Results tagged ‘ Rick Sutcliffe ’
Lee 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.
Smith 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.
Cascella, 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.
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.”
Located down the rightfield concourse where the Friendly Confines Café 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
there 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
don’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