I grew up in a small coal mining community in rural Utah. My parents worked hard, particularly my father, who was a coal miner for most of my childhood. Despite the grueling work he always found spare time to coach little league and play catch with me and my brother. When times got tough the message was always the same: keep your head down, work harder and get after it. It’s gotten me through some tough times and big projects in my professional and personal life.
Cole Wright brings that same work ethic and ethos to his role as the studio host and sports reporter on Marquee Sports Network. He joined Andi Cruz Vanecek and me for about 40 minutes on Tuesday night and variations of the phrase “get after it” are sprinkled throughout almost every part of his personal story, how he thinks the Cubs will respond to this shortened season and how he sees his new role at the Cubs network.
Wright grew up in Joliet and Naperville and described returning to Chicago to cover his favorite team from the coveted office space at 1060 W. Addison as a “perfect storm” and a “dream job.” You could hear the excitement in his voice as he talked about recently re-visiting Bandera, where he waited tables in college. He credits that job with teaching him how to really listen to people and get the most out of an interview. He also expressed empathy for all of the restaurant workers struggling in the current economic climate.
Cole is the son of a car salesman and knew early on that his dad wanted something more for him than digging cars out of snow in the Chicago winter. He was a talented first baseman and designated hitter who made it to the Illinois state championship game with Waubonsie Valley High School where his team lost to a Glenwood High School team that included future MLB All-Star Jayson Werth. You can watch that game in full on YouTube if you’re looking for some baseball to pass the time while baseball is on hiatus [VIDEO]:
Wright continued playing baseball in college. He parlayed his communications degree into covering college sports and prior to joining Marquee Sports Network he was a host on NFL Network and covered the Dodgers at SportsNet LA. In talking with Cole his appreciation for these opportunities shines through. He clearly loves what he does and he’s not taking a single second of it for granted.
We also talked about the shortened season and adaptability. He has no doubt that the Chicago Cubs will be ready to go, and he says it with the confidence of a man who has clearly played in and been around some high profile games. His favorite moment of Spring Training was joining Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo for a workout and you can tell that he’s a Cubs fan when he talks about Kris Bryant and Rizzo at the top of the Cubs line-up.
Baseball is on hiatus, but Cuppa Cubbie Blue is not. Check out our entire interview with Cole Wright below to hear about his thoughts on the shortened season, returning to Chicago and why his neighbors in L.A. probably still believe he had a legitimate beef with a guy named Rajai Davis.
Once your done with the episode if you are a Chicagoan who has AT&T, RCN or Hulu + Live be sure you check out the incredible amount of Cubs content on Marquee Sports Network while we all wait patiently for baseball to return.