A fan was carried out of Wrigley Field on a stretcher after being accidentally hit by a bat in the seventh
inning during the Cubs game against the Pirates.
Addison Russell, making his Wrigley Field debut, swung at a fastball and the bat slipped out of his hands and into the
seats near the Cubs dugout.
“It just slipped,” Russell said. “I saw a fastball and wanted to hit it and the bat slipped. I saw it connect with his
face. I felt so bad. Words can’t describe how bad I feel.
“I found the bat in my locker so if you see that guy out there, I’m willing to give him a bat and sign it,” Russell said.
“I feel terribly bad about it.”
While the two teams resumed play, medical staff tended to the fan. Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney, who was sitting a few rows in front of where the accident occurred, got some towels from the dugout.
Was it tough to focus on the game again?
“Some things you just have to block out,” Russell said. “Whenever the bat was in mid flight, in my mind I’m screaming,
‘Watch out, watch out,’ and then I saw the dude’s glasses fly, and it just wasn’t pretty. I feel really bad.”
The Cubs issued a statement, saying the patient was transported to first aid, then transferred to an ambulance and taken to a nearby hospital. According to the Cubs, the patient was “conscious and communicating with staff while being transported from the stands.”
“It’s awful,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “What I see is that I never want my kids sitting unprotected, even though it’s
a good seat.”
Maddon recalls a Minor League game in the Quad Cities in 1976 when he was catching and a father and son were sitting to the left of the screen behind home plate. The young boy was struck in the face by a foul ball. Maddon says he’s never forgotten that incident.
“You come to the game, please pay attention,” Maddon said. “It’s a crazy game, things fly in the stands. It’s awful but we
all know it can happen.”
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs want to help those affected by the tornadoes that swept through Fairdale and Rochelle, Ill., last week. On Tuesday during the Cubs vs Reds game at Wrigley Field, Cubs associates will collect monetary donations at the gates before the start of the game. Money raised will benefit the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort, a campaign of the McCormick Foundation to support nonprofit agencies providing disaster relief and recovery efforts to those communities hit hardest by the tornadoes.
Proceeds from Tuesday’s Cubs Charities 50/50 Raffle also will benefit the cause.
Fans who cannot attend the game but would like to make a donation to the tornado disaster relief effort can give through Sunday by visiting Cubs.com/give.
* The Cubs fifth annual Bricks and Ivy Ball raised more than $1.35 million to support Cubs Charities’ programs. The event, held Wednesday night at Union Station, featured the 2015 Cubs team and coaching staff, who mingled with more than 700 guests.
* The Cubs will honor Jackie Robinson during the next homestand which begins Monday at Wrigley Field against the Reds. On Wednesday, the Cubs will join MLB by hosting Jackie Robinson Day at Wrigley Field. Robinson’s legacy is memorialized each year on April 15 to recognize the anniversary of the Hall of Famer, who broke baseball’s color barrier. All uniformed players and personnel will wear Robinson’s No. 42.
Each base used at Wrigley Field will feature a commemorative Jackie Robinson Day base jewel. These game-used bases and No. 42 jerseys will be available to purchase through Cubs Authentics to benefit Cubs Charities.
A pregame ceremony will include video highlights from Robinson’s career.
The Cubs lost their season opener Sunday night, and apparently several of the fans attending the game at Wrigley Field missed being able to watch it because of long lines at the restrooms. Two bathrooms in the upper deck were not functioning, which created the problem. Cubs spokesman Julian Green said they will add portable restrooms, starting Tuesday.
“We want to apologize to our fans for the inconvenience tonight,” Green said. “Moving forward, we plan to supplement the existing restrooms with additional portable units and will continue to monitor wait times.”
Green said the ballpark restrooms were not able to handle guests during peak periods.
“We have high standards for service and we missed the mark tonight,” Green said.
— Carrie Muskat
The new video scoreboard at Wrigley Field was installed above the left field bleachers in Chicago on Wednesday, and Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel has seen the photos of the renovation work being done at the 100-year-old ballpark.
“I’m excited,” Hammel said. “It looks like Baghdad, but you know there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow there. It is what it is right now, and we’re going to deal with it, but it’s exciting. It’s a long time coming and fun to be a part of, even if it will be a little sketchy to get around.
“There’s a lot of time and effort going into a place that’s pretty sacred ground,” he said. “I think it’ll be a lot of fun.”
Cubs officials have talked to the players about how the ongoing construction will affect the daily schedule. Hammel didn’t anticipate too many problems.
“Honestly, I’m a pretty easy to please guy,” Hammel said. “As long as I have a big league uniform, it’s fun for me. It’s going to be fun to go back in time later in my life to say I was part of that. It might be tough now, but we get to see the bones going up and it’ll be a fun story to tell later.”
Among the changes this year are that players can pick their walk-up music. Hammel is still deciding, but is leaning toward some Seattle grunge.
“All that stuff will be so cool,” he said. “It’s like jewels on an old crown, I guess. It’s a beautiful stadium. I don’t if that’s a good metaphor or not. If you look at a basic crown, they’re boring, but throw a couple jewels on it, and it’s nice.”
His young son won’t be picking the warm-up tune.
“We won’t be going with ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates,'” he said.
— Carrie Muskat
Cubs officials gave an update Tuesday regarding Wrigley Field, saying the ballpark will be ready for Opening Night even if the bleachers are not. The Cubs began the renovation project of the 100-year-old ballpark this past offseason. The left field and center field bleachers are expected to be open by May 11, and the right field bleachers will be ready for fans in mid June.
On Sunday, the video scoreboard in left field will be operating. The right field video board will not be functioning until the All-Star break.
Cubs spokesman Julian Green spent time Tuesday debunking some rumors about the work being done. Green said “at no time has Major League Baseball intervened in our construction project. They are not concerned, mad or disappointed in the team or the pace of construction. They have been supportive in our efforts.”
There were no discussions with the White Sox about playing the Cubs home opener at U.S. Cellular Field, Green said. He said rumors that the upper deck and grandstand are not safe are “absolutely false and simply reckless.”
“This has been most disturbing and reaching an all-time low for our Wrigley Field rumors and myths,” Green said.
Some other items to note:
* The outfield walls are intact and the ivy is attached, but there will be gaps in the greenery. The ivy was expected to be back in full bloom by mid summer.
* Work will continue throughout the season west of Wrigley Field along Clark Street as construction continues on the new clubhouse and plaza area.
* Fans are encouraged to use public transportation when going to games at Wrigley Field because of the construction work. The Red and Purple lots are no longer available. The Cubs do offer free remote parking at 3900 North Rockwell and have free shuttle transportation. The Blue and Brown lots also will not be available.
* The bike check service will continue north of The Cubs Store on the west side of Clark Street.
* Pedestrian access will change. The access on Clark Street near Wrigley will be limited to one lane of traffic in each direction, and pedestrian access will only be on the west side of the street. Waveland Avenue from Clark to Sheffield will remain closed to traffic. There will be pedestrian access on the north side of Waveland only. Sheffield will be closed to traffic. Pedestrian access will be on the east side.
* Group and public buses will be affected. Group charter and coach buses will unload and pick up on Irving Park Road. CTA will provide the same level of service at the same drop off and pickup points.
* On Sunday, “Fall Out Boy” will perform three songs on the field. Because of the pre-game performance, the gates at Wrigley will open at 4:35 p.m. CT. That is for Opening Night only. All gates will be available on Opening Night.
* All ticket windows at Wrigley Field will be open Sunday and the rest of the season. The Cubs will no longer sell tickets at The Cubs Store.
* Wi-Fi/Cell service: Cell service will be available in the ballpark in 2015. The Cubs hope all providers finish their installation by Sunday. However, Wi-Fi has been a challenge at Wrigley, and the system will be down for the majority of 2015.
* Statues: The Ernie Banks and Ron Santo statues will be in place by Opening Night. The Harry Caray statue, which was near the bleachers, will not return for the 2015 season. It is part of the ongoing construction.
* Brick pavers: The Cubs say they will relocate the pavers to the area outside the bleachers on Sheffield and Waveland. All will be replaced, and in place by Opening Day 2016. Fans who have purchased the pavers will get information regarding specific locations.
The Cubs will honor Hall of Famer Ernie Banks in pregame ceremonies Sunday before the first regular season
when they play host to the Cardinals at Wrigley Field.
Banks’ two sons, Joey and Jerry, will throw out ceremonial first pitches and lead the crowd in the seventh-inning stretch.
The Cubs are wearing commemorative No. 14 patches on both the home and away jerseys this season, and the bases used on Opening Night will be adorned with Ernie Banks tribute base jewels.
Each fan attending Opening Night will receive a commemorative No. 14 pin. Banks passed away in January at the age of 83.
A Cubs spokesman said Wednesday night there is no truth to a rumor that Major League Baseball has asked the Cubs to work on a Plan B with the White Sox to play games at U.S. Cellular Field because of delays in construction at Wrigley Field.
“Even a goat would tell you this reaches an absolute new low for Wrigley rumors,” Cubs spokesman Julian Green said Wednesday. “All is proceeding well and we look forward to Opening Night at Wrigley Field.”
The Cubs will open the regular season on April 5 against the Cardinals. The Cubs began an extensive renovation project in October at Wrigley, and the bleachers will not be ready for the opener. Green said the rest of the ballpark will be fine.
— Carrie Muskat
Cubs single game tickets for the 2015 season go on sale March 6 at 10 a.m. CT. Tickets will be available on http://www.Cubs.com or by calling 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827).
Fans can participate in the MasterCard Pre-sale prior to the general on-sale date. Starting March 3 at 10 a.m. CT, single game tickets will be available at Cubs.com for a 20 percent premium, or a 15 percent premium for fans using a MasterCard.
The single game on-sale will include a selection of tickets to Opening Night, April 5, against the Cardinals, plus weekend bobblehead promotional games, Family Sundays and Interleague matchups against the Indians, Tigers and Royals.
The 2015 promotional schedule features unique items, including a Cubs winter aviator hat, Wrigley Field football, Chicago Whales replica throwback jersey, and several Cubs player debut bobbleheads.
For the 2015 season, “Weekends Start Here” with new Budweiser Bleacher Friday games. On select Friday games in May, June, July, August and September, the Budweiser Bleachers may feature pre- or post-game entertainment, exclusive giveaway items, special food and beverages and more. For an up-to-date promotional schedule, visit http://www.cubs.com.
Fans interested in purchasing Cubs tickets in person can visit The Cubs Store, 3616 N. Clark Street, Chicago, beginning March 9 at 9 a.m. CT. Because of the ongoing construction at Wrigley Field, single game tickets will be sold at The Cubs Store during regular store hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT every day leading up to Opening Night with the exception of March 14.
Here are the details for single game purchasing options:
* The Cubs will offer the MasterCard Pre-sale starting March 3 at 10 a.m. CT through March 4 at 10 p.m. CT. Fans using a MasterCard can purchase single game tickets in advance of the general on-sale date at a 15 percent premium, while fans using other forms of payment may purchase tickets at a 20 percent premium. MasterCard Pre-sale tickets may be purchased at Cubs.com.
* Fans have three ways to purchase single game tickets.
Via the Internet: On March 6, fans can purchase tickets at Cubs.com. A virtual waiting room will begin accepting customers at 9:30 a.m. CT. At 10 a.m. CT, customers will be selected from the virtual waiting room to begin purchasing tickets. All Internet customers will need a valid Cubs.com account. Customers are recommended to register for an account prior to March 6.
By Telephone: Tickets can be purchased by telephone beginning March 6 at 10 a.m. CT by dialing 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827).
At The Cubs Store: Tickets will be available for purchase starting March 9 at 9 a.m. CT. The team will offer in-person single game tickets for purchase at The Cubs Store every day through April 5 during regular hours with the exception of March 14.
For updated ticket pricing, visit Cubs.com.
The Cubs got the go-ahead from a federal judge Thursday to erect the video scoreboards at Wrigley Field. First baseman Anthony Rizzo says he can’t wait for the renovations at the 100-year-old ballpark to be completed.
U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall ruled Thursday in Chicago that the Cubs can continue with plans to install advertising signs at Wrigley Field that could block views from nearby rooftop businesses, and rejected the rooftops’ emergency request for a temporary restraining order. Rooftop owners had argued the video scoreboards will cause “irreparable” harm if installed.
Rizzo, one of the early bird position players in Cubs camp, said he’s eager to see the improvements that are part of the renovation plan.
“That’s exciting stuff,” Rizzo said Thursday. “This will be new stuff, the new generation, the new things to come, hopefully, will start now. The renovations with Wrigley will only help us players and make the fan experience a lot better. With the tradition of the ballpark still there and the new stuff they’re adding, I think it’s great.”
— Carrie Muskat