Ryan Dempster got to play with his son Brady Monday the way he had for years when he pitched for the Cubs.
But this was a brief few days of father-son fun, and it happened at U.S. Cellular Field where Dempster will be the this week as a visiting member of the Boston Red Sox.
After nine seasons on the North Side, Dempster still has a home here and Brady is still in school here, so the visit is special on many fronts.
``Chicago will always be home,'' the native of British Columbia, Canada said. ``It was nice to pick him up from school and come here. But it will be different now until school is over.
``You play somewhere for a long time and you have visions of playing there the rest of your career, and at the same time you understand the business.
``I felt honored to be a Chicago Cub and wear the uniform, and the way I was treated from ownership to the front office to the coaches was first class. I'm so grateful and thankful for the opportunity to have worn the uniform for that long.''
Dempster was traded to the Texas Rangers in the July 31 deadline move. The Rangers reached the American League playoffs.
But he signed as a free agent with Boston after the season.
``The trade last year was to a good place and I was pretty lucky. I had a tremendous time. But it's been awesome here.
``I didn't know what to expect. There are expectations for the team, but I don't think they're higher for us as individuals. It's been a blast and we've gotten off to a good start, too.''
Dempster (2-4, 4.27 ERA) won't face the White Sox, but he is part of a staff that ranks just behind the Sox in the top five in the American League.
The Red Sox also are legitimate World Series contenders.
``That was the reason I chose to go there,'' he said. ``The way the team as come together, the talent that was there, they had as much chance as any team to get there. We're playing good baseball. We just went through a rough patch and we're still right there. It's been a lot of fun and it's exciting.''
The irony of playing for two iconic teams in baseball's two most unique parks isn't lost on him.
``How lucky am I to have both those places as my home ball park, my home office,'' he said of Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. ``They're both unique and special in their own rights. I just loved playing in Wrigley Field and getting a chance to go there every day. And now going to Fenway, walking through the park and seeing everything before the action, it's different in some sense ,but there's that old tradition and nostalgia.''
Dempster comes ``home'' as a Boston Red Sox
TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/57675