MESA, Ariz. -- On Wednesday, Scott Hairston put a Cubs cap on for the first time in his life. He should've done so sooner. He grew up in Illinois, prepping at Naperville North High School, and his father played for the White Sox and his brother, Jerry, played for the Cubs.
Hairston, who signed a two-year, $5 million deal with the Cubs on Sunday, joined the team officially for the first time Wednesday at Fitch Park.
"I was a fan of the players on the Cubs, but my dad played for the Sox, so I was a Sox fan," he said about growing up. "I used to love coming to Wrigley Field and the history, especially in the late '90s when Sammy [Sosa] was doing his thing. I sat in the bleachers a few times when he was hitting all his home runs. That was a good time to be in Chicago."
Coincidentally, Hairston will wear No. 21 with the Cubs, which also was Sosa's number.
"It's Sammy's," he said. "Who wouldn't want it? Who wouldn't want to be 21?"
He had been gaining interest this offseason from the Yankees and Mets, who were looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder, but ended up in Chicago.
"There was a lot of interest early on, but I don't think there was enough interest to make anything happen," he said. "Interest is a word that can be described in many ways. The Cubs had real interest and they made things happen. I was happy to have both New York teams want me there, but when it came down to it, the Cubs wanted me the most, and that's why I'm here."