North: How about World Series rings for Wrigley vendors?

Updated 8/25/2017 7:21 AM

The Chicago Cubs World Series ring giveaway has gotten out of hand, but as the saying goes -- no good deed goes unpunished.

The Cubs are handing out rings like popcorn, and social media has taken umbrage over certain former club employees receiving the cherished ring, which was 108 years in the making.


Mostly, the angst has been aimed at why rings were given to former general manager Jim Hendry, former manager Dale Sveum and current White Sox manager Rick Renteria, who managed one year for the Cubs in 2014.

I really don't have a problem with Renteria getting one. After all, he preceded Joe Maddon and was replaced just as the Cubs were hitting their stride. It seems to have upset other people more however, maybe because he is now with the White Sox.

The one I just don't understand is Hendry, whose last link to this team is drafting Javier Baez. Did he get a ring because he brought us players like the volatile and disappointing Milton Bradley Jr.? Or how about the disgruntled Jacque Jones?

In my world, the Cubs have cheapened the process with their free-for-all, but, hey, it's their call and if they want to hand out rings, so be it!

Let me be upfront and acknowledge that I have a replica White Sox championship ring along with my brother, Danny, who has MS and is confined to a wheelchair.

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Jerry Reinsdorf gave us both rings, even though I have angered him and the White Sox with things I have said or written over the past 25 years. Jerry also knew that I was a long-suffering fan, and was kind enough to give us the rings.

That's a classy gesture I won't ever forget.

Some credible names have been bandied about regarding who should still receive a Cubs' championship ring, and the fan-favorite is 96-year-old Yosh Kawano, the team's clubhouse manager from 1943-2008.

Steve Bartman receives a ring, fine, but not Yosh? C'mon guys …

Here's my personal beef -- I guess in part because I was once a vendor at Wrigley: Why weren't all the vendors included on the list of ring recipients? I've heard that a select few got rings, but the majority did not, even some longtime vendors.

The explanation to the vendors was they are Levy Restaurant employees, not Cubs employees.

Are you really going to tell me that vendors, including some that have worked there for decades, don't deserve a ring? Please! They have been pushing the product for years along with fostering goodwill in the stands.


Crane Kenney, the team's president of Business Operations, happens to be a great guy and I would like to see him take a look at the concessionaires.

It may have changed over the years, but back in 1969-70, when I worked as a vendor at Wrigley Field, I was paid by the Cubs and was considered their employee.

Sorry, but I think the vendors deserve rings, too!

• Follow Mike on Twitter at @north2north. Check out his podcast Monday-Friday at His column appears Fridays in the Daily Herald. For more, visit

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