Monday, you met Clark, the Cubs' new mascot, in a drawing. He was widely mocked, but Monday night, he, along with 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 showed off one of the reasons Clark was created.
The Pediatric Developmental Center at Illinois Masonic Hospital is for kids with autism and other developmental issues. Clark and the Cubs prospects met with the children there 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.
These are all positive things, of course, and if a mascot can help any child with issues like this do better, it not only helps the child, but also creates positive feelings about the team. If you've been busy blasting or mocking this mascot, remember this: Clark is not for us -- the adult Cubs fans who are the majority of readers of this site -- but is for kids.
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.
Click here for some video from Monday night's event, and below are some more photos (click to embiggen). We'll have more on Clark later today.
New Cubs mascot, Clark, meets children at Advocate Illinois Masonic’s Pediatric Developmental Center in Chicago. (Steve Green/Chicago Cubs)
New Cubs mascot, Clark, and Cubs prospects (from left) Kris Bryant, Armando Rivero and Arodys Vizcaino start a cheer with children at Advocate Illinois Masonic’s Pediatric Developmental Center in Chicago. (Steve Green/Chicago Cubs)
Cubs prospects Mike Olt (left) and Eric Jokisch spend time with new Cubs mascot, Clark, and children at Advocate Illinois Masonic’s Pediatric Developmental Center in Chicago. (Steve Green/Chicago Cubs)