Results tagged ‘ Fergie Jenkins ’
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Every 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.
Last 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.
His 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.
It will be a quick series played against the Giants in less than 24 hours — tonight’s game at 7:05 p.m. and a 1:20 p.m. game tomorrow afternoon.
Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez (1-1, 2.60 ERA) will pitch for the Giants.
30 is the new 20
That’s the name of Bobby Scales’ MLBlog, which you should check out for a couple cool posts on Pacific Coast League travel and looking back at some of his early years in the minors. The Cubs selected Scales’ contract from Triple-A Iowa today, placing Carlos Zambrano on the 15-day DL with a hamstring injury.
Fergie and friends
A day after having his No. 31 retired along with Greg Maddux, Fergie Jenkins had a meet and greet over at Harry Caray’s Tavern, across the street from the ballpark. Fergie was promoting the book Dugout Wisdom, a collection of accounts from several Hall of Famers, including Jenkins himself.
Wrigley Field is abuzz with the presence of one current Hall of Famer, Fergie Jenkins, and one sure-fire future one, Greg Maddux. Their uniform No. 31 will be retired in a pregame ceremony starting at 12:40 p.m.
Right-hander Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 6.92 ERA) pitches for the Marlins.
If you’ll be at the ballpark on Sunday, make sure you grab your Scorecard EXTRA early. Check out this sneak peak from our head designer, Juan Castillo. He put together this commemorative scorecard cover for the Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux No. 31 jersey retirement.
Not only will it be a great collector’s item, but there also are some neat stories on the two inside the wrap. The feature article — “A tale of two No. 31s” – illustrates how appropriate it is that Jenkins’ and Maddux’s separate paths will intersect this weekend.
Wrigley fun run
A couple dozen of us from the front office represented the Cubs at Saturday’s Race to Wrigley 5K. Congrats to our community affairs department for selling out the event, with 6,500 participants in all.
Eamonn Prizy, 18, was the fastest male runner (16:10), and Kelly Shuma, 24, led all women. Good weather, great turnout and some fantastic Cubs spirit for an event that will benefit Chicago Cubs Charities.
I was looking through photos from our opening homestand today, and I found this one of Ryan Theriot in front of a new amenity in the Wrigley Field home dugout. No more big orange jug! Though that might make it difficult for the players to do a celebratory Gatorate dump over Lou’s head …
– Sean Ahmed
Last Wednesday legions of Cubs fans descended upon at HoHoKam Park for the second annual “Fergie and Friends” charity event. The night was hosted by Cubs Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins, who was accompanied by dozens of his Hall of Fame contemporaries such as Juan Marichal, Bob Feller, Rollie Fingers and Billy Williams, as well as popular former players like Dave Stewart, Bob Dernier and George Foster.
While hundreds of fans milled about the infield, taking pictures with their heroes, one had wandered out to centerfield talking to his family on his cell phone. After finishing his conversation, clad in Yankee pinstripes and a familiar “NY” on his chest, pushing up his sleeve like he was still on the mound. He sauntered back but then was approached by two little girls.
“Hi, mister. Can we take a picture with you?”
The girls turned to each other, then to the man. “Um, who are you?”
“I’m Tommy John. I pitched for the Yankees.”
These days most people might not remember the 288 wins John had over his 26-year career, but they surely are familiar with the revolutionary elbow replacement surgery that bears his name. While in Spring Training last week, I got to spend a couple of minutes with John. He might have grown up in Terre Haute, Ind., and played for the White Sox, but he was quite clear–in a slight Southern twang–for which team he rooted as a youngster.
Tommy John: You know I grew up a Cubs fan, don’tcha? You know that, right?.
Vine Line: Well, you grew up in Indiana, so I would hope so!
TJ: Remember when you were a little kid and had to name your favorite players?
’Course I’m back in the dark ages, but my favorite Cubs were Dee Fondy, Hank “The Mayor” Sauer and Bob Rush. I was a huge Bob Rush fan. I was a big Cubs fan because my parents were big Cubs and Bears fans.
VL: Can you describe the thought process in deciding to undergo, until then, what was an unknown and risky surgical process?
TJ: When I first hurt my elbow, I went to see Dr. Frank Jobe the very next day. In 1974, there were no MRIs, there was no nothing. You had X-ray. They X-rayed it, and the elbow was sound. There were no chips or anything. But they held my humerus up sideways and my elbow just opened up. Dr. Jobe said he thought I had torn the ligament in the elbow. But they let me just rest for 3-4 weeks. After that, I met the [Dodgers] at Shea Stadium, and they ran me out there to throw batting practice. As soon as I got on the pitched surface, aw gosh, did that hurt. I had to stop. So I went to our longtime trainer, Bill Bueller, and asked him what if we taped my arm like you would a sprained ankle.
VL: Wait. You taped your arm…together?
TJ: Oh yeah. Seriously. I could throw pretty good with that, but the ball didn’t have that late life to it. So I called Dr. Jobe and he laid it out on the line. He said I had two choices. I really didn’t need to have to surgery. He said I could live an everyday life without having it. But I would never pitch major-league baseball again. So I said, if I do it, what are the chances? Probably about 1 or 2 out of 100. But if I didn’t do it, there was no chance at all. I even called my old buddy Hoyt Wilhelm in Florida.
VL: Hey, Wilhelm was a Cubs for a short while.
TJ: Yep, he was. So I called him and said I was going to have this surgery. And if I couldn’t get my fastball up where I needed it, he was going to have to teach me a knuckleball!
VL: So how did Dr. Jobe explain the procedure?
TJ: Well, Dr. Jobe said he was going to remove a tendon from my right arm–the palmaris longus. Transplants of tendons in the hand wrist were done all the time, so he used that technique because it would be very similar in the elbow. There was also a hand surgeon Dr. Herbert Stark. Dr. Stark would be present during the procedure because he had done many of those hand and wrist tendon transplants, but it was never done in an elbow of a guy who threw 90 mph. Dr. Jobe had four other doctors in there with him, several of his associates because he said “I don’t know what I’m doing and I want as many bright minds who can help me.” That’s why I told him he was the right doctor to do this.
VL: And so how did the surgery turn out?
TJ: There was a chance that the tendon in my elbow simply snapped off and they could perhaps reattach it. But when they went in there, Dr. Jobe said the torn ligaments looked like a big bowl of spaghetti. It had just ruptured and strands were all over. So it had to be replaced. And when I felt on my right arm the stitches, I knew they had to go and get the tendon.
VL: You went on to continue your career. Despite the fact you won 288 games, how do you feel about the surgery being your legacy in baseball?
TJ: Guys are coming back in 12-15 months, throwing as hard or even harder than they were before. But they need to regain that feel for pitching. They gotta re-learn pitching. But at least they’re pitching. It used to be a death sentence for a baseball player. Now guys like Kerry Wood and John Smoltz and tons of other guys have been able to have productive careers. And that’s OK with me.
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