Cougars Homestand Preview, Alumni Report

GENEVA, IL – The Kane County Cougars, Class-A farm team of the Chicago Cubs, open a six-game homestand on Wednesday against the Burlington Bees (Los Angeles Angels) and Cedar Rapids Kernels (Minnesota Twins). Homestand highlights include the 25th anniversary of the first Wrigley Field night game on Thursday, Country Music Night on Friday, a pre-game concert by Beatles tribute band American English on Saturday, and a special Nancy Faust bobblehead giveaway at Sunday’s game. Tickets are available for each game on the upcoming homestand by calling (630) 232-8811 or by clicking HERE.

Wednesday 8/7      Burlington Bees (Los Angeles Angels farm team)  
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.)    WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

–           National Anthem – Village Vocal Chords (Winfield)
–           Fans can run the bases after the game

Thursday 8/8         Burlington Bees
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.)    WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

–           25th Anniversary of first night game at Wrigley Field
–           Light-up keychains for the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of Country Financial
–           Thirsty Thursday – $1 select beers, sodas and hot dogs from 5:30-8 p.m. presented by Miller Lite
–           Pre-game scout parade
–           National Anthem – Fox Valley Presbyterian Church (Geneva)
–           God Bless America – performed by Women’s Lombard Chorus
–           Post-game fireworks show, presented by Miller Lite
–           Fans can run the bases after the game

Friday 8/9               Burlington Bees
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:15 p.m.)    WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

–           Country Music Night
–           Pre-game concert by Haymarket Country at 5:15 p.m.
–           National Anthem – Tom Kirkland
–           Post-game country music-themed fireworks show
–           Fans can run the bases after the game

Saturday 8/10        Cedar Rapids Kernels (Minnesota Twins farm team)
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 3:30 p.m.)    WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

–           Pre-game concert by American English from 4-5:30 p.m.
–           Cougars baseball caps for the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of Athletico
–           Pre-game autograph session with Cougars players
–           Pre-game performance by St. Charles East Color Guard
–           Honor Guard: Oswego Fire Department
–           National Anthem – Gary United Methodist Men’s Choir and Celebration Singers (Wheaton)
–           Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by CRCA
–           Post-game performance by the Jesse White Tumblers
–           Post-game fireworks show, presented by Athletico
–           Fans can run the bases after the game

Sunday 8/11           Cedar Rapids Kernels
1 p.m. (gates open at 12 p.m.)    WBIG 1280 AM (12:45 p.m.)

–           Kids Eat Free Day – all kids between the age of 3 and 10 will receive a voucher at the gates for a free hot dog and small soda
–           Sunday Funday – free kid-friendly entertainment inside the ballpark sponsored by Dave and Buster’s
–           Pre-game autograph session with Cougars players
–           Nancy Faust Bobbleheads for the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of Fifth Third Bank
–           Live organ music by Nancy Faust
–           National Anthem – Lindsay Meecher
–           Color Guard – Knights of Columbus Assembly 188
–           Pre-game check presentation with Illinois Special Olympics
–           Fans can run the bases after the game

Monday 8/12          Cedar Rapids Kernels
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.)    WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

–           Half-Price Monday sponsored by Meijer: $5 reserved seat tickets
–           National Anthem – St. Michael’s Holy Name (Wheaton)
–           Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by King of Glory Lutheran Church
–           Fans can run the bases after the game

Homestand Notes

Nancy’s Day: The first 1,500 fans attending Sunday’s game will receive a commemorative Nancy Faust bobblehead doll. Nancy, the popular ballpark organist who has performed at Cougars games since 2011, will perform at Sunday’s game as well.

The first 1,500 fans attending Sunday's game will receive a Nancy Faust bobblehead doll!

The first 1,500 fans attending Sunday’s game will receive a Nancy Faust bobblehead doll!

Weekly Specials: Thursday’s August 8 game is a Thirsty Thursday, presented by Miller Lite, with $1 select beers, small sodas and hot dogs available from when the gates open at 5:30 p.m. and continuing until 8 p.m. Sunday’s game is a Kids Eat Free Day with a free hot dog and soda voucher given to children age 3-10. Monday’s game is a Half-Price Monday with $5 reserved seat tickets.

Night Game 25th Anniversary: The Cougars will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first night game in Wrigley Field history at Thursday’s August 8 game. Cougars players will wear Cubs jerseys, the first 1,500 fans will receive a complimentary light-up keychain, and the evening will culminate in a post-game Cubs-themed fireworks show. The Cougars are also asking fans who were born on August 8, 1988, to contact the Cougars at (630) 232-8811 to participate in the special events planned for that evening. On August 8, 1988, the Cubs and Phillies attempted to play the first official night game in Wrigley Field history. The game was eventually rained out after 3 ½ innings. An estimated crowd of 40,000 was on hand and a then-record 556 media credentials were issued.

Live Music: In conjunction with Country Music Night on Friday, the Cougars will welcome Haymarket Country for a concert beginning at 5:15 p.m. The Cougars will welcome Beatles tribute band American English, who will perform from 4-5:30 p.m. on Saturday. A Cougars game ticket for that evening will provide admission for the show.

Country Music Night on Friday, August 9 will include a pre-game concert at 5:50 p.m. by Haymarket Country.

Country Music Night on Friday, August 9 will include a pre-game concert at 5:50 p.m. by Haymarket Country.

Giving Back: The Cougars will welcome representatives from Illinois Special Olympics for a pre-game check presentation on Sunday. Illinois Special Olympics will receive a portion of the 50/50 proceeds from June along with a charitable contribution from the Cougars organization. This month’s 50/50 recipient is Family Counseling Service of Aurora, which offers behavioral healthcare, consumer credit counseling and other services.

The Cougars (44-63, 14-27) are in the middle of a  four-game road series at Clinton.  Entering play this evening, the Cougars are 6.5 games behind Peoria for the final Western Division playoff spot. The season concludes on Monday, September 2. Infielder Jeimer Candelario is 3rd in the Midwest League with 30 doubles, and is 3 doubles away from entering the franchise’s top 10 list for most doubles in a season. Infielder Rock Shoulders is tied for 2nd in the league with 17 home runs. Infielder Dan Vogelbach has played in all 107 games and leads the team with 68 RBI. Catcher Willson Contreras recently joined Shoulders and Vogelbach as Cougars with at least 10 home runs this season. Pitcher Michael Hamann has 4 saves and has not allowed a run in 8 appearances. Pitcher Tayler Scott leads the staff with 109 innings pitched and has made 20 starts.

Detroit infielder Miguel Cabrera (’01), who is nursing a hip injury, is batting .360 with 32 home runs and 99 RBI. Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Adrian Gonzalez (’01) is batting .297 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI. Boston pitcher Andrew Bailey (’07) has made 30 appearances. Pittsburgh pitcher A.J. Burnett (’98) has a 2.73 ERA in 20 starts. San Francisco pitcher Santiago Casilla (’03-’04) has a 1.37 ERA in 29 appearances. Washington rookie pitcher Ian Krol (’10) has made 20 appearances and holds a 2.37 ERA. Pittsburgh pitcher Vin Mazzaro (’06) is 6-2 with a 2.92 ERA. Pitcher Tyson Ross (’08) is 2-5 with a 2.91 ERA for San Diego while teammate Huston Street (’04) has 21 saves.

Outfielder Brian Fletcher (’11), who was named Cougars Player of the Year in 2011, was recently promoted to Triple-A Omaha (Kansas City) and is batting .276 through 7 games. Pitcher Yordano Ventura (’11) is 3-3 with a 4.07 ERA at Omaha. Pitcher Travis Banwart (’07-’08) is 7-5 with a 4.75 ERA at Triple-A Sacramento (Oakland). Pitcher Paul Smyth (’09) has a 2.57 ERA with Sacramento.  Pitcher Justin Friend (’08) has made 36 appearances at Triple-A Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia). Pitcher Greg Billo (’11) is 1-1 with a 0.42 ERA in 4 starts at Class-A Lexington (Kansas City). Pitcher Kyle Smith (’12), who was dealt from Kansas City to Houston last week, is with Class-A Lancaster. Outfielder Javier Herrera (’05) is batting .298 with 13 home runs and 57 RBI for Double-A Richmond (San Francisco). Catcher Max Stassi (’10) is batting .281 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI at Double-A Corpus Christi (Houston).

Former Cougars pitcher Greg Billo ('11) has bounced back from last season's Tommy John surgery.

Former Cougars pitcher Greg Billo (’11) has bounced back from last season’s Tommy John surgery.

Where’s Ozzie? Ozzie T. Cougar is scheduled to make upcoming appearances in the community at the following locations:

Thursday, August 8 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Special Olympics Illinois Duck Race (Chicago)

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About Kane County Cougars

The Kane County Cougars are the Class-A Affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
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