Maybe it was race driver Jeff Gordon’s shout out to the fans at “Wrigley Stadium.” Or Ozzy Osbourne, who decided the lyrics of “Take Me Out to The Ball Game” were not nearly as interesting as the mostly unintelligible words he’d picked out for himself. Or perhaps it was actress Denise Richards, who brought along a little cheat sheet in case she forgot the words.
Whatever the reason, the Chicago Cubs have decided to make the broadcast booth at Wrigley Field, and more importantly, the microphone, off limits to the likes of Vanna White, Erik Estrada and Mickey Rooney. No more Kid Rock, who, as the story goes, knew it was customary to say something at the end of the song, but went with “Let’s get some lunch!” instead of the more traditional “Let’s get some runs.”
“It was a good idea at first,” Al Yellon, who runs bleedcubbieblue.com, said of the Cubs’ decision to allow celebrities to take over the job the late Harry Caray handled so famously for so many years. “But it turned into a celebrity fest with D-list celebrities.”
The song is played during the stretch around the major leagues, usually the ballpark organist leading the fans in song. Some parks have their own traditions, of course — Fenway Park and Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” in the eighth inning, for example. The Florida Marlins tried to skip “Take Me Out to The Ball Game” to go with dancers leading fans to Gloria Estefan songs, a tradition that lasted all of two games.
For a team that doesn’t exactly have a long history of embracing change, lights didn’t arrive until 1988, messing with a musical tradition tied forever to Caray might seem a dramatic step. But the Cubs have a new regime in place, with Theo Epstein and other front-office personnel trying to turn around baseball’s famous losers and chairman Tom Ricketts pressing for upgrades to Wrigley, the oldest ballpark in the majors behind Fenway.
Caray, then with the White Sox, is credited with singing the song first at a game. He was so bad that team owner Bill Veeck had the idea to secretly put a microphone in the booth so everyone could join in and, well, mask the warbling.
And join in they did, first at White Sox games and then at Wrigley, when Caray started his run with the Cubs in 1982. Fifteen years after his death, Caray is still part of the celebration, both inside the park where some guest singers still mention him, and outside, where fans can see a statute of Caray in his famous singing pose.
Actors/comedians Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis are making the promotional trail for their upcoming movie The Campaign. This included the two stopping by Wrigley Field to introduce the Chicago Cubs startling lineup before taking on the Miami Marlins yesterday.
Not all of the facts they read off were accurate with the exception of Darwin Barney’s and Luis Valbuena and Ferrell chose to recycle the Cha Chi dog joke again. The real home run of the night came from Galifianakis as he outshined Ferrell especially when he delivered the Alfonso Soriano bio.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has often been criticized by Chicago fans and media for his nonchalant demeanor, stone-faced expressions and overall lack of personality.
On Saturday, during the Chicago Cubs game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cutler had a chance to warm up to Chicago fans by throwing out the first pitch and singing during the seventh-inning stretch. Cutler’s pitch was on the money, but his singing was horrendous.
Maybe next time he should bring fiance Kristin Cavallari out for a duet.
Where can you find Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and Walter Johnson all pictured together? On the back of Mike McWain.
The 39-year-old Washington man has distinguished himself as one of baseball’s most ardent fans after spending about $10,000 on tattoos that have made him a walking billboard for the game’s history.
McWain tells the Tri-City Herald the project took about 180 hours over the course of a year.
There also are renditions of a catcher’s mask, an old-time mitt and the lights at Wrigley Field. The seams of a baseball provide the framing.
Down low on his back is Yankee Stadium, with scenes there of the retirement speeches of Ruth and Gehrig.
But here’s the most amazing thing about all of that needlework: “Believe it or not,” McWain said, “I hate the Yankees.”
New Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein wants to bring scapegoated fan Steve Bartman back from exile. During an interview with Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption Tuesday, Epstein said he’d like the Cubs to reach out to Bartman.
The Little League coach who was crucified by Chicago fans and media for interfering with a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field. The Cubs lost in 7 games to the Florida Marlins and Bartman became the poster boy for sports scapegoats.
When Kornheiser asked about reaching out to Bartman, Epstein said he hasn’t discussed it with the Cubs. But he likes the idea of extending an olive branch:
“From afar, it seems like it would be an important step. Maybe a cathartic moment that would allow people to move forward together. I’m all about having an open mind, an open heart and forgiveness. Those are good characteristics for an organization to have as well. He’s a Cubs fan. That’s the most important thing.”
The classic Chicago-based comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its release and, Groupon and Wrigley Field have partnered to mark the occasion with a screening of the John Hughes film during the stadium’s first-ever movie night.
The gates will open on Saturday, October 1 for the screening, because the Chicago Cubs never play in October, and those who arrive before 7 p.m. will be invited to participate in a sing-a-long of “Danke Schoen,” which aims to top the world record for Most People Singing In The Round.
The film will be shown on three 30-foot screens positioned in the outfield. Tickets to the event range in price from $10 for one bleacher seat to $25 for an outfield lawn seat. VIP admission is going for $75 and will grant access to food and drinks at a two-hour pre-party at the Captain Morgan Club.
Every Thursday Sports Grind Entertainment will present you with the Mama Margie’s Major Meltdown. The recipient of this honor goes to the Oakland Athletics who gave up a Major League Baseball first in three grand slams in one game. Only twice in history had two teams combined to hit three grand slams in one game. The New York Yankees equaled that by themselves last Thursday. Robinson Cano, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson were the big hitters in helping the Yankees beat the Athletics 22-9. The last time a game included three grand slams was in 1987 when the Chicago Cubs beat the Houston Astros 22-7 at Wrigley Field. In 1986, the Baltimore Orioles hit two against the Texas Rangers but lost 13-11.
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday had to leave the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the eighth inning last night when a moth flew into his right ear. The Cardinals were leading 1-0 when Dodgers Matt Kemp was batting with two outs in the eighth when Holliday abruptly had Cardinals trainer Barry Weinberg pulled him from the game.
“He had a moth fly into his ear, deep in his ear,” manager Tony La Russa said.
The Cardinals training staff first tried to lure the moth out by shining a light in a darkened room. When that failed, a trainer used tweezers to pull the insect, which was still alive from Holliday’s ear canal. The Dodgers rallied for two runs in the ninth Monday to win 2-1.
This season has already produced some weird injuries for the Cardinals with recently Holliday missing two games last week when he tweaked his back in a pregame weightlifting warmup session and then shortstop Rafael Furcal missed two games over the weekend with a sprained thumb suffered when he tripped over a rope at Wrigley Field.
Former Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Doug Glanville took away time from writing another good book to throw out the opening pitch at Wrigley Field between his two former teams but all didn’t go well as he sailed it.
Sailed it might be an understatement.
In a radio interview, which was done on WSCR-AM 670 Chicago, MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons called Wrigley Field “a dump.” Gammons said that new Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has to do more than rebuild personnel.
“They have to make that ballpark livable,” Gammons said. “It’s a dump, Wrigley Field. They’re going to have to spend $200-and-something million on re-renovating Wrigley Field, do what the Boston owners did with Fenway Park.”
Ricketts declined to comment on Gammons comments through a team spokesperson. The Cubs have committed to renovating the 97-year-old park, but the club is looking at ways to finance proposed changes.
Memorial Day is time to celebrate those who have served our wonderful country and take in some baseball as spring gives way to summer. What better way to bring all three together than outdoor baseball at Wrigley Field with a flyover, well for those in attendance to watch the Chicago Cubs take on the Houston Astros on Monday got an unexpected military flyover in the fourth inning. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, speaking with the game’s announcers at the time, was taken aback least and said it best “you can’t beat Memorial Day.”
Watch video of it HERE
Today at Wrigley Field the band More Than Me was in the booth to sing the time honored tradition of Take Me Out To The Ball Game during the seventh inning stretch of the Chicago Cubs versus Pittsburgh Pirates game. Apparently the concept of how to wear a jersey correctly still hasn’t circulated of Buffalo, the city they call home. Nor have the correct lyrics as they happened mangled those as well by signing “Buy me some penis and Crackerjack …” “And it’s one, two, three balls you’re out”
See for yourself HERE
This was the scene shortly before longtime rivals the St. Louis Cardinals took on the Chicago Cubs yesterday. It was a sight Cubs fans certainly dream of seeing General manager Jim Hendry welcoming Albert Pujols to Wrigley Field with a warm embrace. The Cubs are believed to make a heavy run at Pujols once he becomes a free agent at the end of the season started a little early.
Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen loves taking shots at cross town rival the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field. However it looks as if the Cubs tried take a shot at Guillen and he just took in stride.
Wrigley Field has been damaged by a severe storm that caused parts of the roof of the 97-year-old ballpark to fall to the ground. High winds from a snowstorm battering Chicago on Tuesday night sent the roof flying. Two streets near the Chicago Cubs famous stadium were closed to cars and pedestrians. The high winds were keeping maintenance crews from repairing and removing the damage.
Only one end zone will be used for offense Saturday at Wrigley Field for the Illinois-Northwestern game because of safety concerns, the Big Ten announced. The east end zone is just feet away from the right-field wall, and although there is padding, there still were concerns that players could be injured there.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald had said this week that he would have different game plans for each end zone to avoid the possibility of injury.
In a statement issued by the Big Ten, the following changes will be made:
- All offensive plays will head toward the west end zone, including all extra points and all overtime possessions.
- All kickoffs will be kicked toward the east end zone.
- After every change of possession, the ball will be repositioned for the offense to head toward the west end zone.
- As a result of a coin toss held by the conference office Friday morning, Illinois will occupy the west team bench in the first half and Northwestern will occupy the west team bench in the second half and for all overtime periods.
Less than three months after moving the statue of announcer Harry Caray, which his widow Dutchie Caray opposed to, the Chicago Cubs will have to order new granite to fix the damage they caused when a vehicle being used for renovation work at the stadium ran into the base of the statue.
The damage occurred when one of the vehicles used in the ballpark makeover accidentally clipped the corner while going over the sidewalk, striking the base of the statue. It caused a crack that ran through the inscription Liberty Bell-style.
The renovation to Wrigley Field is part of a makeover for this month’s football game between Illinois and Northwestern.
Talk about experiencing the highs and lows of life, one minute your following the families footsteps of playing in Major League Baseball next your hearing you will need to have open-heart surgery to replace a bicuspid aortic valve. Welcome to Aaron Boone’s world. Boone, underwent open-heart surgery in March right as spring training was underway, he is expected to make his 2009 debut for the Houston Astros tonight when the face the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Boone doesn’t know if he’ll start, pinch-run, pinch-hit or come in as a defensive replacement, and he really doesn’t care.
“I don’t know what to expect, but I know I’ll be prepared to play. I’m just looking forward to being back and being part of the team,” said Boone.
Boone admitted he will have some butterflies.
“I had those in the Minor Leagues, so I’m sure I’ll have them here, too,” he said. “That’s the beauty of it.”
It was initially thought Boone would never be able to play again but for him to return to game that his grandfather Ray, father Bob and his brother Brett all played,when he could have easily said it was time to hang them up, is remarkable. Baseball runs in his blood, the passion for the game runs so deep that he won’t let open-heart surgery stop him from something he loves.