Rick Telander of the Sun-Times is upset that “Clark,” the new Cubs’ mascot, has been the team’s biggest off-season acquisition. He also talks about whether the Cubs should try to portray themselves as “tougher” and how management is bringing Disney people in to help them better “Disney-fy” Wrigley.
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The Chicago Cubs have a new mascot, Clark. Steve goes over some selections from a list of the worst mascots of all time. Listeners also contribute to the conversation with strange mascots from their alma maters.
Clark, the newly-introduced Chicago Cubs mascot, joined more than a dozen prospects in the Cubs Rookie Development Program to visit children at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Pediatric Developmental Center. Together, they helped reinforce positive activities being taught to children with autism and other developmental challenges.
Clark was joined at Advocate Illinois Masonic by Cubs prospects Albert Almora, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, C.J. Edwards, Kyle Hendricks, Pierce Johnson, Eric Jokisch, Mike Olt, Neil Ramirez, Armando Rivero, Rubi Silva, Jorge Soler, Christian Villanueva and Arodys Vizcaino.
The players divided into four rooms and hosted activities for the children and their siblings, including an interview room where kids asked questions of players and practiced social skills; a reading room where players and kids looked at pictures of Wrigley Field and read stories about baseball; a game room where kids practiced sportsmanship in matches against their Cubs counterparts; and a gym where Clark and players stressed the importance of learning from others through pre-activity stretching drills and practiced motor activity skills during a ball-toss drill.
The Cubs and Advocate Illinois Masonic structured the visit to reinforce positive activities already being taught as part of the hospital’s autism and social skills treatment program. In return, players in the Cubs Rookie Development Program were able to experience the positive community interaction expected of players at the Major League level, and specifically, as a member of the Chicago Cubs. Clark’s debut added an extra learning opportunity, as kids spent the week leading up to the event learning about baseball and mascots in preparation for his special visit.
“Advocate Health Care and the Chicago Cubs share a commitment to enhancing the wellness of our communities. This event is a great example of two caring brands working together to raise awareness about autism and other developmental challenges while providing a fun experience for our young patients and their dedicated caregivers,” said Kelly Jo Golson, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Advocate Health Care.
This Thursday, Clark will join the Cubs 100 Gifts of Service 2014 Caravan Tour of players, coaches and front office personnel. He will visit the Casals School of Excellence in Humboldt Park to interact with kids and help Cubs associates paint murals, build benches and cabinets for reading spaces, and redesign a room for academic tutoring.
Players in the Cubs Rookie Development Program will conclude their weeklong program in Chicago, then meet and greet with fans, sign autographs and take photos at this weekend’s Cubs Convention.
The Chicago Cubs will introduce the first official team mascot in modern history this evening during a visit with children at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Pediatric Developmental Center. Clark, a young, friendly Cub, will make his rookie debut in the community alongside more than a dozen Cubs prospects enrolled in the Cubs Rookie Development Program. Together, they will help reinforce positive activities being taught to children with autism and other developmental challenges.
“The Cubs are thrilled to welcome Clark as the team’s official mascot,” said Cubs Senior Director of Marketing Alison Miller. “Clark is a young, friendly Cub who can’t wait to interact with our other young Cubs fans. He’ll be a welcoming presence for families at Wrigley Field and an excellent ambassador for the team in the community.”
After consistently hearing through survey feedback and fan interviews that the Cubs and Wrigley Field needed more family-friendly entertainment, the team surveyed fans and held focus groups with fans of different ages to determine the interest and benefits of introducing an official mascot. The appetite for more family-friendly initiatives became clear, and the concept of a mascot who interacts in the community, engages with young fans and is respectful of the game was widely supported.
Clark will serve that very role as a champion for Cubs Charities’ mission of targeting improvements in health and wellness, fitness and education for children and families at risk. Young fans will see him at schools during Cubs Caravan or Cubs on the Move Fitness Program visits; hospital appearances like his debut visit to Advocate Illinois Masonic; and a number of family-focused Cubs events such as Cubs Convention or Catch in the Confines.
Before and during games, Clark will greet fans as they enter Wrigley Field and stop by the Wrigley Field First Timers Booth to welcome new guests. On Family Sundays, he will help kids run the bases following the game. Most of the time, Clark will welcome fans to Clark’s Clubhouse at Wrigley Field, where families can make a special visit as they please.
Following tonight’s appearance at Advocate Illinois Masonic, Clark will prepare his temporary Clubhouse at Sheraton Chicago for this weekend’s Cubs Convention. There, he’ll interact with young Cubs fans throughout the weekend while hosting traditional kids-related Convention activities.
Clark’s Clubhouse will permanently reside at Wrigley Field, where he’ll spend most of his time during Cubs home games. Young fans may see Clark on the field when it’s time for them to run the bases after games on Sundays, but you won’t find this bear shooting T-shirt guns, riding an ATV around the warning track or disrupting fans’ views of the field during the game. Families and children are encouraged to visit Clark in his new home next time they visit Wrigley Field.
Clark was born loving the Cubs. His great-grandbear Joa was the team’s original live bear mascot back in 1916. When Joa retired to the Lincoln Park Zoo, he delighted the young bears with amazing Cubs stories and Clark was hooked! One day, Clark heard the roar of the crowd coming all the way from Wrigleyville, so he followed the sound to Wrigley Field—just in time to see the Cubs raise the ‘W’ flag.
Inspired by Clark’s enthusiasm and love of all things Cubs, the team invited him to continue the family tradition and become their official mascot! Soon, he’ll receive his very own Clubhouse. Clark’s favorite thing to do is hang out around the ballpark, keeping spirits high and kids excited.
For more information about Clark, please visit www.cubs.com/clark.