DeKalb Man Part Of Cubs’ Ring Ceremony


If you’re a Cubs fan it’s not every century that your team wins a World Series. So when it does, and it offers the opportunity to present a championship ring you jump at the chance. That’s exactly what Jeff Birtell from DeKalb did.

 “I was sitting here looking at Facebook, and I saw it on Facebook,” says Birtell of a Cubs contest that he saw. “I just happened to mention it to my youngest daughter, and I said ,’Hey look at this!’, and she said, ‘Dad you can so win this!”

The Cubs gave 20 fans the chance to present players and coaches their 2016 World Series rings. All the fans had to do was put together a video nominating themselves or another candidate, then upload the video to twitter using the Cubs Ring Bearer hashtag. That’s where Jeff’s son Matt comes in.

“I do videography for a living, so it was kind of fallen upon me,” says Matt Birtell. “But I also thought it would be a good opportunity to give something back to my dad. Not just physically, but to show him through him raising us what he’s done.”

That was the video’s message. Matt and his sister explained how their dad has used the Cubs to not only bond as a family, but also to teach life lessons. Then about a week and a half later Matt received an email. It was from the Cubs.

“I was just looking at my phone and I was like oh my gosh!,” says Matt.  I was like super tired when I was looking at it, and then I got my third wind, and I was up all night!”

The email revealed Matt’s dad Jeff was one of the contest winners, but that wasn’t the only thing the email said. It also asked Matt to record Jeff’s reaction the moment he tells him he won.

“Woo Hoo!,” was Jeff’s reaction.

“I couldn’t love my kids anymore than I do, but just the kind words that they said too, because I didn’t coach them. They were speaking from the heart,” says Jeff Birtell.

“It (winning) means a lot because it kind of justifies our own thoughts, and the fact that our dad taught us these great things, and other people see these great things,” says Matt Birtell.

“To be a part of this historical event, and I’m thinking who am I? But you know it’s God’s hands in it because this is wonderful!,’ says Jeff Birtell.

Birtell doesn’t know yet which player or coach he’ll be presenting a ring to on Wednesday.

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