Teachers are invited to celebrate their accomplishments this school year at Wrigley Field for Teacher Appreciation Week. In partnership with the Chicago White Sox, employees from Chicago Public Schools were offered a complimentary ticket to watch either team in recognition of Chicago Public Schools' dramatic increase of the on-track high school graduation rate to 82 percent for this year's freshmen class. These employees will be recognized in-game June 23 and June 24. On Thursday, June 26, teachers can purchase a Special Event ticket to participate in Teacher Appreciation Night, which includes the aforementioned Cubs Wall Clock giveaway and a post-game walk on the warning track.
In addition to the team's home games, fans can participate in three events benefiting charitable causes. On Friday, June 20, the third annual Hot Stove Cool Music Chicago concert combines music and baseball when Theo Epstein, Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper join an all-star lineup of musicians and personalities at Metro in Wrigleyville to benefit Cubs Charities and Epstein's Foundation To Be Named Later. The next day, June 21, fans can come to Wrigley Field before that evening's game to take some swings in the batting cage, throw a ball in the outfield or sit in the team dugouts at Cubs Charities' Catch in the Confines event presented by Advocate Children's Hospital. Finally, on Friday, June 27, Cubs players' wives will auction off Cubs Favorite Things baskets filled with select gifts and memorabilia connected to the player on the Wrigley Field concourse during the game. A similar auction will follow online June 29-July 6, with all proceeds benefiting Cubs Charities.
Tickets for the Pirates, Reds and Nationals series remain available at www.cubs.com or 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827). Highlights of the upcoming homestand include:
On Sunday, June 22, the Cubs will wear a throwback uniform from 1953 to honor Mr. Cub Ernie Banks. Banks made his Major League debut Sept. 17, 1953, vs. the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field. The 1953 uniform is the last of the zipper-front retro uniforms the team will wear this season. The visiting Pirates will wear a retro uniform from 1953 as well.
Fans coming to the ballpark this homestand have the chance to collect a number of unique promotional items, beginning with an exclusive Ernie Banks Debut Bobblehead presented by Giordano's for the first 10,000 fans attending the game Friday, June 20. On Saturday, June 21, the first 10,000 fans will receive a Cubs T-shirt presented by Cooper Tires. The first 5,000 kids 13-and-under will receive a '50s Throwback Cubs Mr. Potato Head® Keychain and the first 1,000 kids in the park can run the bases post-game. On Friday, June 27, the first 20,000 fans in the ballpark will receive a Wrigley Field 100 Tote Bag presented by MLB Network. Finally, for the 12:05 p.m. game of the June 28 doubleheader, the first 4,000 kids 13-and-under will receive limited-edition American Girl® Doll-sized Cubs apparel.
Cubs Special Events:
On Tuesday, June 24, Cubs fans can show their support of the men and women of our law enforcement and firefighting communities at the Salute to Heroes Night Special Event. Upon entering, fans can choose a blue Cubs-themed heroes shirt to support the men and women of law enforcement or a red Cubs-themed heroes shirt to support the men and women of the firefighting community. Some of Chicago's bravest heroes will be honored during the evening's pregame ceremony. Heroes Night tickets are available in the Budweiser Bleachers, Field Box Outfield or Terrace Reserved Outfield.
The team's inaugural Halfway to the Holidays event in the Budweiser Bleachers is Wednesday, June 25. Each Special Event ticketholder will receive a Cubs Ugly Holiday T-shirt inspired by ugly holiday sweater designs.
Teacher Appreciation Night is Thursday, June 26, where teachers are invited to celebrate their hard work with a game ticket in the Budweiser Bleachers, Terrace Reserved Outfield or Upper Deck Reserved Outfield. Special Event attendees will receive a Cubs Wall Clock and post-game walk on the warning track.
Tickets for all three Special Events may be purchased at www.cubs.com/specialevents.
Specialty Food Offerings:
Levy Restaurants continues its decade-inspired menu at the Decade Diner, located inside Gate D near section 142. The 1950s homestand features a Kraft Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich served with Tomato Basil Bisque. The other homestand special is an Elvis "Nanner" Sandwich with peanut butter, banana and bacon. Kraft will continue to donate $100 to Cubs Charities for every opposing batter a Cubs pitcher strikes out at Wrigley Field in the month of June. Fans can pick up "K" cards inside the Decade Diner to help celebrate each strikeout.
The Decade Dogs stand near section 123 is serving the 1950s TV Dinner Dog, which is a Vienna Beef hot dog topped with mashed potatoes, gravy and corn.
Adults 21-and-over can enjoy a Mr. Cub #14 Cocktail, served in limited-edition souvenir glasses on the main concourse at section 109 and the bleacher patio in left field. This Cubbie Blue cocktail features Smirnoff Vodka, Blue Curacao and lemonade, served with a slice of lemon and a cherry.
Guests & Entertainment:
The upcoming homestand kicks off with an impressive list of guests Friday, June 20. Musical artists Aloe Blacc (singer/songwriter of top hits like "The Man" and "Wake Me Up") and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello will throw ceremonial first pitches. Joining them will be Wayne Newton, who will be in town from Las Vegas to promote "Vegas Season" this summer. Mr. Cub Ernie Banks will sing the seventh inning stretch on the day he's honored with a bobblehead, along with Morello, who is performing later that evening at Hot Stove Cool Music at Metro.
On Saturday, June 21, Chelsea Handler from "Chelsea Lately" on E! will throw a ceremonial first pitch and sing the seventh inning stretch with fellow comedian and actor Josh Wolf.
Former Cubs third baseman Kevin Orie will throw a first pitch and sing the stretch Sunday, June 22.
Sting, who played a concert at Wrigley Field with The Police in 2007, will sing the stretch Monday, June 23.
As part of Heroes Night at Wrigley Field Tuesday, June 24, talent from NBC hit shows "Chicago Fire" and "Chicago P.D." will be in attendance for an on-field recognition, first pitches and the seventh inning stretch. These actors include LaRoyce Hawkins and Jon Seda from "Chicago P.D." and Joe Minoso and Christian Stolte from "Chicago Fire."
Chef Graham Elliot will throw the first pitch Wednesday, June 25, while Jeff Garlin and Sean Giambrone from ABC's "The Goldbergs" will lead the stretch.
Former Cubs outfielder Bobby Dernier will sing the stretch Thursday, June 26.
Kristian Bush from the country group Sugarland will throw a first pitch and lead the stretch Friday, June 27.
Former Cubs outfielder George Altman will sing the seventh inning stretch June 28 for the early game of the doubleheader. Entertainment guests for the second game of the doubleheader are still pending confirmation.
Cubs Charities and Theo Epstein's Foundation To Be Named Later host the third annual Hot Stove Cool Music Chicago benefit concert Friday, June 20, with Epstein, Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper joining a star-studded lineup of musicians and personalities at the Metro in Wrigleyville. This year, the event will pay homage to Chicago's great history of music, including rock, blues, soul and power pop ballads reaching back to the 1950s. The fundraiser will feature ensemble performances by headliner Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) and Chicago Hot Stove All-Stars Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins), John Stirratt (Wilco), Scott Lucas (Local H), Eddie "King" Roeser (Urge Overkill), Phil Aiken, Chris Cote, Tom Polce and Kay Hanley. WXRT morning host Lin Brehmer will serve as the evening's emcee.
Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at www.metrochicago.com for $50 or fans can call 773-404-CUBS for more information on VIP tickets.
The following day, Catch in the Confines presented by Advocate Children's Hospital takes place at Wrigley Field beginning at 10 a.m. Participants of all ages have the opportunity to spend 50 minutes on the field taking practice swings in the batting cage, throwing a ball in the outfield or sitting in the team dugouts. Admission includes a commemorative Wrigley Field 100 DVD, custom photograph, baseball and custom scoreboard welcome message. Guest tickets are available that include access to the ballpark for family and friends interested in watching participants. This year, the Cubs are welcoming patients from Advocate Children's Hospital. More than 15 children and their families will receive this memorable chance to experience the iconic ballpark from the field.
Catch in the Confines tickets are $150 per person or $25 for guests and can be purchased online at www.cubscharities.org or by calling 773-404-CUBS. All proceeds benefit Cubs Charities.
On Friday, June 27, Cubs fans can learn more about their favorite players while supporting Cubs Charities. Cubs Wives will auction off Cubs Favorite Things baskets filled with players' favorite things, including movies, restaurant gift cards, foods, team gear, game-used equipment and autographed memorabilia. The wives will answer questions about the baskets and auction them off by Gate F during the game. A similar auction will follow online at www.cubscharities.org June 29-July 6, with all proceeds benefiting Cubs Charities.
Wrigley Field hosted noteworthy baseball and non-baseball events in the 1950s, including the debut of Mr. Cub Ernie Banks against the Phillies on April 17, 1953.
In 1951 during the Korean War, Wrigley Field instituted a voluntary policy in which fans who caught a foul ball could return those balls so they could be shipped to servicemen overseas. Fans were asked to write their name and address on the ball so the servicemen would know who sent it.
That year, on April 17, professional golfer Sam Snead did what no Major League batter has ever done - he hit Wrigley Field's center field scoreboard with a golf ball and also hit a ball over the scoreboard with his 2-iron for good measure.
On August 21, 1954, a basketball court and portable lights were installed at Wrigley Field for games that featured the Harlem Globetrotters against George Mikan's U.S. Stars and the House of David traveling team against the Boston Whirlwinds.
Interestingly, Wrigley Field in Chicago wasn't the only Wrigley Field in operation heading into the 1950s. The team played Spring Training games at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles until 1951, when the franchise moved its Spring Training home from Santa Catalina Island in California to Rendezvous Park in Mesa, Arizona. The team's programs at both ballparks featured cover designs by artist Otis Shepard. Season Ticket Holders will notice a nod to the Cubs' final years at Wrigley Field Los Angeles on their ticket designs for the June 21 and 22 games.
To learn more about these historic moments and others, visit www.wrigleyfield100.com.