Results tagged ‘ Wrigley Field ’

The Cubs are collecting for Illinois tornado relief

Meteorologists from the National Weather Service have determined that at least 16 tornados hit Illinois and Northwest Indiana last Sunday, the largest of which ravaged the town of Washington near Peoria.

On Thursday and Friday morning, the Cubs will be doing their part to help the storm’s victims. Thursday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. through Friday from 8-11 a.m., people can drop off donated items at Wrigley Field’s Purple Lot on Clark Street just west of the stadium. These items will be loaded onto a truck, and a small group of Cubs volunteers will personally drive them to Peoria Friday afternoon. The organization is working with Heroes Memorial Foundation to ensure the donations reach people in need.

Below is a list of items the Red Cross has specifically requested for donation.

Items Most Needed:

  • Tote bags
  • Plastic trash cans
  • Plastic storage bins
  • Gloves

Other Items Needed:

  • Non-perishable food items (granola bars, canned food items, etc)
  • Bottled water
  • Large garbage bags
  • Toiletries (toothpaste, deodorant, soap, etc)
  • Buckets
  • Sponges
  • Mops
  • Towels
  • Baby formula
  • Diapers
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Manual can openers
  • Duct tape
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Female hygiene products
  • School supplies – new or used backpacks, crayons, colored pencils, notebooks, binders, etc.

Hot Off the Presses: November Vine Line featuring GM Jed Hoyer

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How do you evaluate a 96-loss season? It depends on how you look at it.

Are you evaluating just the major league team or the organization as a whole? Your answers would likely be very different.

On the surface, things don’t look too good. For the second straight year, the Cubs languished in the basement of a stacked NL Central that sent three teams to the 2013 postseason. The offense consistently struggled to put runs on the board, the bullpen faltered early in the season, several key players failed to develop as expected, and manager Dale Sveum was released after two seasons at the helm. To hear General Manager Jed Hoyer tell it, that’s simply not going to cut it.

“One of the things about this job is that your report card is in the paper every morning,” Hoyer said. “Obviously, that report card tells us we’re not good enough. We’re not talented enough at the major league level, and we have to improve that.”

Despite the struggles in Chicago—and both President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and Hoyer are quick to admit they’re disappointed by the win-loss total—the front office has never wavered from its initial blueprint for building a consistent winner.

When Epstein and Hoyer took over in October 2011, there was a severe talent deficit in the minor league system, and the major league team was saddled with expensive, aging players. The goal was to stockpile as much young talent as possible as quickly as possible and create payroll flexibility to ensure that the next time the team is competitive, it has a chance to remain competitive for years to come.

On that front, things don’t look bad at all. In 2009, Baseball America ranked the Cubs 27th in its annual organizational talent rankings. By the start of 2013, they had moved up to 12th. Thanks to shrewd trades, some aggressive international signings and a strong 2013 draft, headlined by overall No. 2 pick Kris Bryant, most experts agree the Cubs system is firmly in the top five heading into 2014. And 11 of the organization’s top 20 prospects, according to MLB.com, were acquired since the new front office took over in 2011. That’s a lot of progress in a few short years.

This month, we sat down with the Cubs’ GM for a frank conversation about the state of the organization. There is great reason for optimism, but the wave of young standouts developing in the farm system has yet to crest at Wrigley Field. Until that top-notch talent arrives, it’s imperative the Cubs find a way to improve their bullpen and generate more quality at-bats.

“The amount of talent and the athleticism we have [in the system] is a long, long way from where it was when we first got here, and we’re excited about that,” Hoyer said. “But all those things don’t hide the fact that the goal is to get better at the major league level, and we need to improve on what we’ve done in 2012 and 2013.”

We also talked to one of the key pieces Hoyer acquired last offseason that fits this new organizational philosophy—outfielder Nate Schierholtz. The 29-year-old veteran finally got a chance to play regularly in 2013, and he had a breakout season, with career highs in plate appearances, home runs and RBI. Everybody, from the front office to his teammates, says the same thing about Schierholtz: He’s a professional ballplayer who fights for every at-bat and brings his best effort every day.

Finally, despite the win-loss total, there were plenty of positive developments at the major league level. The Cubs strengthened their pitching depth behind the emergence of lefty Travis Wood, ace Jeff Samardzija continued to miss bats with the best of them, Junior Lake made a surprisingly successful major league debut, and the left side of the infield was as strong defensively as any in baseball. We examine several impressive stats from the 2013 campaign that should bode well for the organization’s near future.

If you want to get to know the future of the organization now, follow us on Twitter at @cubsvineline. All winter long, we’ll be following the Cubs’ top prospects in the fall and winter leagues. And pick up the November issue of Vine Line today.

1000 Words: See you in 2014, Wrigley Field

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

As the Cubs held off the playoff-bound Pirates to claim a 4-2 win Wednesday afternoon, it marks the end of home games at Wrigley Field for 2013. Next season, the Cubs will start on the road at Pittsburgh before heading to the Friendly Confines, with the home opener slated for Friday, April 4 against Philadelphia. The 2014 season will mark Wrigley Field’s 100th anniversary and will be celebrated all season long on the north side.

Cubs unveil 100th Anniversary logo

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When the Cubs play their home opener on April 4, 2014, it will kick off the 100th season of baseball at Wrigley Field. Over the weekend, the team unveiled a new logo to commemorate 100 years at the venerable ballpark.

The logo was created by graphic designer Brandon Ort of New Bremen, Ohio, who’s design beat out more than 1,200 other submissions in the “Wrigley Field Turns 100″ logo contest, held earlier this year.

For his efforts, Ort was recognized during an on-field ceremony prior to Saturday afternoon’s game against the Braves. His logo will be featured as a patch on the team’s home uniform next year, as well as in a variety of promotional items, including memorabilia and commemorative baseballs.

“I am excited and completely honored to have my ‘Wrigley Field Turns 100’ logo design selected to represent this historic ballpark in its 100th year,” Ort said. “Creating the design that will be a part of Cubs and Wrigley Field history is incredibly humbling and serves as a benchmark in my career. What better way to celebrate than to watch a game at Wrigley Field today with close friends and family.”

Throughout the 2014 season, the Cubs will celebrate 100 years of Wrigley Field with promotions, events and collectible memorabilia. Additional details will be revealed later this offseason, and attendees of the 2014 Cubs Convention will get a first look at many aspects of the planned celebration.

“We’re very excited to unveil our official logo celebrating 100 years of Wrigley Field and to kick off what will be a season-long celebration of the past century at this beautiful ballpark,” said Alison Miller, Cubs senior director of marketing. “Our fans will want to be here to remember and possibly re-experience many of the historic moments that occurred at Wrigley Field.”

Fans can now find official Wrigley Field 100th merchandise—such as hats, clothing, glassware, pins and pennants—at the Cubs store on Clark Street and at Wrigley Field gift shops. Chicago Cubs Charities has also introduced a limited-edition Wrigley Field 100th Anniversary ornament.

Cubs to unveil Wrigley Field 100th logo Saturday; honor Baez and Hendricks

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Cubs Minor League Player of the Year Javier Baez will be honored at Wrigley Field Saturday.

Prior to Saturday’s game, the Chicago Cubs will unveil the official logo to celebrate 100 years of Wrigley Field in 2014 and recognize the winning designer who participated in the “Wrigley Field Turns 100” logo contest earlier this season. The team received more than 1,200 submissions, and fans selected the winning design from four finalists on cubs.com.

Immediately following the logo unveiling, infielder Javier Baez and right-handed pitcher Kyle Hendricks will be recognized for being named the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year. Baez and Hendricks received the honor last Friday, and both will be present at Wrigley Field for Saturday’s pregame ceremony.

First Pitch/Seventh-Inning Stretch Lineup: 9/20-9/25

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Cubs Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins will be behind the mic on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at Wrigley Field. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Starting Friday, the Cubs are back at Wrigley Field and looking to make an impact on the National League playoff race. The NL East-leading Braves come to town for a three-game series over the weekend, and the Wild Card-leading Pirates will invade the Friendly Confines for a three-game set on Monday. If you’re headed out to Wrigley Field for the final homestand of the 2013 season, here’s your seventh-inning stretch lineup:

Friday – 9/20
Dennis Miller, comedian and TV personality

Saturday – 9/21
TBD

Sunday – 9/22
Wayne Messmer, regular Cubs anthem performer

Monday – 9/23
Tom Dreesen, comedian

Tuesday – 9/24
Fergie Jenkins, Cubs Hall of Famer

Wednesday – 9/25
Grounds Crew (from the field)

Now Playing: Get Real with Cubs Authentics

How do you know the game-used and autographed memorabilia you buy at Wrigley Field or online at cubs.com is the real deal? We went behind the scenes with the Cubs Authentics team to get an inside look at the most comprehensive authentication program in sports.

Now Playing: Stretching Out with Thomas Ian Nicholas

It has been 20 years since Thomas Ian Nicholas took the mound at Wrigley Field as a 12-year-old flamethrower named Henry Rowengartner in the baseball classic Rookie of the Year. Vine Line caught up with the actor and musician before he threw out the first pitch in early June to discuss filming at the Friendly Confines, getting referred to by his characters’ names and throwing his signature “floater.”

First Pitch/Seventh-Inning Stretch Lineup: 8/30-9/8

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The Cubs will celebrate Chicago Blackhawks Day on Monday, Sept. 2 at Wrigley Field. (Photo by Stephen Green)

On Friday afternoon, the Cubs welcome Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg back to Wrigley Field, as they kick off a nine-game homestand against the Phillies, Marlins and Brewers. It’s also your chance to see Hall of Famer Andre Dawson and the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. If you’re headed out to the Friendly Confines from Aug. 30-Sept. 8, here’s your first pitch and seventh-inning stretch lineup:

Friday – 8/30
First Pitch and Stretch: Jon Lovitz, actor and comedian

Saturday – 8/31
Stretch: Gary Matthews, former Cubs player, “Sarge”

Sunday – 9/1
Stretch: Chicago Sky players Swin Cash, Sylvia Fowles and Courtney Vandersloot

Monday – 9/2
First Pitch: Andre Dawson, Cubs Hall of Famer
Stretch: Chicago Blackhawks TBD
Special Event: Chicago Blackhawks Day at Wrigley Field

Tuesday – 9/3
Stretch: Big Ten Network football analysts Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith
Special Event: Salute to Big Ten Night

Wednesday – 9/4
Stretch: Andre Dawson, Cubs Hall of Famer

Friday – 9/6
Stretch: Scott Eyre, former Cubs pitcher

Saturday – 9/7
TBD

Sunday – 9/8
Stretch: Lee Smith, former Cubs closer

First Pitch/Seventh-Inning Stretch Lineup: 8/12-8/22

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ESPN basketball analyst Digger Phelps will be conducting the stretch on Saturday, Aug. 18. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Starting Monday, the Cubs are back at Wrigley Field for a 10-game homestand with the Reds, Cardinals and Nationals. If you’re headed out to the Friendly Confines from Aug. 12-22, here are your first pitch and seventh-inning stretch lineups:

Monday – 8/12
First Pitch: Aimee Garcia, actress, Dexter
Stretch: William Petersen, Chicago native and actor

Tuesday – 8/13
First Pitch: Colin Cowherd, ESPN
Stretch: Mike and Mike, ESPN

Wednesday – 8/14
First Pitch: Marquis Teague, Chicago Bulls
Stretch: Tom Skilling, WGN weatherman

Friday – 8/16
First Pitch: Lee Brice, country musician
Stretch: TBD

Saturday – 8/17
First Pitch: Umphrey’s McGee, Chicago band
Stretch: Digger Phelps, former Notre Dame basketball coach and current ESPN analyst

Sunday – 8/18
Stretch: Fergie Jenkins, Cubs Hall of Famer

Monday – 8/19
Stretch: Richard Lariviere, Field Museum president

Tuesday – 8/20
First Pitch: Steve Byrne, Chicago native and comedian, Sullivan & Sons
Stretch: TBD

Wednesday – 8/21
First Pitch: Social Media Night winner
Stretch: Darren Rovell, ESPN
Special Event: Social Media Night, broadcast from the Budweiser Patio

Thursday – 8/22
First Pitch and Stretch: Plain White T’s, Chicago band

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