Chicago Tribune — Taking pitches from Kerry Wood at Wrigley Field isn’t exactly an everyday occurrence.
That’s why on Wednesday, fans have the chance to do just that at the second annual Kerry Wood & Friends Battle of the Bats Charity Home Run Derby. The event, a joint effort by the Wood Family Foundation and Cubs Charities, benefits Chicago’s underserved kids.
Teams or individuals can either bat or shag balls in the outfield, taking pitches from Wood and ex-teammates Derrek Lee, Michael Barrett and Ted Lilly. Afterward, participants are invited to have dinner and drinks at the park.
First off, this is a great event for the city of Chicago. All of the proceeds go to underprivileged kids in the Chicago area, of which there are way too many. Both the Wood Foundation and Cubs Charities provide kids with tons of resources and support that they need desperately. And I think it’s worth stating that, for many of us, its easy to forget the real struggles folks deal with in Chicago on a daily basis. Personally, it always puts a smile on my face any time a team actually rises to the occasion and helps to serve the community it calls home. So kudos to Kerry Wood and the Cubs for doing what they can to help make Chicago a better place.
That being said, let’s talk format here. The derby participants are selected on a first-come-first-serve basis (with 40 being the max # of participants). That means we’re talking a bunch of Joes stepping in there against the likes of Kerry Wood, Ted Lilly and Derrek Lee. Obviously these guys will be up there throwing meatballs, but I’d still put the over/under on balls actually leaving the yard pretty low.
Regardless, this is a fantastic event for a worthy cause. If you’d like to register for a spot (or at least try to because I imagine it fills up pretty quick) you can register here.