Kerry Wood has officially been retired for over a month, but he hasn’t exactly felt retired. That’s because the ex-Cub has been so busy promoting his “All You Can Be” children’s book and preparing for his seventh annual Strike Zone Celebrity Bowling Tournament Wednesday at 10pin Bowling Lounge.
“Retirement starts tomorrow,” Wood told me at Wednesday’s fundraiser, which raised over $300,000 for the children-focused Wood Family Foundation.
Wood was joined by most of his former Cubs teammates -- including a “Kingpin”-like Ryan Dempster, who wore red tinted shades and green pants – and WWE Champion CM Punk, former WWE Diva Lita, Plain White T’s band members Tom Higgenson and Dave Tirio, and ‘85 Bears star Steve McMichael.
Unfortunately, Eddie Vedder did not attend. Wood, you may remember, was with Vedder last month when the Pearl Jam rocker and Cubs fan gave an impromptu performance at Stanley’s Kitchen & Tap in Lincoln Park.
“We baited (Eddie) a little bit,” Wood said about that night. “Eddie and I have been friends for several years. It was the day after I retired and it was nice to be able to spend it with him.”
This is your life: CM Punk calls himself the best wrestler in the ring and on the mic, so it’s not surprising that he feels he has the best WWE DVD as well. The Lockport native said his straight-to-DVD, which will be released some time in October, is better than the ones WWE made for John Cena, Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho.
“Obviously, I’m biased,” Punk said at 10pin, “but I think mine is the best. Mine starts way different than anyone else’s and ends way different than anyone else’s.”
The DVD film not only features interviews with fellow wrestlers Cena and Triple H, but also some of Punk’s close friends, including indie wrestler Colt Cabana and Rancid band member Lars Frederiksen.
“Honestly, it was like watching my life flash before my eyes,” Punk said. “They used a lot of footage from my early days. Just seeing the whole package put together with people I respect in the industry and have known my whole life talking about me, it seemed weird. It felt like I was at my own funeral. You get a perspective of where I come from, how hard I’ve worked and where I’m at now. It blew me away. There were a couple moments where I was like ‘Wow, this is really touching.’”
Classic T’s: “Hey There Delilah” band Plain White T’s has begun recording songs in Los Angeles for its follow-up album to 2010’s “Wonders of the Younger.” “Whatever the next thing is, it has begun,” Higgenson said at 10pin. “We hope to have it out by early next year. ... The sound is classic Plain White T’s.
On the record: “I tried to go to Whole Foods, but they wouldn't let me in because I wasn't on my phone.” – “Workaholics” star and Evanston native Anders Holm, via Twitter.
Heads up: NFL Pro Bowler Donovan McNabb will host his 1st annual All-Star Celebrity Softball Game Fundraiser Saturday at Livingston Field. The Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald and Bears' Matt Forte are scheduled to attend the free event. ... “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson will visit Chicago August 6 to promote the Fox singing competition and his campaign against Type 2 Diabetes, “Taking Diabetes to Heart.” … “Glee” actor Chris Colfer will sign copies of his “Land of Stories” book July 20 at Barnes & Noble in Old Orchard in Skokie, in addition to his signing July 19 at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville.
Sightings: Speaking of “Glee,” actress Jane Lynch dined at RPM Italian June 24 and at Frankie’s Scaloppine & Fifth Foor Pizzeria in 900 North Michigan Shops June 25. The Dolton native sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at Wednesday’s Cubs-New York Mets game. ... CM Punk, who became a pescetarian this year, ordered the Pacific King Salmon Wednesday at Hub 51. Former “Bachelorette” Ali Fedotowsky had lunch at Hub 51 earlier that day. ... The Bears’ Robbie Gould raised money for Chicago Cubs charities through his Golden Touch Foundation Monday at the Down the Line Rooftop in Wrigleyville.