MESA, AZ — After helping the Chicago Cubs to the World Series title, Kyle Schwarber announced Tuesday that he’s ready for the big time. Four days after reporting to spring training and passing his physical with the team, the outfielder/catcher said he’s ready to fulfill his lifetime dream as a full-time Chicago beer league softball player.
“It’s just what I was born to do,” Schwarber said. “After a few years of training with the Cubs to hone my craft, I feel like I’m ready to prove that I can make it happen where it really counts.”
Schwarber said he’s modeled his game after beer-league legends like “Quarter Barrel” Murphy and “Beer Shits” Johnson, carving out a niche little career with the Cubs along the way. The slugger claimed he used the seven-game World Series victory against the Cleveland Indians to get his swing back with an eye towards slow-pitch. “Lots of really hard swings,” he said. “Sometimes connecting, sometimes striking out,” he said. “That’s that beer league approach.” Since November, he’s been conditioning for softball by tracking pitches while maintaining a three-to-five beer buzz.
“As training goes on and the season, I’ll get that up to 10 beers, and then max out at 12 by opening day,” Schwarber said. “But you’ve got to use the preseason to work up to that. It’s a long year and a liver can only handle so much.”
His O’Callahan’s Irish Pub team opens its Chicago Social Softball Club season with a doubleheader on April 7 against longtime rival Tom’s Tavern. He was set to sub against Tom’s for O’Callahan’s last year in the league championship after the World Series was over, but his team forfeited as too many players were on vacation.
“That was a tough pill to swallow,” Schwarber said. “This year, we have a new captain, who has already e-mailed everyone the whole season’s schedule, so that should help. Plus, we picked up a couple extra guys from Bill’s work for when dudes get busy with the kids or holidays or whatever. At the end of the day, as long as we get those championship fleeces, that’s all that matters.”