CHICAGO -- Colin Carney went to the Cubs Convention when he was 12 years old and living in a Chicago suburb. Now 33 and a Houston resident, he and his wife Jennifer brought their two children this weekend in hopes of escaping the headaches and heartache of dealing with the
CHICAGO -- Colin Carney went to the Cubs Convention when he was 12 years old and living in a Chicago suburb. Now 33 and a Houston resident, he and his wife Jennifer brought their two children this weekend in hopes of escaping the headaches and heartache of dealing with the devastation from Hurricane Harvey. They also wanted to share some news with the Cubs regarding their third child and do a gender reveal.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo agreed to take part in the surprise, along with teammates Kristopher Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez during a "Kids Only" seminar on Saturday.
Jennifer, who is due in July, had reached out to the Cubs through social media, and the team responded.
"After [the hurricane], we needed a little happiness," Jennifer said.
About 500 businesses and 3,000 homes were damaged during the storm in their Kingwood, Texas, town. Colin, who used to watch Cubs games on WGN-TV, is on the school board, and he has been busy setting up charter schools to accommodate displaced kids.
"The community is devastated," Carney said.
Although Colin has a "Cubs room" at home with memorabilia from his favorite team, he said they rooted for the Astros last year as they reached the World Series.
"We're happy for the Astros -- and not being in the same division [as the Cubs] helps," Carney said.
The Carneys, who brought son Blake and daughter Addison -- yes, named after the street outside Wrigley Field -- to the convention, thought the Cubs might have a celebration in a small room, not a packed ballroom at the Sheraton Grand Chicago -- and definitely not on stage with four of their favorite Cubs players.
At Colin's first Cubs Convention, he was lucky enough to get an autograph from Hall of Famer Ernie Banks. This time, he found out the gender of Baby No. 3.
Rizzo called the Carneys on stage, and each of the players had a popper. On the count of three, they pulled them and bright blue confetti sprayed onto the stage. It's a boy.
The Carneys were presented a jersey with "Boy" on the back and the number "18" for the year as well as a "Rookie of the Year" onesie. Of course, Rizzo insisted they name their child Anthony or Tony.
"It's got to be a Cubs name," Jennifer said.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.