6/15 Hoisting the Cup

As a little kid growing up in Vancouver, B.C., Ryan Dempster dreamed of one day hoisting the Stanley Cup. He pursued a different career path, though.

“I can’t skate,” Dempster said. “It’s a pretty ugly sight to watch me skate.”

But on Sunday night, he got to lift the Stanley Cup while on the pitcher’s mound at Wrigley Field when the Cubs saluted the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks were feted prior to the Cubs’ Interleague game against the Chicago White Sox, and all three teams posed for a photo around the trophy.

“That was awesome — to see three professional sports teams on the field at the same time,” Dempster said Tuesday. “It was pretty special. I don’t think you’ll ever see that, especially during the season.”

But lifting the Cup? Dempster couldn’t believe he had the chance.

“I was extremely honored that they would even ask me to do that and humbled that they gave it to me,” he said. “I know how special of an honor that is, just to even touch it. I was shaking for three innings afterward. Being a little kid in Canada, that’s all I ever thought about it. They’ve embraced me and been so generous to me, it’s brought that little kid out in me for sure.”

One thing he’d like to see continued from Sunday’s game was the crowd response during the national anthem. The 40,456 at Wrigley Field roared when Blackhawks anthem singer Jim Cornelison did the honors, and the song was drowned out by the cheers, just as fans do at the United Center.

“It’d be nice to have that every night,” Dempster said. “That was a lot of fun and the energy was intense. It was a special day and I’m glad I was there and I’m glad all these guys were there.”

– Carrie Muskat

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