How did the Cubs’ Kerry Wood spend the night before his team’s season opener against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field?
By decorating cupcakes.
Wood — all 6-foot-5 of him — squeezed the cream cheese frosting out of a pastry bag onto a plate of red velvet cupcakes, just as he had been instructed, at Swirlz Cupcakes in Lincoln Park Wednesday. His wife, Sarah, sat alongside him by the storefront window doing the same, only faster.
“Slow and steady wins the race,” said Wood, taking a glance at Sarah’s plate of professional-looking cupcakes.
If his start to the Cubs season has been less than sweet, at least this was. Swirlz will sell a Wood Family Foundation red velvet cupcake through May 5 and will donate all of the proceeds to the Woods’ youth-focused charity. And while the cupcakes won’t be buried in frosting like the ones Wood decorated himself, they will feature the Wood Family Foundation logo on them.
“I know which ones the kids are (going to eat),” Wood joked once he and Sarah were done frosting.
Wood said he has plenty of experience decorating cupcakes with his three children at home. But unlike the employees watching on at Swirlz, Wood’s kids aren’t at all interested in seeing him frosting baked goods.
“They want to frost every one of them and (I’m) in the way.” Wood said. “They’re fighting for the icing.”
Wood — who ate a few of his own cupcakes after asking for permission from a store employee — was less than 24 hours away from coming in for relief duty in the Cubs’ loss to the Nationals Thursday. The 34-year-old pitcher said he had butterflies that evening, but not the same kind he used to get before the first day of school.
“You get butterflies because you’ve been out of work for four and a half months and this is your first time in front of 40,000 fans again,” Wood said. “But it’s a different feeling. There’s excitement. The first day of school was — ugh. I was more nervous (for school) than I was excited.”
Next up for the Wood Family Foundation is the “Art of Fashion” breakfast May 3 with Sarah Wood and jewelry designer Lana at Neiman Marcus in Northbrook Court mall, and the 7th annual Kerry Wood’s Strike Zone Celebrity Bowling Tournament at 10pin Bowling Lounge June 27.
On the record: "I feel like my job now is very much like (improv). It's not my personality. I mean, I act what I'm doing, in a sense, when I'm on these TV shows and doing interviews and representing Victoria's Secret. It's definitely not what I saw myself doing growing up. I always did sports, and I didn't like attention or the spotlight. I was scouted for modeling and just kind of adapted to it." – Victoria’s Secret Angel and Skokie native Erin Heatherton in an interview with the Tribune's Steve Johnson.
About this week: Rapper/actor Common will host his Common Ground Foundation’s annual gala fundraiser at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago hotel Saturday. This year’s gala, “Men of Excellence & Courage,” will honor actor Harry Belafonte and the Bears’ Israel Idonije, among others. … “Jersey Shore” cast member Ronnie Ortiz-Magro will appear at John Barleycorn in Schaumburg Friday.
Sightings: “Boss” star Kelsey Grammer checked out The Ledge in Willis Tower’s Skydeck April 2. … Actors Bill Murray and Jeff Garlin and rocker Billy Corgan attended the Ricketts family’s private party in Wrigley Field’s Captain Morgan Club prior to Thursday’s Cubs season opener. Garlin also checked out Rockit Burger Bar in Wrigleyville before the game. Murray had dinner at Sola in North Center after the game. … WWE wrestler David Otunga celebrated his birthday with fiancee and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson at Chicago Indoor Racing in Addison Saturday. … Oscar-nominated actor Terrence Howard visited Paris Club April 2 with a group of 12 guests. … Zachary Quinto, who played Spock in the “Star Trek” reboot, and Jonathan Groff, who played Jesse St. James on “Glee,” checked out the This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Friday. … NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen and Derrick Rose and his Bulls teammates dined with around 800 fans on the United Center floor Tuesday as part of the 23rd annual “An Evening with the Chicago Bulls,” which benefited Chicago Bulls Charities. … Food Network star Paula Deen was on hand Thursday for the grand opening of her new restaurant, Paula Deen’s Kitchen, at Harrah’s Joliet Casino and Hotel. … Former “Friends” star David Schwimmer had dinner at Sunda Friday. … After their teams faced off at the United Center Thursday, Celtics coach Doc Rivers and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, once an assistant under Rivers, had dinner together at RPM Italian. The Celtics’ Paul Pierce was spotted at Cuvee later that night. ... The Indiana Pacers' Reggie Miller dined at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar Tuesday. ... The Cubs' Starlin Castro dined at Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse in River North Thursday. ... The Ting Tings were spotted at Tuesday at Nellcôte. ... The Bulls’ Joakim Noah dined at Mercadito following his team’s big win over the Miami Heat March 15. Teammate Carlos Boozer had dinner at Chicago Cut Steakhouse April 2.