MESA, Ariz. – Wake grandma, shout Hallelujah and send a message to Harry Caray in the great beyond.
A Cubs player is getting a World Series ring.
All right, so it’s Nate Schierholtz. And he’s getting a ring for his contributions to the Giants last season, before a July 31 trade sent him to the Phillies for Hunter Pence. But the newest Cubs right fielder sent along his ring size last month, and now he’s settling into a new clubhouse and a long coveted shot to play every day.
But first … the last time the Cubs won a World Series, in 1908, the players didn’t even receive rings. They got lapel pins, or some such. So Schierholtz is a rarity among rarities.
“No kidding,” Schierholtz said. “I’ve heard that a few times today.”
Schierholtz signed with the Cubs after the Phillies declined to tender him a contract after last season. He had injuries that kept him from showing them more. Nagging injuries were one of the factors that kept him from holding an everyday job as a Giant, too.
He said he turned down offers from other contenders and signed with the Cubs because he saw an opportunity for playing time – and don’t laugh, but he feels good about their chances to win, too.
“We’re young and I think we’ve got a chance to win quick,” he said. “I believe in this team.”
Schierholtz, 29, grew up in Danville, graduated from San Ramon Valley High School and returned to the Bay Area after the regular season. He said it was strange to watch the Giants in the playoffs when he’d been a part of the team for two-thirds of the season.
The Cubs play at AT&T Park in July and Schierholtz said he wouldn’t ask whether he’d get his ring in an on-field presentation. More likely, he’ll get it privately when the Giants go to Wrigley Field in April. He’d probably prefer to get it sooner, just to satisfy his curiosity.
He said he talked to Matt Cain, Freddy Sanchez and others after the World Series.
“I’ll always have friends there no matter where I am,” he said. “Both rings are special to me. San Francisco is a place I’ll always call home.”
With the Cubs, Schierholtz is likely to share some time with noted Giants killer Scott Hairston, who could form the right-handed portion of a platoon in right field.
It shouldn’t be too tough for Schierholtz to feel at home at Wrigley Field. They have a brick outfield wall, just like AT&T Park, right?
“Yeah,” he said. “A brick wall with no padding.”