Results tagged ‘ Billy Williams ’

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

4/15 Thank you, Jackie

April 15 is a special day for Hall of Famer Billy Williams.

“It really gives you a good feeling,” Williams said in the Cubs clubhouse before all the players donned No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in baseball on this date in 1947.

Forty years after that, Williams was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The sweet swinging outfielder from Whistler, Ala., wouldn’t have had the opportunity to play in the Major Leagues or make it to Cooperstown if not for Robinson.

“When I look around and see the variety of players in the Major Leagues, all of it reverts back to No. 42, Jackie Robinson, who walked on Ebbets Field in 1947,” Williams said. “He made it possible that if you’re good enough, it doesn’t matter what color, origin, where you’re from, if you’re good enough you could play in the Major Leagues.

“When I look at ’42’ out there, that’s what I see,” Williams said. “I see the variety of players from different countries, different cultures, just enjoying themselves like they did when they were coming up as a young man. It gives you a great feeling.”

Williams, now a senior advisor on the Cubs staff, talked in his induction speech to Cooperstown in 1987 about how then commissioner Happy Chandler had to lobby the owners to let Robinson in.

“One of the statements Happy Chandler made when he talked to the owners was, ‘Fellas, one day, I’m going to have to meet my maker, and I don’t want to tell him I kept this guy out of the Major Leagues because he was black,'” Williams said.

“After I made my speech in New York [at the Hall], [Chandler] said, ‘A lot of people have talked about it and told the story but you’re the only one who got it right,'” said Williams, who received a long thank you letter from Chandler.

– Carrie Muskat

3/31Cubs to honor Billy Williams

The Cubs will honor Hall of Famer Billy Williams with a statue of the left fielder, to be unveiled Sept. 7 outside Wrigley Field. New owner Tom Ricketts told Williams and his wife Shirley on Tuesday night at a team function. The location is yet to be determined, but it may be temporary. One of the plans connected to the so-called Triangle building to be constructed along Clark Street includes a pedestrian walkway. Williams’ statue could be located close to left field with Banks’ statue remaining near Clark and Addison streets.

“”It’s a great tribute,” Williams said Wednesday.

The statue will be engraved with Williams’ nickname, “Sweet Swinging.”

“It’s a great tribute and his legacy will live on forever,” Lou Piniella said. “A statue of Billy on one side and Ernie on the other, it doesn’t get any better than that. It’s well deserved and a well thought gesture by the Ricketts family.”

It’s nice to see that one of the first moves by the Ricketts is to honor the past.

“They said they were fans,” Piniella said. “This is a gesture in that direction.”

– Carrie Muskat

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