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Offseason pics Wrigley Field

By bullpenbrian - February 22, 2013 - 5:00 pm 2 comments.

I snapped a couple of pics around Wrigley Field Thursday afternoon. Two maintenance trucks, at least that’s what they appeared to be, were stationed at the corner entrance of Addison & Sheffield.

Farther north on Sheffield was a crane assisting with what I assume is a rooftop project. But I couldn’t quite tell what improvements were taking place, and it was too cold to just stand around waiting for the blasted thing to show its hand.

What I do know is opening day is only a few short weeks away. Can’t wait to get back to the yard—even if it’s still freezing out.

Bullpen Brian 

Bullpen Brian


Wrigley Field Renovations Early 1920s

By bullpenbrian - February 22, 2013 - 8:00 am Leave a comment.

Wrigley Field | Chicago, Illinois

“Children have sat at the knees of their grandfather and listened to him tell of the time the Cubs were in the World Series. And they have marked it off to just another fantasy by the old gaffer, like the depth of the snow fall in the year of the great blizzard.”
Jack Griffin, Chicago Sun-Times

In 1918 the Cubs stormed their way to the NL pennant.
But little ‘ol Wrigley couldn’t accommodate the growing fan base.
It became evident Wrigley Field needed to expand seating.
William Wrigley came up with an unspeakable plan…
He moved the Cubs’ home World Series games to a larger Comiskey Park!
By 1922 renovations on Wrigley Field were underway.
This included moving the entire field 60 feet southwest.
Later, in 1923, bleacher seats were added behind the outfield wall.
The additions increased Wrigley Field’s seating capacity to 20,000. 


Where Tony Campana fits with the Diamondbacks

By bullpenbrian - February 19, 2013 - 12:00 pm Leave a comment.

Tony Campana
Two pitchers for Tony Campana? What a steal.

I figured Campana would hit waivers, get claimed, and the Cubs would simply enjoy freeing up a roster spot.

Instead, the Cubs receive two 17-year-old, right-handed pitchers in return: Erick Leal and Jesus Castillo.

Who knows where either pitcher ends up with the Cubs? They’re barely legal age, let alone, years off from making any sort of run at the big leagues. But the fact is, at least the Cubs got ‘something‘ for Campana, which is a bonus.

Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks, who have a formidable club this season, finished 12/16 in the National League in stolen bases last year. And only Pittsburgh (52) was caught stealing more times than Arizona (51).

Campana is 54/59 in stolen bags the past two seasons, including 30 swipes in 2012. He immediately helps replace the 18 stolen bases lost to Atlanta with the trade of Justin Upton, who tied Paul Goldschmidt for the team lead last season.

Trading for Campana is obviously a move that makes sense for Arizona, who will need every edge competing against the defending world champion Giants and the heavy firepower of the Dodgers.

But this is also an opportunity for Campana to hear new voices and receive new instruction on becoming a better hitter. His fate is ultimately tied to improving his bat and his on-base percentage, which he didn’t do in Chicago.

Campana lovers, pay attention. The D-backs have one scheduled visit to Wrigley Field this upcoming season. It happens during a three-game weekend series from May 31 to June 2. The Cubs then travel to Arizona following the All-Star break for a four-game series from July 22-25.


William Veeck, Chicago Cubs President 1919-1933

By bullpenbrian - February 15, 2013 - 8:00 am Leave a comment.

“With Wrigley Field, you get a very elegant and high-quality simplicity, which never got dated.”
-Tim Samuelson, Chicago Historical Society

William Veeck Sr. was originally a sportswriter. He used the pseudonym “Bill Bailey” with the Chicago American to write a series of articles on how to fix the woeful Chicago Cubs. It grabbed the attention of Cubs owner William Wrigley, who then hired Veeck to help run the team in 1918. By season’s end the Cubs were in the World Series, losing to Boston, and Veeck was promoted to the team president.

Veeck always stayed ahead of his time in professional baseball; promoting his idea for a Mid-Summer Classic and pushing for inter-league play. He was masterful at bucking traditional baseball operations, such as hiring Joe McCarthy, a career minor leaguer, to manage the Cubs. McCarthy was instrumental in leading Chicago to the 1929 World Series, which, in typical Cubs fashion, they lost to Philadelphia.

Veeck remained team president until his death in 1933, with the Cubs having won three pennants under his watch: 1918, 1929, 1932. His son Bill Veeck carried on the family tradition becoming a colorful owner of the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox.



Another Unforgettable Memory of Cubs 2003 Season

By bullpenbrian - February 13, 2013 - 2:30 pm Leave a comment.

Mark Grudzielanek
A recent Name That Cub! post struck a chord with one reader.
The answer to the trivia question was Mark Grudzielanek.
He of course was the Cubs’ second baseman from 2003-04.
Twitter follower @mfrost503 responded to the post:

I still remember his big hit against the Cardinals in the 4 game series in September 2003, a triple if I remember correctly

It turns out mfrost503′s memory is correct…with one small exception.
It was actually a five-game series due to a double header at Wrigley.
Nonetheless, in the fourth contest against St. Louis on Sept. 3, 2003, Grudzielanek tripled against Woody Williams in the bottom of the eighth.
The hit drove home Tony Womack for the go-ahead run. The Cubs won 8-7.
They also won the following day to take 4 of 5 against the rival Cards.
Chicago continued to win its next 4 games to tie Houston for the division lead.
And by the end of the month the Cubs would clinch the NL Central title!
The rest, as they say, is history.


10,000 Day Anniversary of The Ferris Bueller Cubs Game

By bullpenbrian - February 13, 2013 - 1:45 am Leave a comment.

Ferris Bueller Cubs Game
It’s Sept. 24, 1985. The Cubs trail Montreal 15-2 after 5 innings.
Chicago storms back scoring 13 runs over the next 4 frames.
But it’s not enough. The Expos edge the Cubs 17-15.
Andre Dawson, by the way, goes 4-for-6 with 3 HRs & 8
This remains one of the more wild games in Wrigley Field’s history.
Chris Jaffe of the Hardball Times notes the 10,000 day anniversary (2/9/13).
Interestingly, scenes for ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ were shot during the game.
And as you can tell from the picture above, not many fans were there to witness the Cubs’ near comeback, or filming of the movie.
The recorded attendance that afternoon: 6,947!
The actual on-field clips used in the movie are from another Cubs game. 
A June 5, 1985 contest against the Braves. The Cubs lost 4-2.


Name That Cub!

By bullpenbrian - February 11, 2013 - 8:23 am Leave a comment.

CT CityHall2.JPG
He’s a long, tall Texan: 6’3", 215 lbs.
Attended Lamar University.
Drafted by the Cubs in 2002.
Hit 4 HR in one game with Triple-A Iowa.
Played exactly 162 games with the Cubs over 3 seasons.
Signed with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in 2011.
Name that Cub! (Answer after the jump)


Glenallen Hill’s Rooftop Home Run At Wrigley Field

By bullpenbrian - February 9, 2013 - 1:15 am 5 comments.

Glenallen Hill Rooftop

First thing to pop in your head when I mention the name Glenallen Hill…

Yep. May 11, 2000.

Hill hits a mammoth home run off Milwaukee starter Steve Woodard in the second inning of a game at Wrigley Field. The ball lands on one of the rooftops across the street on Waveland Avenue.

According to ESPN’s Home Run Tracker, Hill’s famous shot was traveling at 116.7 mph with a trajectory of 41.1 degrees. An 18 mph wind was blowing out to left field, and had the five-story building not been in the way, it’s estimated the home run would’ve cleared 500 ft! The definition of a tape-measure shot.

(Hill was also listed in the Mitchell Report for his alleged use of HGH and association with Mets clubhouse employee Kirk Radomski who on April 27, 2007 pleaded guilty to illegal distribution of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, Clenbuterol, amphetamines and other drugs to “dozens of current and former Major League Baseball players, and associates, on teams throughout Major League Baseball.”)

Nonetheless, the Cubs lost 14-8 that day while on their way to losing the third most games in franchise history (97).

Hill spent 13 seasons in the majors with seven different teams, including two stints with the Cubs (1993-94, 1998-00).

He wrapped up his playing career in 2001 with the Angels and later joined the Rockies organization as the team’s first base coach from 2007-12.

This past week Hill was named the manager of the Rockies Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs.

*As you’re accustom to on Saturdays, I like to post Cubs videos. And having watched the Glenallen Hill home run on YouTube on a number of occasions, I wasn’t aware it was no longer available for viewing due to copyright stuff for Major League baseball. So, instead we carry on with the crappy photo below. Next week’s Cubs video will be just that…an actual video you can watch…

Genallen Hill Rooftop Home Run

Glenallen Hill


When William Wrigley Jr. Bought The Cubs

By bullpenbrian - February 8, 2013 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

 “I can sell pianos to armless men in Borneo.”-William Wrigley Jr.

William Wrigley Jr. was expelled from school in Philadelphia at age 12. 
He then left home, moved to New York City and sold newspapers.

Later he headed to Chicago and landed in the chewing gum business. 
In 1915 he partnered with Charlie Weeghman to buy the Cubs. 
William kept a real bear named ‘Joa’ at Wrigley Field for part of the 1915 season.

By 1920 Weeghman sold his stock in the Cubs to Wrigley Jr., who became the majority owner. He died at the age of 70 in 1932 leaving the Cubs to his son Philip K. Wrigley.


Chris Carpenter A Cubs Killer

By bullpenbrian - February 7, 2013 - 8:15 am Leave a comment.

Chris Carpenter
Baseball will miss Chris Carpenter.
Terrific pitcher. Tough guy. Competitive spirit.

Doubtful the Cubs tear-up if Carp retires though.
He’s a long-time Cubs killer who pitched more games (26) against the Cubs than any other opponent.

He’s (11-6, 3.06) all-time against Chicago.
And (8-3, 3.82) at Wrigley Field.
The 8 wins are the most at any road park in his career.

Baseball should miss Carpenter.
And the Cubs should be glad he’s retiring.
But here’s a respectful tip of the cap to a guy who punished the North Siders for the better part of the last decade.


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