Chicago Cubs 2011: Opening Day Festivities.

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The Boys of Summer are Back.

Even though the temperature will be stretching to hit 50 degrees on Friday, Chicago Cubs fans will be coming out of hibernation to celebrate the start of baseball season and the new optimism it brings.  Get ready to bleed Cubbie blue--Next Year is Here.  And here are the opening day particulars.  

When and Where.
Chicago Cubs Opening Day is Friday, April 1 at Wrigley Field at 1:20 p.m. It's the Chicago
Cubs
vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field, Clark and Addison, Chicago.

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Ryan Dempster has been named starting pitcher.

The National Anthem with Wayne Messmer.
Messmer will sing the National Anthem with the National 9/11 Flag on display in the outfield. 

Remembering 9/11 with Touring Flag.
Destroyed in the aftermath of the collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and stitched back together seven years later by tornado survivors in Greensburg, KS, the 9/11 flag makes its Chicago appearance at Wrigley Field.

The National 9/11 Flag is a living testament to the resilience and compassion of the American people.  The flag is currently on a journey across the United States in honor of the 10th Year Anniversary of 9/11.

First Ceremonial Pitch.

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Redford in "The Natural".

Film legend and Academy Award winning director Robert Redford will throw out a ceremonial first pitch.
Redford will be in Chicago to support his most recent directorial effort, The Conspirator, which opens in theaters nationwide April 15.

What you may not know, is that Redford was a high school teammate of Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale, and Redford earned a baseball scholarship to the University of Colorado as a pitcher before turning his attention to his acting career.
 
Second Ceremonial Pitch...It Could Be You.

In addition to Redford, the Ricketts family for the second year in a row
will randomly select a family at the game to throw a ceremonial
pitch.  Last year at Opening Day, the Sluga family from Arlington
Heights was selected to throw the ceremonial opening day pitch.

Starting Pitcher...New Blood.

A new manager and a new starter. Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade has named Ryan Dempster as his starting pitcher--putting an end to a six year run by Carlos Zambrano as the Cubs opening day starter.

Seventh-inning Stretch.
Ron Santo, Jr.

In honor of Cubs legendary player and announcer Ron Santo, who passed away last December 3 at the age of 70,  Ron's son will be doing the honors singing the seventh-inning stretch. During the last 13 seasons, no one led the crowd in the singing of the seventh-inning stretch more than his dad, Ron Santo.
 
Outside the Ball Park.
Brehmer Breakfast & Baseball Broadcast at YakZies.

Going to WXRT-FM's popular morning man Lin Brehmer's opening day radio blow out at YakZies in Wrigleyville is a tradition for many Cubs fans who can't wait until game time to start the celebration. 

The fun begins at 6 a.m. with Brehmer and continues with Terri Hemmert at 10
a.m.  There will be
plenty of ice cold beer on hand plus live performances by
Backyard Tire Fire, Everest and the Waco Brothers.  Doors open 5:30a.m.  1st beer, 7a.m. Live music starts, 8a.m. 3710 N. Clark, (773) 525 9200.

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