(originally published January 2017)

After the opening ceremonies of the Cubs convention, the champs made their way over to Harry Caray’s at Navy Pier for the 6th Annual Woody’s Winter Warm-Up.  Players and local celebrities took turns playing bartender for attendees and raised boatloads of money for kids.  Kerry and Sarah Wood(pictured below with Ryne and Margaret Sandberg) and  are genuinely charitable and rock-solid folks.  I spoke with them about this year’s turnout:

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The most underrated play in the 10th inning of Game 7?  Pinch-runner Albert Almora – who took over first base after Kyle Schwarber’s leadoff single – tagging up and moving to 2nd on Kris Bryant’s almost-the-biggest-home-run-in-postseason-history-but-just-short deep flyout to right-center.  Albert and Krystal Almora are a very nice young couple and I chatted with them about how life has changed since November:

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Ryno wasn’t the only Hall of Famer on hand.  Fergie Jenkins made the scene and stopped to share his thoughts:

The party raged for a few hours and everyone was having a good time.  Credit to Tom Higgenson of Plain White T’s – who not only played his hit “Hey There Delilah” right out of the box – but he didn’t flinch when Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber snuck in the back entrance to Harry Caray’s right next to the stage and stole the spotlight, earning a huge roar from the crowd and drowning him out.  He’s a Cubs fan and a Woody’s Winter Warm Up mainstay, so he gets it.  The whole team joined Higgenson onstage and he began playing the riff to “Go Cubs Go”.   David Ross grabbed the mic and started singing George Michael’s “Faith” instead of the Cubs victory anthem.  Grandpa Rossy is right.  The two songs have a remarkably similar cadence.  After cracking up his teammates, Ross switched over to Go Cubs Go and everyone joined in to cap off the evening on a joyous note.

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