Results tagged ‘ Ryan Dempster ’
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…)
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)
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
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 dempsterfamilyfoundation.org.
And 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.
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 cubs.com. Features interviews with Kerry Wood, Carlos Peña, Ryan Dempster, Marlon Byrd and Andrew Cashner. Don’t miss it.
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 www.dempsterfamilyfoundation.org/.
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.
Yesterday 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:
? 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
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.
Right-hander Javier Vazquez (5-7, 3.05 ERA) pitches for the Braves.
Cubs fans were treated to a fun slugfest last night, highlighted by four Cubs home runs, including a solo shot and grand slam by Derrek Lee. The crowd was loud, the team had fun, and the win drew the Cubs within 2.5 games of the Brewers. There’s certainly some opportunity this series.
? Sam Fuld had another high-energy, productive game for Chicago atop the order. He almost seems to be working at double speed: On his second-inning double, Fuld had to grab his helmet off his head as he was almost running too fast for it to keep up, and when he takes his lead off the base, his fingers, arms and legs all are in continious movement.
? Geovany Soto also seemed to be enjoying himself. As he waited outside the batter’s box before leading off the fourth inning, Soto spotted a loose warm-up ball skipping his way and swatted it back toward the field, to the amusement of everyone around the plate. When he stepped into the batter’s box, Soto tapped home plate umpire Lance Barksdale on the shin guard and exchanged a laugh.
And Soto followed it up with a hooking home run to left just moments later.
? Ryan Dempster’s kick save on the mound was an appropriate sports crossover for the native Canadian and hockey fanatic. Some pitcher deflections are nothing more than half-hearted reachers for up-the-middle grounders; Dempster’s was an all-out stop, field and throw.
After the play, the infield surrounded Dempster to make sure he was OK, but he waved everyone off as if it was no big deal. Of course, head trainer Mark O’Neal and pitching coach Larry Rothschild watched him throw a practice pitch to make sure …
? Even better was seeing Dempster be the first player to congratulate Sean Marshall as he returned to the dugout after striking out Prince Fielder with two runners on in the bottom of the seventh. Marshall had his curveball working.
– Sean Ahmed
MESA, Ariz.—Every year, major-league ballplayers must endure an annual ritual of combing their hair, shaving their faces clean (or at least somewhat) and mugging for the camera. It is Photo Day for them, and they put their best faces forward, despite the fact it’s 7:00 in the morning.
The entire first floor of Fitch Park is turned into a massive photo studio. Among the participants, the Associated Press, Major League Baseball, Topps and Comcast, among others. It’s all put together very efficiently and organized, led by media relations director Peter Chase and his staff. Our staff photographer Steve Green organizes the photographers in location.
For the most part, all the players arrive at their designated times, albeit bleary eyed. There are very compliant to whatever poses we ask them to do. Steve and I are there to do a special photo shoot for our gameday program, CUBS2009. We had scripted the poses beforehand knowing we wouldn’t have more than a minute with each one.
The shoot went swimmingly. We got some great shots Geovany Soto and Ivan DeJesus modeling the WBC jersey of their home country Puerto Rico. We also got a couple and of Mike Fontenot and Carlos Zambrano doing their pregame routine of “Z” hammering “Font” into the ground. They were very playful and the shots turned out great. But to see them, you’ll have to get the program at Wrigley Field!!!!
We also got Ryan Dempster and Rich Harden playing hockey with hockey sticks and using a baseball as a puck. Tremendous. Chad Gaudin and Reed Johnson seem like they are in a competition to see who can look most like a billy goat. Perhaps when they finally shave off their goatees, we can say we killed the “curse of the billy goat!”
Of course, then there was manager Lou Piniella, who’s seen his fair share of photo days. In fact, say Lou, how many of these photo days have you seen?
“Too many,” he laughed.
However, Cubs legend Billy Williams skipped photo day and went straight out to the field..
“‘Greenie!’ You don’t need me, right? Man, you got enough pictures of me after all these years. Look, after you turn 65, your face don’t change much year to year,” Williams said, cracking up all the photographers.
Hey, when a Hall of Famer says he doesn’t want to take a picture, he doesn’t have to take a picture.
We also worked with Morry Gash, the photographer from AP. I asked him for a photo that he shot the other day. It was such a candid shot of Alfonso Soriano that I had to ask him if we could just borrow it for the blog.
But altogether, the photo shoot–and day–worked out very well….I’d encourage everyone to check out the gameday program the next time you’re at Wrigley Field. The pictures and experience was certainly worth more than a 1000 words.
PS. And one special note of sympathy goes out to our hitting coach Gerald Perry, who also was not at photo day. He lost his father last Friday to colon cancer. We are all thinking about you, G.