Cubs unveil new features for Opening Day, 2020 season
The Cubs finally make their return to competitive baseball Friday night.
And they’re using that moment to show solidarity and recognition for the Black Lives Movement and to praise the work of health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to Friday’s game, the Cubs will hold a moment of silence, followed by a performance from Keedron Bryant, a teen gospel singer who will perform his song “I Just Wanna Live” from a Wrigley Rooftop.
The Cubs have been open about the discussions they’re having as a group surrounding social injustice.
“With everything going on in the world these days, it’s just opened up conversation and it’s been the same amongst us, amongst teammates,” Opening Day starter Kyle Hendricks said. “I think the main point is that we’re all together in this. We’re a family here. We’re going to be unified moving forward together, so I just want to support my guys – especially J-Hey, Jeffress, all these guys. We just want to support them as much as we can.”
The conversations have been enriching and enlightening for many Cubs, including manager David Ross.
Ross mentioned what it’s done for his team and how having those dialogues has strengthened the team’s bond.
“It’s been really powerful, I think, for this group to have those discussions and brought us closer together in my opinion,” Ross said. “It’s been very rewarding on my end and we’ve got great leadership here between the players and our front office group and our coaching staff.”
The National Anthem will be sung from a Wrigley Rooftop by Dr. Hillary Ecker, an internal medicine physician at Advocate Health Care.
Various health care workers from Advocate Health care will be involved in the first pitch, too. A virtual video compilation of health care workers throwing the first pitch along with Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker will culminate with Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg throwing out the first pitch.
The Cubs are adding two, new, blue flags to Wrigley Field’s exterior to further honor health care workers.
While there won’t be physical fans inside Wrigley Field on Friday, the Cubs are doing their best to replicate a fan environment inside the Friendly Confines.
Inside the park, the Cubs will have an augmented reality second screen on Snapchat and Spotify playlists for fans to enjoy a Wrigley Field vibe from home.
The Cubs will record live season ticket holder fan reactions from Zoom and play them on the video board. In addition, foul balls will be collected and sent to the season ticket holder whose seat is closest to where the ball was hit.
Cubs Charities will still have 50/50 raffle tickets available to fans in Illinois starting at 11 a.m. until the end of that day’s game. Tickets will be available at cubs.com/Raffle.
John Benedeck and Josh Langhoff will be present at Wrigley Field this year as the new organists. Benedeck will be there for the first two homestands of the season and Langhoff will do the following two-game home series against the Royals.