped raise more than $60 million for juvenile diabetes research, through which his legacy lives on.

1000 Words: Mr. Cub hits a deep drive

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks and defending BMW Championship winner Dustin Johnson went for hole-in-ones at Wrigley Field today to benefit the Evans Scholar Foundation. (Photo by Stephen Green)

1000 Words: Mr. Cub’s favorite photo

Ernie Banks himself was with Stephen Green, who captured this photo on Wednesday evening of the statue honoring Mr. Cub. A Hall of Fame photo that was taken for a genuine Hall of Famer. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Coming up: Seventh-inning stretch singers as Cubs host the White Sox

John Cusack singing the stretch in 2009. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Here’s a current listing of the seventh-inning conductors for this week:

  • Friday, July 1. John Cusack / Actor
  • Saturday, July 2. Robbie Gould / Bears kicker
  • Sunday, July 3. Ernie Banks / “Mr. Cub”

While you’re at the ballpark this weekend, don’t forget to pick up a Vine Line Game Day Edition, the Wrigley Field program and scorecard that’s just $2.

Living the dream

fantasy camp anthem.JPGThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgLee Smith was puzzled when Joan Janssen needed to take a timeout from a bullpen session to grab something from her purse.

“Wait a minute,” Smith said. “I got a relief pitcher with a purse?”

Mutual interest between Cubs legends and everyday fans defined the inaugural Chicago Cubs Fantasy Camp that took place Aug. 8-9 at Wrigley Field. On the 8th, campers had signed one-day contracts with Cubs general manager Jim Hendry.

fantasycampcontractsign.JPGSmith joined Randy Hundley, Billy Williams, Rick Sutcliffe and Ernie Banks to show 32 camp participants the basics of hitting, pitching and fielding before the campers split up into four teams and faced off tournament-style.

“There’s a lot of ability here,” Sutcliffe said. “There are some guys out here that are ready to get after it.”

Team Williams beat Team Banks 15-3 to take the day’s crown. Frank Cascella (below) was Team Williams MVP and Overall MVP.

cacella2small.jpgCascella, who moonlights as a Wrigley Field tour guide on the weekends and won his ticket from a radio show contest, was nevertheless blown away when he stepped “between the foul lines” on Monday morning.

“I didn’t want to say this to my wife, but it was up there with my kid being born for sure,” he said. “One of the best feelings ever… I had to fight back some emotion.”

The camp’s youngest player, 11-year-old Brian Brady (above with Hendry), was named the Defensive Player of the Day. 

fantasycamphundley.JPG

 

 

 

AJ Karstens, who hit the day’s only homer, was Team Banks MVP and the Long Ball Award winner. Josh Silver was Team Sutcliffe MVP while Chris Donaldson took the award for Team Smith.

Chatting with and learning from old pros was a treat for the campers.

“It feels so easy,” participant Chris Donaldson said. “The staff just makes us feel like we’re ballplayers. That’s all we could ask.”

Members of the triumphant Team Williams squad all were rewarded with bats engraved with their names. Tim Creed wrapped up his experience with a phrase uttered many times during the day: “It’s a dream come true.”

–Joe O’Donnell

The Artist named Steve

Don’t forget to fill out Vine Line’s survey and make yourself eligible to win a Cubs duffle bag full of gear! Click here!

Steve4small.jpg
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgEvery once in a Cubbie blue moon, we are witness to seeing a dream come true at Wrigley Field. It might happen to a neighbor or friend of the Cubs, or even a business partner. Artist Steve Musgrave has been all three over the years.

You might have seen his work as you come through the Red Line “el” stop at Addison, just east of Wrigley Field. His murals include Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, and Ryne Sandberg tagging a sliding Ozzie Smith.

FIRST PITCH 062910 105small.JPGLast Monday, Steve got to fulfill a lifelong dream. He threw out a ceremonial first pitch before the 7:05 contest against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wearing a handmade Cubs beret, in front of his lovely wife Jane and a handful of friends and family–not to mention the more than 32,000 people in the stands–Steve conjured up visions of Fergie Jenkins (or Matt Clement, his favorite Cub in 2003) and threw a looping strike to rookie right-hander and Park Ridge, Ill., native Brian Schlitter.

Not only did he fulfill a lifelong dream, but he also was representing the Chicago Public Library’s “Reading is Artrageous” program, a summer reading initiative centered around art for city kids up to age 14.

The program is a partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago. Steve has visited several libraries as a guest speaker and participant. To learn more about the program, click here.

A caring and genuine soul, Steve has done much work for Cubs publications in the past and has always been great to work with and an even better friend. In fact, while the longtime Lakeview resident has been a good neighbor of the Cubs, he was an even nicer neighbor to me, as he selflessly volunteered to walk our dog Bella every day along with his dog Molly.

Steve5small.jpgHis work has adorned the covers of our official programs, scorecards, and he even served as Vine Line‘s caricature illustrator for a time. More importantly, he has done a lot of work for not-for-profits around the area.

So I felt compelled to bring him something that could fittingly commemorate his big Wrigley Field debut: An ice bag.

OK, so he might have not worked up a sweat out on the mound, but the guy has worked hard for his community. That’s good enough.

–Mike Huang

Ahoy, Captain!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgA little rain doesn’t scare a captain. Captain Morgan himself was standing on tables, chanting and throwing out free t-shirts as fans packed into his new club at Wrigley Field this morning.

Located down the rightfield concourse where the Friendly Confines Caf used to be, the Captain Morgan Club is a state-of-the-art garden establishment boasting the best amenities the stadium has to offer, including indoor/outdoor seating, removable windows, and more than 25 wide-screen TVs. The club opened today and is the Cubs’ first year-around operation.

“What we heard over and again was there isn’t a great facility [other than the Stadium Club] for me if I’m a business season ticket holder to bring clients and find a place to eat and make it in the ballpark before the national anthem is finished,” said Cubs President Crane Kenney. “And wouldn’t it be great if
dormers.JPGthere were public
spaces [Wrigley Field]? We have the Stadium Club, but it is a members club. But there isn’t really a place for the public to gather, and that’s what we’re trying to offer.”

It all started back in late-January when workers were beginning the process of removing and relocating all the dedicated brick pavers in the area along Addison Street near the Day of Game Tickets windows. Not many of us in the front office actually knew what was going on, frankly.

But when news of an establishment being created started to circulate, Vine Line decided to inquire. Indeed, Kenney was quite forthcoming about what was going in and when we asked him to elaborate it was the first time we were made aware of the Captain Morgan Club.

“Go up and down Clark Street and you see that this is the entertainment zone for a certain age group. It is an exciting place to be on game days and even non-game days, when we

girders.JPGdon’t play,” Kenney said. “So now we’re going to actively participate in the buzz that in a way, we’ve created and a lot of these businesses have smartly capitalized on. We’re getting into the game.”

After the brick pavers were relocated to just in front of the main entrance under Wrigley Field’s marquee, the construction crew began installing the wrought-iron fencing, girders for the dormers–see above–(they look a lot like the one’s at the top of Wrigley, don’t they?) and they even gave the old tree a little trim, removing some of its more extended branches.

The Club is run by Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group.

I am told that the Captain himself is wandering around the Club with his “Morganettes.” It should be an interesting debut for Wrigley Field’s first year-round establishment.

Just heard behind me in the hall way, a meeting of Cubs legends, as Mr. Cub Ernie Banks and Rick Sutcliffe bumped into each other. It’s always interesting to hear Cubs heroes chat with each other. Players always talk in this sort of mutual admiration type-speak. You can really understand that they appreciate each other and the business of baseball.

–Mike Huang and Kelsey Peters

Vine Line Extra: The 10th Inning with…Lin Brehmer

 In the April edition of Vine Line, we debuted a back-page column called “The 10th Inning with….” which offers fan perspectives from the outside looking in. The fans are mainly celebrities or prominent personalities around Chicago giving their impressions on all things Cubs. 
    We’ve received a nice amount of positive feedback on the column and hopefully it will appear every other month, alternating with “Stretching Out with…”
    Popular WXRT Radio on-air personality Lin Brehmer was nice enough to volunteer his services as our inaugural columnist. He has been a die-hard Cubs fan since 1984, when he moved to Chicago. Here is his story:

Lin Head Shot.jpg   Cubs fans come from every corner. They grow up at the corner of Southport Avenue and Irving Park Road, and come back to discover a post office where their houses used to be. They grow up on the farms of Iowa, where the crackle of a transistor radio transports them to another world. My collision course was nothing short of providential.
   Raised in a region where the pinstripes were of a different color, four brothers from Oak Park, Ill., introduced me to the lineup of Kessinger, Beckert, Williams, Santo, Banks, Hundley, Altman and Phillips. We roamed the asphalt schoolyards of New York looking for a game. Playing stickball, Joel, Adam, Benji, D.K. and I would take turns being the Chicago Cubs or the New York Yankees.
   In 1970, we started the Cleo James fan club for the unheralded and unloved Cubs outfielder. This past October, 38 years later, Benji sent me an official looking document that reads:

“For Lin Brehmer: Founding Member and President-for-Life of THE CLEO JAMES FAN CLUB. In honor of, and appreciation for, Mr. Cleo James, Outfielder, Chicago Cubs (1970-1971).”

    And then there’s an anonymous quotation: “He won some, he lost some, but he suited up for them all.” In the middle of the document in a protective plastic sleeve is a baseball card of good old number 24. On the back of the baseball card we learn that Cleo’s hobby was table tennis.
    I first arrived in Chicago in 1984 on the promise of World Series tickets.
    Perhaps, I was naive.
    1984. The year of nicknames. Sarge. Ryno. Penguin. The baseball world was giddy with talk of the Cubs that summer. It was the season that Whitey Herzog, the eminence grise of the Cardinals, called Ryne Sandberg the greatest player he’d ever seen.
    My job interview was grueling. I spent the summer eating stuffed pizza and watching the Cubs. By September, I was hunting for a place to live. Tooling around the North Side in a borrowed Mazda, I drove to the corner of Clark and Addison and stopped.
 I am not a casual baseball fan. As a skinny pre-teen, I was a fire-balling southpaw for such teams as Lazar’s Kosher Meats, Gerard Towers, and the star-crossed Michael C. Fina Jewelers.
    In 1971 and 1972, I was the MVP of my high school baseball team. When Rotisserie Baseball was invented at the start of the ’80s, I immediately took my team, Brehmer’s Bombers, to the cellar. I’ve coached youth baseball for six years.
    So that first view of Wrigley Field might as well have been accompanied by a cinematic choir of angels or by the sonorous voice of James Earl Jones summoning me, “Lin Brehmer, this is your destiny.”
    The Cubs did not go to the World Series in 1984. I know because I watched Game 5 against the Padres in my landlord’s apartment right beneath my own on the 3700 block of N. Wayne Avenue.
    And a strange fever grew. 
    Living four blocks from Wrigley Field, I spent the next few baseball seasons in the right-centerfield bleachers with Marty, Mars, Wendy, Norm and Sara.
    My apartment window had a sign in the window that read “No Lights In Wrigley Field,” and as soon as lights were installed, we protested by buying a night game/weekend season ticket package. Aisle 239. Row 4.
    ‘ve been to 28 out of the last 29 Opening Days. My mental scrapbook holds many images: Mark Grace’s torrid postseason run in ’89. Gaetti’s home run in the ’98 one-game wild-card playoff. The nine-run comeback against the Rockies in the summer of ’08.
    And my favorite moment of all: Andre Dawson’s final home game in ’87. That was the year that Dawson offered the Cubs a blank check for his salary and won the MVP for a last-place club.
    All season long the bleachers would pay tribute to Dawson’s unrelenting commitment by bowing to him as he jogged out to rightfield. Andre Dawson was cut from different marble than most media-savvy ball players of the modern era. He was as stoic a presence as I have ever seen in a major-league outfield.
    On that last day, Dawson hit his 49th home run. When he trotted out to his place, he faced the bleachers for the first time, raised his arms in the air and bowed repeatedly to the fans. The gesture was so out of character that it spoke to the man’s caliber.
     I have watched the Cubs now through my son’s eyes. He went to 15 games before he was 1 year old. As a toddler, he ran up the ramps and then down the ramps. He watched the “El” from the rightfield corner. And one afternoon I looked to my left to see him with a pencil in his hand, peanut shells scattered on an open scorebook, writing 6-4-3 DP. A Cubs fan born and bred. A kid gathering stories to pass on to another generation. A young man who will understand there is no winning without losing.
    Robert Browning, who knew nothing of baseball but much of human nature, once wrote, “That heaven should exceed a man’s grasp or what’s a heaven for.”
    Every year, I take a magic marker and draw an X through the month of October. That’s because I plan on being at Wrigley Field through the end of that month.

Lin Brehmer has been the morning disc jockey at 93XRT since 1991. He first came to the station in 1984 so he could go to the World Series at Wrigley Field.

To subscribe to Vine Line, visit http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/fan_forum/vineline.jsp 

Banks statue a smiling success

There are a lot of things to smile about at Wrigley Field. This last weekend it was the wins and the weather, but there always seems to be something that brings the best out of us at the ballpark.

One new addition already is getting a tremendous response from our fans: the Ernie Banks statue. The sidewalks were filled with fans for the unveiling, including across Clark St. People seem to form a square around the statue, allowing group by group to approach it and pose for photos.

It looks great, too. The straight-up bat, ready to quick-wrist a pitch into the leftfield bleachers, represents his stance perfectly. And it’s Banks’ trademark smile that sculptor Lou Cella added that most captures the spirit of Ernie.

And, guess what? Just as I was writing this, Ernie walked in to say hi to the Vine Line staff. He caught a glance of this year’s “Kids Scorecard” — a colorful fold out with games that ushers hand out to children at the ballpark — and was pleased with the illustrated cover design. On it, kids help Ernie navigate a maze to his new statue. Ernie ordered 25,000 copies.

Keep an eye out for the May Vine Line article on the Ernie Banks statue dedication, written by former editor Jim McArdle.

Ernie Banks 512 Chardonnay

That’s not all Ernie has been doing since Opening Day. Last Thursday, Michael and I checked out a media event to launch Ernie’s limited-edition wine. Ernie and his wife, Liz, were in great spirits, making sure to say hello to everyone in attendance.

All proceeds will support his charity, the Live Above & Beyond Foundation, to help eliminate prejudice and discrimination through educational and athletic programs. The bottle, with a giant 512 and white pinstripes on a blue background, is sure to be a hit with Cubs fans this summer.

To the fans

Ernie was nice enough to send a thank you to the Cubs staff last week. In it, he had some glowing words for the fans who have given him support, encouragement and memories throughout the years.)

–Sean Ahmed

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,917 other followers