Few sports figures are more beloved than backup QBs and backup catchers, and former Cub John Baker is no exception. Though the seven-year veteran spent only one season on the North Side, his heroics on July 29, 2014 forever cemented him in Cubs lore.
That’s the night the backup catcher got the win, as Baker came on to pitch the top of the 16th inning against the Colorado Rockies. After a perfect frame, Baker drew a leadoff walk and eventually advanced to third, scoring on a sac fly by Starlin Castro. Engage legend status.
Once his playing career ended, Baker rejoined the Cubs organization and now serves as mental skills coordinator. With the prodding of Danny Rockett and Ivy Envy, Baker put his cult hero status to good use as the focus of the first John Baker Day, an irreverent event aimed at raising money for Cubs Charities. Last year’s JBD raised over $3,000 and was insanely fun, so we’re doing it again this year.
Cubs Insider is joining the party this time around and we’re going to try to go even bigger, with all proceeds going to Cubs Charities and Joe Maddon’s Hazleton Integration Project. The festivities are being held on Saturday, August 19 at Nisei Lounge, a dive bar just south of Wrigley at 3439 N. Sheffield. Tickets are only $20 and space is limited to 100 people (at least 20 have already been sold as of this post), so you’ll want to reserve your spot(s) now.
There will be a live auction at the event for items that include all kinds of autographed Cubs memorabilia and various other prizes like gift cards to local restaurants and such. And you’ll get the chance to hang out with a bunch of wackadoo Cubs fans and even ManBearWolf (that’s Baker’s Twitter handle) himself.
Can’t make it? Don’t worry, the festivities will be streamed live via Facebook. There’s also a John Baker Day store where you purchase shirts and more, kind of like buying the concert t-shirt for that show you never actually went to. More really cool items are available online, like Matt Kammerer’s John Baker Day print (available in three sizes) and a bobblehead commemorating Baker’s triumphant slide home and into your hearts (pre-order to pick up at the event through same link at tix and print or buy directly from The National Bobblehead HOF).
We’ll also have at least one big item that will probably require an online silent auction. I don’t want to say anything for certain until we’ve got final confirmation, but I think it’s something you’ll really like and that you might be willing to shell out a couple dollars for. I mean, if you like the idea of scoring four of Joe Maddon’s tickets to a game of your choice and a meet-and-greet with the Cubs manager beforehand. Then again, that’s probably not something that interests you, huh?
For more details, check out Danny Rockett’s post on the event and see below.
When: Saturday, August 19, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Where: Nisei Lounge, 3439 N. Sheffield, Chicago
What: The witty and wise John Baker joins hosts of the Ivy Envy and Son Ranto Show, along with writers from Cubs Insider, for conversation, games, music, raffles, auctions and lots of fun to raise money for Cubs Charities and Joe Maddon’s Hazleton Integration Project.