Results tagged ‘ RIC Cubs ’

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…)