Artist creates dream bedroom for young Cubs fan with cancer

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 6:48 PM

The History of the Chicago Cubs

An Illinois boy returning home after receiving treatment for a rare cancer was greeted by a bedroom renovation designed just for the young Cubs fan.

When Ken Markiewicz heard a WGN report about Joey Ventimiglia, 7, a young Cubs fan battling cancer, he felt compelled to use his artistic skills to show his support.

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Ventimiglia was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, which is a rare type of brain tumor. Because of the tumor’s position, surgery is not an option, WGN reported. Ventimiglia has been receiving experimental treatment in Mexico to battle the aggressive cancer. 

Markiewicz, who owns Crayons Gone Wild, offered to paint a Cubs-themed mural for Ventimiglia, free of charge.

Markiewicz reached out to the Ventimiglia family with his idea and while Ventimiglia was at his latest treatment, Markiewicz transformed the boy's bedroom into a dream for a Cubs fan. Markiewicz painted a baseball on the boy's closet and got the entire Cubs team to sign the artwork. He also recreated the famous ivy-covered wall at Wrigley Field.

Ventimiglia was in awe when he was wheeled into his bedroom and saw the Cubs-inspired artwork. To Markiewicz, he simply said, "Thank you."

All rise: Sonia Sotomayor watches Yankee's game from 'The Judge's Chambers'

Published: Friday, September 01, 2017 @ 11:35 AM

Fast Facts Sonia Sotomayor

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor visited New York’s Yankee Stadium to watch her beloved team take on the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, and it only made sense that she found herself right at-home in “The Judge’s Chambers.”

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Sotomayor, a Bronx-native, took a seat in the rooting section named for rookie Aaron Judge as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 6-2, The Washington Post reported.

With a foam gavel stamped with “All Rise” in hand and wearing a black robe – both courtesy of the stadium, according to The Associated Press – Sotomayor could be seen smiling broadly as she cheered for the Yankees.

Sotomayor has rooted for the Yankees since she was a child. She threw out the first pitch to kick off the 2009 season at Yankee Stadium.

Former MLB star Don Baylor dies at 68

Published: Monday, August 07, 2017 @ 10:24 AM

A portrait-like view of hitting coach Don Baylor #25 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during batting practice before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 31, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)
Matt Brown/Getty Images
A portrait-like view of hitting coach Don Baylor #25 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during batting practice before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 31, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)(Matt Brown/Getty Images)

Former major-league baseball star Don Baylor died Monday morning after a long struggle with multiple myeloma. He was 68.

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Baylor died at 4:25 a.m. Monday at St. David’s South Hospital in his native Austin, Texas, his son confirmed to the Austin American-Statesman.

Baylor graduated from Austin High School as one of the first African-Americans to attend the school and the very first to play baseball and football for the school.

He played 19 seasons in the major leagues and was a feared power hitter who was known for crowding the plate and taking a pitch -- lots of them. He was hit a then-record 267 times, an example of his toughness and fearless style.

Baylor would have become the first black player in University of Texas history but for his decision to turn down a scholarship offer from legendary coach Darrell Royal to pursue a career in baseball.

Baylor played for six different American League teams -- most notably the California Angels -- but also the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland A’s, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox. Following his playing career, he became manager for the expansion Colorado Rockies with a six-year stint and later managed the Chicago Cubs for three seasons.

He was drafted by Baltimore in the second round of the 1967 Major Leagues free agent draft and reached the majors in short fashion, making the club in 1970.

Diamondbacks, Cubs stage hilarious competition during rain delay

Published: Friday, August 04, 2017 @ 11:55 PM

Wrigley Field.
David Banks/Getty Images
Wrigley Field.(David Banks/Getty Images)

Rain delays during baseball games can become tedious, but not when the bullpens of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs get creative.

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While waiting out a 2½-hour rain delay in the top of the second inning Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field, both bullpens competed against one another with dance-offs and mime acts. 

The Cubs got it started with a variety of masks -- horses, chicken, an owl, a zebra and a unicorn. Then the Diamondbacks countered with T.J. McFarland putting on his uniform upside-down and dancing. But Arizona really gained an edge when four pitchers did their version of bobsledding, using chairs and leaning to the right and left, using their hands in sync to “steer” the vehicle properly.

The Cubs answered back with Carl Edwards casting a line from a chair and “fishing,” catching a teammate who futilely flopped as he tried to disengage the hook.

But the Diamondbacks won this battle with room to spare.

Rubby De La Rosa became a human bowling ball as Arizona tried to convert a 7-10 split. De La Rosa rolled into Archie Bradley (the 7-pin) with the proper spin, causing the right-handed reliever to topple to his left and into Andrew Chafin. After an agonizing wobble, Chafin tumbled to the ground and the Diamondbacks converted the split.

At that point, the Cubs’ bullpen conceded defeat.

At least the bullpen pitchers fared better than a member of the Wrigley Field grounds crew, who tripped and got stuck on the tarpaulin as it was hauled over the infield.

When the game resumed, the Diamondbacks also got the last laugh, winning 10-8 thanks to three home runs by Paul Goldschmidt.

Bees send baseball players to their knees

Published: Friday, March 31, 2017 @ 8:07 AM

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

When bees swarm, it’s best to hit the deck.

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During a bizarre scene in Peoria, Ariz., members of the Rockies and Padres took cover during the ninth inning of Colorado’s 10-5 victory against San Diego.

Padres pitcher Trey Wingenter stepped off the mound when the horde hit, and then the 6-foot-7 right-hander dropped to a knee. Rockies batter Daniel Castro quickly followed suit, along with plate umpire Alex Tosi. The broadcast picked up someone yelling, "Bees! Bees!" 

The players stayed down for about 10 seconds, and fans gave them a cheer when they finally stood up.

"I saw something happen over here as all the players got on the ground," Padres manager Bud Black told The Associated Press. "It was reminiscent of Petco Park a few years ago when a beekeeper had to come down from the left-field corner. That was about a 20-30 minute delay."