Tag Archives: Cubs

What have we learned today with Big John & Ramblin’ Ray? (9-26-18)

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray recap today’s show with ‘What did we learn today?’, a segment where they comment on what they’ve learned from the show. The guys also ask the producers behind the scenes what they’ve learned. Today’s show covered where you can and cannot fight in Wrigleyville, a brand new pirate-themed attraction in Florida, and a new comedy show starring President Donald Trump.

Special Olympian sings anthem at Wrigley Field, and raises money for Special Olympics

A Special Olympian took center stage at Wrigley Field Monday night.

Stefan Xidas sang the national anthem ahead of the Cubs game against the Brewers.


“We went to a lot of Cubs games when I was a kid and that had a big impact on me,” he said.

Xidas has tried to sing the anthem at Wrigley for years, ever since he performed it for the White Sox during National Association for Down’s Syndrome Day in 2005, the same year they won the World Series.

Xidas reached out to the Cubs every year. “We either would get no response, or a letter saying hey, it’s all booked up. Try again next year,” said Stan Xidas, father.

That’s when Xidas’s lifelong best friends made a video asking Tom Ricketts for the chance to sing the national anthem if he raised $5,000 for the Special Olympics, for which he plays tennis. Xidas posted to social media three weeks ago and went viral.

“Less than a week, he hit the $5,000 mark, then it inched its way up to $10,000. And I think that as of today, it’s well over $18,0000,” Stand said.

The Cubs will be matching Xidas’ $18,000 in donations to the Special Olympics.

Fan hit by metal debris from Wrigley scoreboard


WGN —A Cubs fan avoided a potentially serious injury at Tuesday’s game thanks to a silly but fortunate choice of headwear.

On a beautiful summer night, Wrigley Field had a nearly full house under a nearly full moon.

“The skies cleared up and it was almost like a perfect night for a ballgame,” said Nancy Hopf, a fan who was sitting in the bleachers at the time. “It was packed; I mean, only the Cubs can pack the place on a Tuesday night.”

As Hopf and her husband settled into some seats, they didn’t realize how bizarre things would get that night.

“He was like, ‘How about we sit underneath the scoreboard?’ I’m like, ‘That’d be great, yeah,’ and we happened to find seats pretty close underneath the scoreboard,” Hopf said.

About two hours into the game there was a commotion in the crowd.

“All of a sudden, everybody starts turning behind me and looking at the scoreboard, and I’m like, ‘Something must be going on with the scoreboard,’ so I turn around and I’m like, ‘No. It’s the kid,'” Hopf said.

A 19-year-old man sitting in the centerfield bleachers just a row or two from the Hopfs had been hit in the head with a foot-long metal pin. The team says it was either dropped or fell from the manually-operated scoreboard.

“People started talking, ‘What happened? What happened? A tile fell on him?’ I was like, ‘Has this ever happened? Does this happen all the time or what? What’s going on?’” Hopf said.

Paramedics came into the bleachers to help the fan. Hopf says he could have been seriously hurt, except for the fact that he was wearing a plastic bucket on his head.

“So, I can imagine what would have happened if that bucket wasn’t there. I think we might have been dealing with something totally different,” Hopf said.

The fan hasn’t been publicly identified, but he was treated at Illinois Masonic  Hospital, and still needed five staples to close a cut on his head, according to the Cubs.

“It happened in probably the best circumstances it could happen. For some reason you had a kid with a bucket on his head, and he’s going to be ok,” Hopf said.

Hopf says some fans left, but most went on to watch the game when it was clear the injured fan was going to be fine. She says she hopes the Cubs review safety around the scoreboard in the bleachers.

Crosstown Connections

The press box at Wrigley Field is very small.

The place was built just before the rise of the Roman Empire, however, and back then there were no cameras. Radio was, essentially, two tin cans connected by string. Broadcasters just didn’t need that much space to spread the word of baseball from town to town.

Despite its small size, the Executive Producer of White Sox baseball on WLS-AM 890, managed to secure a secondary booth high atop the perch of this ancient and austere baseball palace. From this distance, the smell of last night’s beer on the concourse fades all the way into memory.

For whatever reason–maybe the punctuated silence of the neighborhood at this hour, perhaps the rumbling of the Red Line in the distance but, more likely, the recent trade the two clubs made–I’ve been thinking about the connected histories of these teams.

From this chair, the first that comes to mind is Steve Stone. Stone, of course, played for both clubs and broadcast for both clubs. Stone might just be the best analyst in the business and is a more than competent play-by-play man, to boot. From Stone, the natural jump is to Harry Caray. It’s always strikes me as odd that Caray, started with the Cardinals, left for the White Sox, and landed with the Cubs. As far as those fandoms go, it’s pretty incongruous group. The fact that Caray was, I think, welcomed by all only adds to his legend.

Ron Santo’s legacy in this ballpark is palpable. As a player and broadcaster for the Cubs, he was and still is loved. Santo, of course, was traded to the Sox in 1973 for, among others, Steve Stone.

Bill Veeck, a man whose hand shaped the history of the White Sox franchise as much as any other, has connections deep into the ground at Wrigley. First, his father, Bill Veek Sr., was president of the Cubs from 1919 until 1933. Veeck, Jr. planted the ivy in the outfield. He was also the brainchild of the exploding scoreboard at Comiskey Park.

Probably, you knew most of this. It’s entirely possible you knew all of it.

The next chapter of the White Sox-Cubs relationship, however, was just given a title. The Jose Quintana trade.

It remains to be seen exactly how critical the deal will be to each side. Odds are, however, it’s much more impactful than the last trade the two sides made. (Neal Cotts for David Aardsma in 2006.) Just yesterday, Quintana pitched well (and won) a game against the Cubs division rival, the Cardinals. While the White Sox have lost nine in a row, Eloy Jimenez had the first five-hit game of his career for the White Sox high A affiliate, the Winston-Salem Dash. Jimenez had two singles, two doubles and a dinger.

While they may be headed down different roads for the time being, history has taught us that their paths will cross again.

The answer to fake news, and the problems with charging cellphones, the FCC changes rules after 70 years, Michael Jackson’s story without music, and more! – 5/22/17

The answer to fake news, and the problems with charging cellphones, the FCC changes rules after 70 years, Michael Jackson’s story without music, and more!

Steve Harvey reacts to memo, Trump’s special menu at the White House, Bob’s now knows the word “teetotaler,” Lynn Sweet from the Chicago Sun-Times talks Trump’s tweets to James Comey, Ronnie Woo Woo and more! – 5/12/17 (Hour 1)

Steve Harvey reacts to memo, Trump’s special menu at the White House, Bob’s now knows the word “teetotaler,” Lynn Sweet from the Chicago Sun-Times talks Trump’s tweets to James Comey, Ronnie Woo Woo and more!


Woman injured in bar fight opening day 2016 sues The Cubby Bear

(CHICAGO) A woman is suing the Cubby Bear sports bar for an injury she suffered when a fight broke out on the Cubs’ opening day last year.

On April 11, 2016, Donna Benson was inside the bar, located across the street from Wrigley Field at 1059 W. Addison St., when an intoxicated bar patron and an employee “fought before violently colliding with [Benson], causing injury,” according to the lawsuit.

Benson filed the suit Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court, claiming it was the responsibility of the bar to keep her and other patrons safe from harm.

The owner of the Cubby Bear could not immediately be reached for comment.

The two-count suit seeks at least $100,000 in damages.

Morning Show Surprise Guest Ryne Sandberg Shares His Cubs-White House Visit

Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ryne Sandberg talks about visiting the White House with the World Champion Cubs

Baseball Hall-of-Famer and 1984 NL MVP Ryne Sandberg joins the show to talk about visiting the White House with the Cubs this week.

Cubs Visit White House

By Jennifer Keiper, WLS-AM 890

(WASHINGTON) The World Series Champion Cubs visited the White House Monday.

“Even I was not crazy enough to suggest that, during these eight years, we would see the Cubs win the World Series but I did say that there has never been anything false about hope,” said President Obama.

Surrounded by the team, President Obama -a White Sox fan- says the drought hasn’t been as long for HIM because there he had the ’85 Bears, the Bulls run, the Blackhawks and, “The White Sox did win eleven years ago with Ozzie and Konerko, and Buehrle.  So, I can’t claim that I have the same just visceral joy of some in this White House but FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States) is a lifelong Cubs fan.”

The President says for the first time in 8 years , the First Lady she made it a priority to greet a winning team at the White House before heading out to another event on Monday.

The President has been given a Cubs Jersey, a “W” flag and a lifetime pass to Wrigley Field.

@2017 WLS-AM News


Cubs Visit the White House on Monday

From the Associated Press

(CHICAGO ) The World Series Champion Chicago Cubs are getting ready to visit the White House on Monday, to meet with President Barack Obama.
The Cubs’ quick trip to the White House isn’t as rushed as it might seem. President Barack Obama actually extended the invitation during a congratulatory call to Maddon right after the Cubs clinched.     “We had a great conversation,” Maddon said. “He definitely wanted us to come before he left office.”
Asked whether he had any advice for the soon-to-be unemployed president, he quipped, “I’ll just listen.” And Maddon already knows that any useful tips on improving his ballclub aren’t likely to come from the chief executive himself.
 “He’s a White Sox fan,” Maddon chuckled. “But Ms. Obama (who grew up in Chicago) is a lifelong fan and so is most of his staff.”


From MLB.com – The Cubs are going to the nation’s capital on Monday to meet President Barack Obama and celebrate the 2016 World Series championship, and everyone on the travel party is eagerly looking forward to the trip. “It’s exciting,“ said Jason McLeod, director of scouting and player development, who will accompany the team. “I [feel] giddy to get invited.“

Source: Cubs looking forward to White House event | MLB.com

Cubs’ Series win is top AP sports story of 2016

CHICAGO (AP) — The Cubs’ first World Series title since 1908 is the runaway winner for top sports story of 2016.

The end of the drought for long-suffering Cubs fans collected 48 of 59 first-place votes and 549 points in balloting by AP members and editors. Read the full story here at apnews.com.

The death of Muhammad Ali after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease was second with 427 points.

LeBron James leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to the franchise’s first NBA title took third with 425 points.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

CTA breaks record with 1.1 million L riders for Cubs parade

CTA photo

(CHICAGO) More than 1.1 million Cubs fans took CTA trains took get to the World Series parade and rally last week, setting a single-day record for L passengers.

The new high rail mark of 1,146,349 riders beat the one set during Game 3 of the World Series, when 918,723 fans rode CTA trains to Wrigley Field, the transit agency said Friday.

A total of of 1,945,250 people took buses and trains on Nov. 5, making it the second-highest ridership in history, officials said. It trails only to the 2 million people who rode the CTA to the downtown Fourth of July celebration in 2008, and just eked out the 1,938,738 riders for Barack Obama’s presidential acceptance speech the same year.

The average weekday sees about 1.6 million rides, with more than a third of those coming on the train. Seven of the 10 highest rail ridership days have come during the Cubs’ playoff runs over the last two years.

“The last few weeks have been historic, as all of Chicago has come together to celebrate a sports championship that’s touched every corner of the city,” CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. said in a statement. “We’re pleased to be able to work together with all the city agencies to help Chicago celebrate such an historic occasion.”

Details: Friday’s Cubs Parade

By Nick Gale, WLS-AM News

(CHICAGO) The City of Chicago will celebrate the Chicago Cubs World Series win with a parade Friday morning followed by a rally in the afternoon.

“We’re going to have a parade in Chicago that will stand the test of time,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday. He was in attendance for Game 7 in Cleveland where the Cubs beat the Indians 8-7 in 10 innings.

The official parade route will start at approximately 11 a.m., leaving Wrigley at approximately 10 a.m., and will travel along Michigan Avenue between Oak St. and Ohio St. and then along Columbus Dr. between Monroe St. and Balbo Ave. Drivers should expect road closures along the route.

A celebration rally will take place at Lower Hutchinson Field in Grant Park at approximately noon, when the motorcade arrives in Grant Park. The rally is free and open to the public. All attendees must pass through security screening at entrances at Michigan Ave. and Jackson Blvd. and at Michigan Ave. and Congress Pkwy. Closed water bottles will be allowed into the rally and food vendors will be on site.

Metra will be adding additional cars and trains and the CTA will offer additional service to customers traveling into the Loop on Friday morning.

Earlier Thursday, reports said that the city was pushing for a Monday parade and rally while the Cubs were pushing for Friday. Coincidentally, Chicago Public School students have Friday off for a “school improvement day.”

To read the official release from the Mayor’s office, click here.

@ 2016 WLS-AM 890 News

Cubs Fan Writes Epic Note to Professor Before Skipping Class to Watch World Series

With such a passion for the athletic organization, wouldn’t some of the journalistic integrity be lost? Ideally, a non-fan would objectively cover the story more effectively.


Take notes Cubs fans – this may be the best “get out of class” note ever.

Source: Cubs Fan Writes Epic Note to Professor Before Skipping Class to Watch World Series | NBC Chicago

Suburban boy gets second chance to see World Series

By John Dempsey, WLS-AM 890

(CHICAGO) A happy ending for seven year old Johnny Wallach of Northfield, who was accidentally knocked unconscious by a high-fiving fan at game one of the World Series in Cleveland Tuesday night.

Johnny’s father David tells “The Big John and Ray Show” on WLS, that after he appeared on the show earlier this week to criticize the Indians response, the team came through with two tickets for them for game 3 Friday night at Wrigley Field.

“It’s a class move by them. They called us yesterday and told us they had two tickets for tonight. There are no words to express how grateful we are to the Indians organization, to Ray and you guys for waking us up at five o’clock in the morning to talk about this. Thanks Ray.”

Wallach says his son Johnny, who was rushed to a Cleveland hospital with a concussion Tuesday night, is alright, and was so excited after hearing he’d be attending game 3 at Wrigley Field that he could not sleep Thursday night.

Wallach had paid $2,200 for two bleacher seats at Cleveland’s Progressive Field for game one. He says after the Indians scored their first run in the first inning, a Cleveland fan behind them high-fived his friend, and accidentally elbowed Johnny in the head, knocking him unconscious.

At that time Wallach says the Progressive Field staff in Cleveland did nothing to help. Now all is forgiven as Johnny and his Dad will attend game 3 at Wrigley Field, as guests of the Indians.

Wallach says the lesson he and Johnny learned on Tuesday, is to be careful with high-fiving.

“I’m sure tonight when the Cubs score the place is gonna go insane and you know you have to kind of be careful of your surroundings because people are jumping up and down and they’re high-fiving and it gets a little nuts.”

David Wallach talks about the Cleveland Indians making up for an incident in Game One on the John and Ray morning show here:

Wrigleyville Parking Expected to Be Upwards of $300

By Jen DeSalvo, The John Howell and Ray Stevens Morning Show

DNAinfo Chicago is reporting that fans heading to the World Series games in Wrigleyville may be paying upwards of $300 to park! Keeping in mind that there is no commercial parking lot like there is at Soldier Field, the United Center or Guaranteed Rate Field (reminder: that’s the new name of where the White Sox play), it is fairly difficult to find any parking, let alone cheap parking.

Most street parking in Lakeview falls under permit parking, and without a 383 pass, a car will be ticketed and towed. Residents oftentimes have an extra parking space which they are willing to rent to an out-of-town Cubs fan, but those spaces come at a premium.

The best options come from the city’s reliable public transit systems such as the CTA and Metra. Information directly from those agencies can be found below.

Source: Cubs Fans: Be Prepared To Shell Out Up To $300 For World Series Parking – Wrigleyville – DNAinfo Chicago


From Metrarail.com

World Series Bound… Destination Wrigleyville!

Chicago Cubs fans, whether you are lucky enough to have tickets to the weekend games or just want to enjoy the experience around the ballpark, take Metra and CTA and avoid the traffic and cost of parking.  Buy tickets right from your smartphone too, with the Ventra App, including the Saturday and Sunday unlimited ride $8 Weekend Pass.   Please remember that all departing times from the city will leave on regular scheduled service, so plan accordingly. 

Directions to Wrigley Field from Chicago Union Station:

  • Walk six blocks east to the CTA Red Line (State Street Subway). Take Red Line trains going north to the Addison stop, just steps from the ballpark, or
  • Board a CTA bus to the CTA Red Line (State Street Subway): No. 1 Bronzeville/Union Station or No. 151 Sheridan at the Union Station Transit Center, located along Jackson Blvd. between Canal Street and Clinton Street just south of Union Station. Take Red Line train going north to the Addison stop.

Directions to Wrigley Field from Ogilvie Transportation Center:

  • Walk six blocks east to the CTA Red Line (State Street Subway). Take the Red Line north to Addison, or
  • Board a CTA bus to the CTA Red Line (State Street Subway): No. 20 Madison, No. 56 Milwaukee or No. J14 Jeffery Jump to connect to the State Street Subway. Take the Red Line north to Addison.

Directions to Wrigley Field from Millennium and Van Buren Street Stations:

  • Walk two blocks west to State Street to take the Red Line to Addison.  

Directions to Wrigley Field from Metra’s UP Northwest Irving Park Station:

  • Board CTA bus No. 80 Irving Park to Clark Street.

Directions to Wrigley Field from Metra’s Milwaukee North Grayland Station:

  • Walk south on Kilbourn Avenue to Addison Street. Take CTA bus No. 152 Addison east to the ballpark.

Directions to Wrigley Field from Metra’s UP North Line Davis Street Station:

  • Walk one block east to the CTA Davis Station. Board a Howard-bound Purple Line train to Howard and then transfer to a 95th-bound Red Line train to Addison.

Directions to Wrigley Field from Metra’s Rock Island Line:

  • Get off at the 35th Street/”Lou” Jones Station. Walk to the CTA Red Line and take the train going north to the Addison stop.

For additional schedule information, contact Metra Passenger Services at 312-322-6777 or call the RTA Travel Information Center at 836-7000.

CTA Options


Red Line
The ballpark is just a half block west of the Addison stop on the CTA Red Line.

To get to the Addison stop from the south (including downtown), take a Red Line train toward Howard. From the north, take a Red Line train toward 95th.

The ballpark is also just a couple of blocks south of the Sheridan stop on the CTA Red Line.

Purple Line Express

Before weekday night games, rather than run express from Howard to Belmont, regular Loop-bound Purple Line Express trains will make an additional stop at Sheridan.

Linden-bound Purple Line Express trains will not make special stops at Sheridan. Purple Line Express service operates only during weekday rush periods. For service back north after the game, use the Red Line from Addison or Sheridan (where you can transfer to Purple Line local service and Yellow Line trains at Howard).


You can also use CTA bus routes #8 Halsted, #22 Clark or #152 Addison(connects to the Brown and Blue lines) to get to, or within a few blocks of, Wrigley Field.