Once again I attended Woody’s Winter Warmup on the first night of Cubs Convention. This was my fifth event that I have attended and the Wood Family Foundation has hosted this charity fundraiser the past eight years.
This year’s event at Harry Caray’s had a different feel, and I can’t quite pinpoint why. It was another awesome time, though. Maybe it was because we didn’t belly up to the bar and hold our spot the entire night.
That was the plan, but we were a bit late to stake a claim barside, but able to stand right behind those that were, and it was better that way this year.
It seemed like the crowd was much less than past events, though I was able to meet up with old friends and meet new friends. After having a couple sliders and a slice of pizza, I overheard a woman talking about box breaks. I knew my Twitter friend, @cubbysteph, was traveling into South Carolina. It was her, so we talked a lot of baseball cards. Always great meeting people in person that you communicate with on social media.
The way the celebrity bartenders works is the local television reporters, radio hosts, etc. play the role of an opening act, and as the night goes on the bigger names will appear culminating with Cubs players. Early in, Bonnie Hunt was behind the bar.
Then John Cusack took a turn bartending.
I met another new Club 400 friend. Bill Watts gave me a Kerry Wood Card for my collection.
Read all about Bill Watts and his Fly the Wood Wall Art.
At one point I looked over and saw my buddy Stu, owner of Club 400, chatting with Tom Ricketts himself.
Ricketts was very approachable and talked to fans, listened to complains, and took pictures.
Not long after I see the Rookie of the Year himself walking by, Henry Rowengartner. Okay, his real name is Thomas Ian Nicholas, and he was also in the American Pie movies.
Ironically, when we came back to the convention hotel, we sat in the bar area with some friends as well as Bob Dernier, Ray Burris, and Tim Stoddard.
The latter was none other than the Dodgers pitcher in the movie, Rookie of the Year, that was the target of the famous Henry Rowengartner chant, “Pitcher’s got a big butt.”
We asked Stoddard about his acting. He also appeared in the Tom Hanks movie, “Big,” playing the pitcher at a game Hanks was at in the film. He talked about the filming of his scene, and down played it.
Back to Henry, I mean Thomas Ian Nicholas, these days he’s in a band named Thomas Nicholas Band. He made an appearance on stage to perform.
Also, Jim Peterik was on stage. The name may not sound familiar, but I’m sure you’ve heard of his song….”Eye of the Tiger.” He’s still rocking at age 68.
The Plain White Tees are a fixture at Woody’s Winter Warmup. They had a guest vocalist on “Hey There Delilah.”
Yes, that’s Kyle Schwarber! And I had to get this on video as well.
Adbert Alzolay was hanging out at the event as well. By this point, the Bud Lights consumed have had an impact on my selfie taking.
As always, an awesome time at Woody’s Winter Warmup. It’s great how much Kerry and his wife Sarah do for the city of Chicago through their charity. Can’t wait until next year’s event!