Results tagged ‘ Ryan Dempster ’

Vote Ryan Dempster for the 2011 Roberto Clemente Award

Ryan Dempster holds his daughter, Riley, at the 2011 Dempster Family Casino Night. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Since the Dempster Family Foundation was launched last year, we at Vine Line have been amazed by the effort and hard work that Ryan and his wife, Jenny, have put into the cause. Both have followed through on their goal to raise $2 million in two years to help strike out DiGeorge syndrome, and Cubs fans across the nation have responded with incredible support.

You can show your support of the Dempsters’ hard work, too, by voting Ryan for the 2011 Roberto Clemente Award and checking out some of the great events coming up this offseason at the foundation’s website.

1000 Words: Class clown

On team photo day, Ryan Dempster makes a grand exit from the field. (Photo by Stephen Green)

A pitch for philanthropy

Illustration by Jerry Neumann, and story by Jordan Ramos. Featured in the upcoming September 2011 edition of Vine Line.

Several Cubs players have new boots in their closets, but these kicks are much more than they appear to be at first glance.

Randy Wells, Kerry Wood, Ryan Dempster, Andrew Cashner, Jeff Baker, Jeff Samardzija and Mike Quade are all part of the Boot Campaign, an initiative created by five Texas women that supports injured American soldiers. The inspiration came from the book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, in which author Marcus Luttrell recounts Operation Redwing, an ill-fated mission to kill a high-ranking Taliban official in 2005.

Wells was introduced to Luttrell in the offseason.

“When I went down to the charity event and saw how much this book touched so many people, I got it and read it,” said Wells, who wore the boots in spring training. (more…)

1000 Words: Friends of Dempster

Dempster Casino Night

Kerry Wood and Reed Johnson help kick off the fun and games at the second-annual Dempster Family Foundation Casino Night, helping strike out 22q. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Music Issue extra: Cubs Countdown

Perhaps the next Wrigleyville Block Party, Aug. 19-21, could play this Cubs Countdown of top hits. (Photo by David Banks)

In honor of Vine Line‘s first-ever Music Issue this month, we thought it would be fun to see what the Billboard Top 100’s number 1 song was at the time of some of your favorite Cubs players’ births:

  • When Darwin Barney was born on Nov. 8, 1985, the country was jamming to “Part-Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder.
  • “Southern Nights” by Glen Campbell was the number 1 song when Ryan Dempster, whose birthday is May 3, 1977, made his first appearance in the world.
  • “Best of My Love” by The Emotions was the Billboard Top 100’s number 1 song on Aug. 30, 1977, when Marlon Byrd was born.
  • When Jeff Samardzija was born on Jan. 23, 1985, “Like a Virgin” by Madonna was the most popular song cruising through the airwaves.

Here are some more of the No. 1 songs on Cubs players’ birthdays:

  • Blake DeWitt, Aug. 20, 1985- “Shout” by Tears for Fears
  • Reed Johnson, Dec. 8, 1976- “Tonight’s the Night” by Rod Stewart
  • Casey Coleman, July 3, 1987- “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston
  • Mike Quade, March 12, 1957- “You Don’t Owe Me a Thing” by Johnnie Ray
  • Sean Marshall, Aug. 30, 1982- “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

Help strike out 22q: Dempster Casino Night tickets now on sale

Dempster Casino Night video

Click to play video recap of the inaugural Dempster Family Foundation Casino Night.

Vine Line was there from the start, taking Cubs fans inside the inaugural Dempster Family Foundation Casino Night last season. The launch party was just the first step for the Dempsters, who are about to embark on Year Two of their mission to get every child in the U.S. with DiGeorge Syndrome properly diagnosed.

This year’s event will be on Wednesday, July 20 at the Palmer House Hotel in downtown Chicago. Individual and “High Roller” tickets are available at

July 2010 Vine Line Cover: Ryan DempsterAnd to learn more about the great cause, read Vine Line’s cover feature from last July. Kerry Sayers talked to both Ryan and Jenny to learn of the challenges they faced raising their daughter through her first year, as well as what continues to drive them to strike out 22q deletion:

The Dempsters have always felt a responsibility to give back, so it was natural form them to begin thinking about starting a charity of their own. In a strange twist of fate, they were in the process of deciding what type of foundation they wanted to start when Riley was born.

“It’s like somebody said, ‘Do it for this. Here, we’re going to give you Riley, and you guys can go out and make a difference because there are parents out there who don’t know how to get the word out. So here, you guys can do it,'” Ryan said.

And getting the word out is the couple’s main goal.

“Meeting so many parents and talking to so many people, we realize so many kids don’t get diagnosed until later on in life and the parents go through such struggles the first years of their lives not knowing what’s wrong with their kids,” Jenny said.

Now Playing: The Stat Pack

The Stat Pack video

Click image to play “The Stat Pack.”

Set in Arizona’s beautiful Hotel Valley Ho, five Cubs talk about the statistical keys to the 2011 season. Subscribers already saw the stunning photography by Stephen Green in the April issue of Vine Line, and now you can watch the high-energy video on Features interviews with Kerry Wood, Carlos Peña, Ryan Dempster, Marlon Byrd and Andrew Cashner. Don’t miss it.

Cubbie Blues

Justin drumssmall.JPG

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for ON LOCATION LOGO.jpg 
 Last night, about 250 people showed up for a Vine Line “boutique” event at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago, right across the street from the Chicago Hilton, where the 26th annual Cubs Convention will be held this weekend.

The event’s proceeds benefitted the Ryan and Jenny Dempster Family Foundation and most importantly created awareness of DiGeorges Syndrome amid a new audience. For more information on DiGeorges/22q deletion, visit

But the star of the show? Cubs pitcher Justin Berg, who wailed on the drums with Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials. Though he also plays the guitar, the band allowed Justin to sit in with them on two sets for about 30 minutes each. The 26-year-old from Antigo, Wis., –population 8,560–was a little nervous at first. But once he got in the rhythm of it, with the help of Chicago blues legend Lil’ Ed–Berg helped all the Cubs fans sing the blues. A reporter with Blues Revue thought Justin had a possible career after baseball.

“That was probably the best experience of my life,” said Berg, smiling like the Cheshire Cat. “Unbelievable. I practiced with my brother at home, but honestly, I was coming in cold. So I was just going to wing it.”

Teammate Randy Wells, who was on the Cubs Caravan with Berg, attested to the aspiring musician’s nerves.

“Justin was talking about it all day,” Wells chuckled. “He said he was really nervous.”

Originally, the event simply began as a content idea for Vine Line and its “Cubs CrossOver” feature. But with no Len and Bob bash this year and Cubs fans needing some musical outlet, Vine Line turned up the volume on the event. Ryan Dempster even sent a video thank you to everyone at the club. He wasn’t able to make it because his wife Jenny was due with their third baby.

 The Cubs CrossOver places a Cubs player in a non-baseball situation. It’s your typical “fish-out-of-water” story. However, Berg looked anything but out of place.

“The longer I was up there, the more I got comfortable,” said Berg, who got to jam classics like “Sweet Home Chicago.” He even got to meet Lil’ Ed and the band in Buddy Guy’s personal office.

“I was more nervous about going on stage than I was in my big-league debut,” Berg laughed. “But Lil’ Ed and the band helped me through it.”

The foundation offered a silent auction of various autographed items as well as a live auction that featured a two Gibson guitars autographed by the band and Justin.

Of course, who was the highest bidder? Justin’s teammate, catcher Koyie Hill, who was celebrating a newly minted contract for 2011.

-Mike Huang

Game 162

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgYesterday brought the 2009 season to a close, and despite the Cubs being out of it, the 162nd game reminded me why we stick it through to the end.

This time it was to see Sam Fuld pick up his first major-league RBI. And of course, he did it with some style, hitting a home run to deep rightfield to get it done all by himself. Fuld made a name for himself — and rewarded many of the organization’s scouts and minor-league coaches who have praised him for his baseball IQ and plate discipline — this season with a number of full-extension catches as well as a .299 batting average and .409 on-base percentage.

Being that it was Fuld’s first home run, it was worth paying close attention to the dugout’s reaction. Sure enough, the team gave Fuld the silent treatment while the outfielder beckoned them on a little bit. They held still until Fuld walked by Derrek Lee, who reached back to give him a big pat on the back.

“I kind of sniffed out what they were doing when I got back in there,” Fuld told reporters. “But it meant a lot to me.”

Once again, Cubs fans, you showed why you are the best in baseball. After Derrek Lee’s eighth-inning flyout, the near-sellout crowd gave him a standing ovation for his outstanding season.

“I wasn’t expecting it; I didn’t know how to react,” Lee told reporters after the game. “I appreciate it. It was really cool.”

Thanks to all of our fans who supported us at the ballpark or across the nation by subscribing to Vine Line this season.

Seen around the ballpark this last weekend:

The Alfonso Soriano promotional poster from 2008 hanging in the clubhouse, with a bandage stuck over his left knee.


? Ted Lilly and Ryan Dempster continuing to go on runs together, even after Lilly had thrown his last pitch in 2009.


? Top Cubs prospects Brett Jackson, Casey Coleman and Kyler Burke wearing eager smiles as they were taken through the Cubs clubhouse to meet the big-leaguers and on the field for a ceremony with Double-A manager Ryne Sandberg (right).


? Sandberg and Lou Piniella talking Cubs baseball in the home dugout, minutes before the national anthem on Saturday.


— Sean Ahmed

Those are the breaks

The team took a blow this afternoon when it was found that Ryan Dempster had broken his toe. He was slated to start tonight’s game but instead had to be placed on the 15-day DL. Carlos Zambrano will be pitching on short rest, with Kevin Hart returning to the Chicago bullpen after being sent down just yesterday.

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

Right-hander Javier Vazquez (5-7, 3.05 ERA) pitches for the Braves.