Results tagged ‘ Billy Williams ’

9/7 Sweet swinging Billy

The Cubs unveiled a statue of Hall of Famer Billy Williams on Tuesday that captures the young outfielder as he’s coming out of the batter’s box after hitting a home run. The bronze is at the corner of Addison and Sheffield streets.

“This is beyond my wildest dreams,” said Williams, accompanied by his wife, Shirley, and several family members and teammates, including Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Fergie Jenkins, Randy Hundley and Glenn Beckert.

On one side of the base of the statue are Williams’ No. 26, and on the opposite side is “Sweet Swinging” Billy Williams. He has spent 52 years with the Cubs as a player, a coach, a special assistant and now as a senior advisor.

“I’m living proof that perseverance really can make a dream come true,” he said.

— Carrie Muskat

9/6 Williams statue to be unveiled Tuesday

Billy Williams has been tempted more than once to stop at Addison and Sheffield streets outside Wrigley Field and peek under the blue cloth covering the bronze statue of the Hall of Famer.

“I’ve thought several times about going there and taking it off to see it to make sure it’s all right,” Williams said Monday.

The Cubs will formally unveil the statue on Tuesday in a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. CT. Several of Williams’ family, friends and former teammates will be on hand, including Hall of Famer Ernie Banks.

“I’m excited,” Williams said. “I’ve been excited since [Spring Training in] Arizona when it was first mentioned that a statue would be unveiled here on [Sept. 7]. I’ve been looking forward to it and anticipating. The closer you get, the more excited you get. [Tuesday] is going to be an exciting day, and not only for me but fans and friends and family. I look at it as a monumental thing.”

Williams and his wife Shirley did get a peek early in the process before the statue was installed on the corner outside of Wrigley.

“I don’t care how it looks,” Williams said. “Just to have a statue on the outer walls of the ballpark where you performed, where you had a great time playing the game, that’s something you don’t dream of.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/6 Cubs wives & cookbook event

The Cubs Wives will be selling copies of the Cubs Cookbook today at the Jewel store on 2940 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago from 12:30-2 p.m. CT. Proceeds from the sale benefit the Ryan Dempster Foundation. The book features more than 60 recipes selected by Cubs players, coaches and others, including Hall of Famers Billy Williams and Ernie Banks. There’s also Lou Piniella’s favorite chicken salad recipe and a very good pecan-crusted fish recipe from manager Mike Quade. Plus, the book includes a history of food at Wrigley Field and recipes from some of the top restaurants in Chicago. It’s all for a good cause.

— Carrie Muskat

9/3 Sweet swinging Billy & good causes

The Cubs will unveil a statue of Hall of Famer Billy Williams on Tuesday at the corner of Sheffield and Addison streets outside Wrigley Field. Several of Williams’ teammates are scheduled to attend, including Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins, Ron Santo and Glenn Beckert. During his 18-year Major League career, including 16 seasons with the Cubs, Williams batted .290 with 2,711 hits, 426 home runs and 1,475 RBIs. He won Rookie of the Year in 1961 and was a six-time NL All-Star.

* The Cubs will host an equipment collection drive on Saturday before their game against the Mets. Fans are invited to donate new and used equipment at specially marked tables on Clark Street between Addison and Waveland Streets, beginning at 10 a.m. CT Saturday. Donations will benefit Streator Youth Baseball. A tornado severely damaged the Southside Diamonds, the baseball fields of the Streator Youth Baseball, earlier this summer.

* The Cubs Wives will host their eighth annual Food Drive at Wrigley Field prior to Saturday’s game. The event is presented by Meijer and proceeds benefit the Lakeview Pantry. Since its inception in 2003, the event has helped secure more than 83,000 pounds of food.

* The Cubs Wives also will sell copies of the Cubs Cookbook on Monday at the Jewel store at 2940 W. Ashland Ave. in Chicago, starting at 12:30 p.m. CT. Proceeds benefit the Ryan Dempster Foundation.

— Carrie Muskat

8/26 A toast to Harry

You can toast Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray next Wednesday at Wrigley Field. Festivities will begin with the rededication of Caray’s statue outside the Bud Light Bleacher entrance on the corner of Sheffield and Waveland avenues. Harry’s wife Dutchie Caray and Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts will rededicate the statue, starting at 12:15 p.m. CT. Then, there will be a toast in Harry’s memory. Dutchie will throw a ceremonial first pitch before the Cubs’ game Wednesday against the Pirates.

In addition, the first 3,000 fans 21 years and older entering the bleachers will receive a Harry Caray mask. Harry Caray’s restaurant group has purchased 1,000 bleacher tickets for the game that will be given to fans free of charge. Visit Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse on Kinzie Stree to pick up a pair. The promotion runs through Tuesday or until supplies last.

“Harry absolutely loved spending time with fans in Wrigley Field,” Dutchie Caray said in a statement. “Our family is pleased that Harry’s statue will welcome Cubs fans at the Bud Light Bleachers.”

Harry’s statue is being moved closer to the bleachers and a bronze statue honoring Hall of Famer Billy Williams will be installed at the corner of Addison and Sheffield streets. Harry passed away in February 1998.

— Carrie Muskat

8/20 A little Cubs history at 1st

Cubs historian Ed Hartig did a little research on outfielders who have made the switch to first base. How recently has an outfielder done so? Phil Cavarretta, Bill Buckner and Leon Durham played both  But how many were “true” outfielders that got moved to first?

* Billy Williams played first base for the Cubs from 1972-74 though he hadn’t played 1B in organized ball since his Minor League days in San Antonio in 1959. Otherwise, Billy was exclusively an outfielder from 1959-71.

* Rick Monday played considerable time at first for the Cubs in 1976 though he had never played 1B in the Minors or Majors prior to that year.

* Rafael Palmeiro was originally an outfielder with the Cubs having played a total of nine games at first in the Minors (all in 1987). While he didn’t stick around with the Cubs, he was Texas’ everyday first baseman in 1989.

* Early in Jim Hickman’s career he was truly an outfielder. After playing some games at first in the Minors in 1956, he didn’t appear at first in the Majors until 1965 with the Mets. He was an outfielder with the Cubs from 1968-69 and then an OF/1B from 1970-73.

— Carrie Muskat

8/17 Harry makes room for Billy

Harry Caray is being moved to where he belongs.

The bronze statue of the legendary Cubs broadcaster, now positioned at the corner of Addison and Sheffield streets outside Wrigley Field, will be moved closer to the bleachers at Sheffield and Waveland avenues. Caray, who died in February 1998, often conducted his broadcasts from the sun-drenched bleachers.

The Cubs are finalizing details regarding a possible re-dedication ceremony for Caray’s family, which would be held sometime during the next homestand that begins Aug. 30. The Harry Caray statue was dedicated on April 10, 1998, outside Wrigley Field’s Gate D.

The Cubs are making the move to make room for a new statue of Hall of Fame outfielder Billy Williams at Addison and Sheffield streets, which will be unveiled Sept. 7. His statue was being sculpted by Lou Cella from the Rotblatt-Amrany Fine Art Studio, who also did Caray’s statue as well as the Ernie Banks’ bronze at the corner of Clark and Addison streets, outside of Wrigley’s main entrance.Plus, Williams’ No. 26 flag flies from the right field foul pole, so the statue will be closer to it.

— Carrie Muskat

7/23 Hall of Fame

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks sang the seventh inning stretch Friday and will head to Cooperstown on Saturday to take part in the ceremonies when Andre Dawson is inducted. Dawson may be going in wearing an Expos cap, but the Cubs are treating it as if he’s one of their own and will host a reception for the Hawk Saturday night. Hall of Famers Billy Williams and Ryne Sandberg will attend the reception and ceremony.

— Carrie Muskat

5/14 A little history

Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones had five hits each for the Pirates in Friday’s 10-6 win over the Cubs. The last time Cubs pitchers gave up five hits to two players in the same game was Oct 1, 1960, against the Dodgers. Maury Wills and Bob Lillis each had five hits in that game but the Cubs won, 10-8, in 14 innings. That game also was special for Billy Williams, who hit his first ML home run, connecting off Stan Williams. Thanks to Ed Hartig for the info.

— Carrie Muskat

4/15 Lee's 100th Wrigley HR

Derrek Lee hit his 100th career home run at Wrigley Field in the first inning Thursday. Back in the lineup after being pulled Monday because of inflammation in his right thumb, Lee hit a 3-2 pitch from Milwaukee’s Jeff Suppan to straightaway center field.

He’s now the 10th player to hit 100 regular season homers at Wrigley Field. The group includes Sammy Sosa (293), Ernie Banks (290), Billy Williams (231), Ron Santo (212), Ryne Sandberg (164), Hank Sauer (118), Gabby Hartnett (115), Andre Dawson (110) and Hack Wilson (109).

Of Lee’s 100 career homers at Wrigley, 99 have come with the Cubs. He did hit one for the Florida Marlins on July 7, 2003, off Matt Clement.

— Carrie Muskat