Chicago is slowly opening up, the Lakefront trail is open, restaurants are already seating people inside, and museums, gyms and performance venues will reopen on Friday. But even though you can get a bite to eat and a drink on the patio of your favorite restaurant if you’re so inclined, we are still a long way from normal. There will be no fans at Cubs or White Sox games when they begin a shortened season later in July and events like Theo Epstein’s annual “Hot Stove Cool Music” fundraiser to benefit his Foundation To Be Named Later will be virtual. You can check out some highlights from 2019’s event below:
Virtual events aren’t quite the same as a big party in person, but they do provide some new opportunities for fans to be involved. For starters, this year’s event has single person tickets as low as $5 and you do not need to leave the comfort of your home to hear music from Steven Tyler, Common, James Taylor, the Dropkick Murphys and more. Even if you can’t make it to Thursday’s show you should check out the charity auction where you can bid on the chance to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field or Fenway Park, a VIP Boston Bruins fan experience, and more.
Of course, this is a baseball fundraiser so keep an eye out for Cubs favorites Ryan Dempster and David Ross who will be joined by former Boston teammate David Ortiz. The Yankees’ Bernie Williams will lead off the event with the Chicago Children’s Choir.
The Foundation To Be Named Later was founded in 2005 as a means to create positive change and provide important opportunities for youth and families in underserved neighborhoods in Boston and Chicago. Hot Stove Cool Music is the foundation’s signature event and is presented in partnership with baseball writing legend Peter Gammons. It has raised more than $13 million to help level the playing field through education initiatives and scholarships.
As always, Gammons captured the importance of this event during the pandemic: “So many have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 crisis. During this time, raising money is crucial to help continue to support you and families from underserved neighborhoods in Boston and Chicago. We couldn’t imagine a summer without a show, so we are excited to bring the virtual concert directly into people’s homes, and, as always, we remain grateful for the musicians, sponsors and fans who make this possible.”
So if you don’t have plans this Thursday night (and let’s be honest, most of us haven’t quite worked up the courage to make reservations at our favorite restaurant just yet) grab your tickets for this year’s Hot Stove Cool Music and enjoy a night of baseball and music for a great cause.